Hanukkah is a time of joy, celebration, and the triumph of light over darkness. What better way to embrace the spirit of Hanukkah than by incorporating themed yoga poses into your classes or day with kids? 

Any time you are teaching yoga to kids, it's important to use a theme, and why not during the holidays as well?

Hanukkah themed yoga is a fantastic way to engage with the holiday's traditions, connect with your body, and foster mindfulness. Here's a Hanukkah themed yoga lesson plan for both kids and adults.

*Don't forget your FREE Hanukkah themed pose poster and mindfulness activity below!*

What is Hanukkah, for kids that may not know?

If you are teaching a kids yoga class with the theme of Hanukkah, you may have some kids that don't know about this wonderful holiday. Start by describing the holiday and traditions to them in a few words:

Hanukkah is a special and joyous celebration that brings light and warmth to the hearts of those who observe it. For eight nights, Jewish families around the world come together to commemorate the miracle of the oil that burned in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

More than 2,000 years ago, when the Temple was rededicated, there was only enough oil to light the menorah, a special candelabrum, for one night. However, miraculously, the oil lasted for eight nights, symbolizing hope and resilience. To mark each night, families light the menorah, adding a new candle until all eight are glowing.

Delicious traditional foods like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) are enjoyed, and children often play a game with a spinning top called a dreidel.

Hanukkah is a time of joy, family, and the triumph of light over darkness, creating cherished memories and a sense of togetherness for everyone who celebrates.

Mindfulness Activity to Start a Hanukkah Themed Yoga Class

Begin your Hanukkah themed yoga class with a mindfulness meditation or activity to get grounded and set the festive mood. Focus on just one thing to start the class mindfully.

Dreidel Discovery

Invite participants to play a sensory game of “Discovery”! Use a bag filled with items like gelt, tiny menorah replicas, or dreidels for participants to touch and describe. This sensory game gets your brain thinking and warmed up.

Candlelight Concentration

Light a menorah or use electric candles to simulate the lighting of the Hanukkah candles.

Focus on the flames or lights, engaging in deep breaths to promote relaxation and presence. If you are able to use a real flame, make sure to focus on the movement of the flame, the colors, and even the slow dripping of the wax.

Move into a Hanukkah Themed Yoga Flow

Warm up the body with a Hanukkah themed kids yoga flow that incorporates traditional poses with a festive twist:

Shamash (helper candle) (Mountain Pose)

Stand tall with arms stretched overhead, mimicking the center candle of the menorah that helps light all the others. 

mountain pose for kids

Starry of David (Star Pose)

Expand into a star pose, imagining the night sky filled with shimmering stars, the Star of David being the biggest and brightest.

kids yoga lesson plan, breathing exercises for kids, star pose for kids yoga, mindfulness, breath

Spinning Dreidel (Chair Pose Twist)

Bend your knees in chair pose after Mountain and twist side to side with your arms like the spinning motion of a dreidel.

Festive Latke Flip (Forward Fold)

Pretend to flip latkes in a frying pan, moving from Waterfall to Forward Fold.

waterfall kids yoga poses, kumarah yoga
a child is practiing forward fold with his feet together and arms and torso hanging over his straight legs, hands are touching the floor, spring rain

Maccabee Warrior (Warrior Poses)

Channel the strength of the Maccabees with variations of warrior poses.

warrior one 1, yoga pose for kids, do yoga at home with kids, baseball pose
warrior two pose, yoga for kids, witch and warlock pose, not a box, kids yoga lesson plan

Present Pose (Jack in the Box Pose)

Be a wrapped gift, one of eight that everyone receives over the 8 nights.

Menorah (Candlestick Pose)

Gelt (Child's Pose)

Make yourself round and flat, imagining a delicious chocolate center of the Gelt.

Childs pose yoga for kids, girl sitting on her knees with her head resting on the floor and arms reaching over her head on the ground

Mindfulness Breathing for Hanukkah – Shamash Breath

After the dynamic yoga flow, guide participants through a calming breathing exercise inspired by the shamash, the central candle on the Hanukkah menorah

Shamash Breath

Inhale deeply, visualizing the light of the shamash filling your body. Exhale slowly, imagining spreading the warmth and light to those around you.

Hold up your fist and raise each finger to pretend to light five (or 8) candles on your hand with each breath.

Playful Hanukkah Themed Kids Yoga Poses

Continue the festive practice with playful Hanukkah-themed yoga poses and movements for both kids and adults:

Dreidel Spin

Spin like a dreidel, twirling around with arms extended. If you have a smooth floor, sit on your bottom with your knees in arms wrapped around them. Let a partner spin you around!

Maccabee March

March in place, imagining you are part of the Maccabee army celebrating victory.

Latke Flips

Lay on your tummy with your arms at your sides. Lift your arms and legs straight up and away from each other like a flat latke. Roll over quickly as if you are being flipped! Go back and forth if you can.

Menorah Balance

Stand on one leg, extending the opposite leg back and lifting your arms overhead like a menorah.

Lighting Candles

Lay on your back and slowly raise your legs straight up to candle pose. Feel free to rest them on a wall, a partner, or a chair.  You can go all the way to Candlestick pose (Shoulderstand) if you are able!

Hanukkah Themed Activities for a Fun Yoga Class

Enhance the festive atmosphere with engaging Hanukkah-themed activities:

Dance to Hanukkah Tunes

Dance and move to traditional Hanukkah songs, pausing to freeze in Samash (Mountain) pose like a candle on the Menorah.

Maccabee Movement Course

Create an obstacle course with movements inspired by Maccabee actions, like crawling through tunnels and jumping over obstacles. Use yoga blocks to cross over, yoga straps to balance on, and each other for crawling around under while they are doing Downward Dog.

Dreidel Twirl Game

Play a game where participants twirl like a dreidel and freeze when the music stops. Classic freeze dance but with the added fun of spinning! Just be sure to set rules for where the kids can spin to keep everyone safe.

Hanukkah Themed Crafts for Mindfulness and Fine Motor Skills

Promote mindfulness and creativity with Hanukkah-themed crafts:

Dreidel Art

Create dreidel-shaped art using construction paper, incorporating colors and designs.

Star of David Ornaments

Craft ornaments with sticks, ribbon, and other materials to form the Star of David.

Hanukkah Gelt Meditation Jars

Make glitter jars with golden coins (pretend gelt) inside, shaking them to create a calming snow globe effect.

Mindfulness Hanukkah Search

Grab your Free download below of some of the Hanukkah themed yoga poses and the mindfulness themed search for some special Hanukkah objects! (Enter your email in form at the bottom to get your download!)

Hanukkah Storytime with Yoga Poses

Select a Hanukkah-themed book and integrate yoga poses into the storytelling:

You're My Little Latke by Natalie Marshall is a good rhyming story that has all the elements of Hanukkah that we already created poses for! Add the correct pose into the story after each page.

After the story, encourage your students to share the things they appreciate about the holiday season, fostering a sense of gratitude and connection.

Embrace the spirit of Hanukkah through these fun and mindful yoga practices for kids. Whether you're celebrating with family, friends, or a yoga community, these activities will add a touch of light and joy to your holiday season.

Enjoy the festive journey of Hanukkah-themed yoga for kids!

Grab your FREE PDF of the Hanukkah Poses + Mindfulness Activity here!

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