Fun With Yoga: Winter Holiday Edition
The holidays are upon us! Regardless of your religion (I’m Jewish, my husband is Christian), for me, the spirit of the holiday is about reconnecting with family and friends; striving to spread love and joy throughout the world. So, it’s a great time to practice yoga together!
Here are some yoga-inspired activities you can share with your family during the holiday vacation (even if you don’t have a yoga mat!)
Some of the holiday-themed poses we love in our house are:
OR, use your imagination to create some of your own (then head over to my Facebook page and share your ideas)!
And here are 7 of my favorite yoga-based activities to enjoy together as a family! All of these games are easy enough for the littlest children to play but modifiable so that bigger kids (and adults) don’t get bored.
5 High-Energy Games
Yogi Says: Like Simon says but with yoga poses!
Yoga Dance Party: Put on some of your favorite music and start dancing! When the music stops, everyone has to freeze in a holiday-themed yoga pose. If you are looking for yoga-inspired music for kids, our go-to music in my house is the album Little Box of Happy by Bari Koral. Her lyrics are so fun and catchy that we listen to her songs all the time! If you have littler kids, my friend Judi Cranston has an incredible series of albums filled with affirmative songs for toddlers and even for adults too!
Decorate a Yogi Tree: My kids love this game! One person stands in Christmas tree pose (younger kids can keep their feet together on the floor; older kids and adults can lift their leg up to their shin or thigh). The others use paper towels, toilet paper or tissues (clean, of course!), scarves, etc and decorate the tree! Don’t forget to add the star on top!
Clap-Clap Yogi: This game is based on a game my kids play in their jiu-jitsu class. Pick 3 yoga postures (or more for a bigger challenge!) and assign a number of claps to each one. For example, one clap = snowflake pose; two claps = tree pose; three claps = fireplace. One person is the leader/clapper and he or she claps one, two, or three times while the other players get into the corresponding pose. When someone makes a mistake, they must sit down until the round is over. The last person left is the winner! This is a great game for practicing concentration.
Indoor Snowball Fight: Another great one, especially on rainy days. Roll up some socks to make snowballs and let the fun begin! (I use a single sock per ball.) The socks are soft enough that they won’t hurt anyone. You can even build a pillow fort if you want! I’ve also use the snowballs for target practice if you don’t want socks flying all over the house. Set up a bucket or bowl and try to get the snowballs to land inside.
2 Calm Games
Cork Balance: This is a great way to reuse wine corks from bottles that you may have consumed during the holidays. We have also used bottle caps too. Place a belt or yoga strap on the floor and place the cork/bottle cap in the center. Try to raise the belt/yoga strap as high as you can off the ground without letting the cork fall off. To make it more difficult: Try to pass the belt/strap to another person without the cork/bottle cap falling off AND/OR add a second (or third!) cork/bottle cap!
Snow Angels on the Floor: This is a great way to finish your play time or use it separately to help calm kids down. Simply lay down with your back on the floor and your arms and your sides. Just like you would in the snow, raise your arms and spread your legs to make an angel! You can close your eyes and imagine what your angel looks like as you feel your body move along the floor!
ENJOY! And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!