Winter & Christmas Yoga

Christmas Yoga for Ages 7-11

A fun free lesson plan for kids ages 7-11! I've created a fun yoga class to celebrate Christmas & Winter fun! You are sure to get lots of giggles from your yogis while they play a fun Yoga card game to keep them interested and moving! Classes are mainly designed for large groups of kids in a school setting but can be modified to do with just about any group of kids. Enjoy!

Setting the Space 

Mindful Breathing/Guided Visual: We begin with a Mindful Sit in which students close their eyes and bring to mind one person they care about. I guide them through a visualization of focusing on their breath. Each exhale is sending love & peace to the person they care about. Remind them that Christmas can be fun but that Christmas is about sharing love and time with the people we care about. 

Chanting: In the school setting, I sometimes will use the sound of "om" as it means together but in some occasions I will have the children chant the beginning letter name of the theme. So for this class we will chant the letter "C" for Christmas. Children bring their hands together at their heart, inhale and open their hands and arms wide(to imitate the lungs expanding). They chant the letter "C" together bringing their hands back together at their heart. 

These yogis are a little younger but here we are chanting  a letter name together at the beginning of class. 

Warm-Up

Seated Spine Twist/Snow Gazing/Side Stretches: Warm up with a few seated spine twists and side stretches in Pretzel Pose. Snow Gazing, AKA Star Gazing, is the simple movement of the head to look up, with shoulders drawn down and chest pressing up. Also more simple movements such as turning the gaze diagonally up and down to warm up the cervical spine. While doing these movements invite the kids to share their favorite parts of winter and Christmas

Snow Dance, AKA a Sun Salutation: Gets our bodies warmed up. I used the song, Winter Wonderland by the Pentatonix. I found it on itunes. 

Yoga Card Game

Cards are placed sporadically face down in the center of the yoga circle. Kids take turns choosing the next numerical card to flip over and leads the yoga pose if they feel comfortable. The cards are numerically numbered because each card builds on the next to help  continue the warm-up, move into the body, and end with a cool down. 

Scroll down to see how I made the cards! 

Cool Down

Mouse Pose: The last card in the deck is Mouse pose to encourage kids to  take full deep breaths and calm their mind and body down. 

Knees to Chest: Kids transition to their back and hug their knees. Encourage kids to quietly say what their favorite pose was today. 

Deep Relaxation with Guided Visulization/Savasana: Have kids lie on their back in Savasana. Encourage a full body squeeze to help them relax into their mat. I played the song "Snowfall" by Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade quietly in the background while I read a guided visualization "Wintertime" from Imaginations 2: Relaxation Stories and Guided Imagery for Kids by Carolyn Clarke. 

How I made the Yoga Christmas Cards

1. I found Holiday Winter coloring sheets and printed them out in a 4x6 size. I found some here: http://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/printables/printable-christmas-coloring-pages/

2. I had some kids help me color the sheets, cut them out, and glue onto colored construction paper. 

3. I labeled the cards with what the picture showed and then labeled what pose we can do for it. I came up with these. :-) I then laminated them so I can reuse them next year. 

I made these 15 cards:

  • X-mas Stocking- #4 stretch(seated, one leg extended, opposite foot on the inside of the thigh) Pretend to grab boot from the closet above and put the boot up. Count to ten to pretend tie the shoe, to get them to hold the stretch
  • Santa-Belly Breathing(hands on belly and breath into belly 3-5 times)
  • Rudolph-Downward Dog
  • X-mas Bells-Mindful Listening with Bell 1-2 rounds(bring hands to heart when sound has disappeared)
  • Gingerbread House-Partner Table Pose(one child does table to imitate a house and the other yogi crawls under on their belly, take turns)
  • Ornament- Rock and Roll Movement(Kids grab knees and roll back and forth to massage the spine, 3-5 times. On the last roll encourage the kids to stand up!) 
  • Candy Canes-Eagle Pose(Kids twist their bodies into eagle to imitate the twisty colors of the candy cane)
  • Snowman-Triangle Pose(kids imitate the shape of the snowman from its larger bottom to the top of the head)
  • Group of Ornaments- Students hold hands to make a large group circle,  everyone squats down on the count of 10 then comes back up in the count of 10.
  • Winter Squirrel-Toe-ga Game(Use crumbled up pieces of paper or cotton balls to imitate acorns. Kids pick up the "acorns" with their feet to drop in a bag storing their food for the winter)
  • X-mas tree-Tree pose
  • Group of Trees-Group Tree pose
  • Elf- Elf Dance Party! Put on music to dance to as a group
  • Group of Snowflakes-Kids sit in a circle, hold hands and touch feet. Kids lift all feet up in the air to make a large snowflake.
  • Fireplace-Partner Mouse Pose(Kids sit side by side in mouse pose to imitate warming up next to the fireplace).

Here are some picture examples of the cards.

Front of Cards. 

Back of Cards

Here they are in action!