Yesterday we were hovering around full moon time. It was also a Monday which is the day I teach my toddler yoga class. Now usually around full moon, it's a lively, hectic, high energy class. But yesterday was really calm, the toddlers were keen to get back to their yoga after a 3 week break and we welcomed a couple of very enthusiastic new little yogis.
We did our usual warm up songs, bending, stretching and singing our hearts out - with everyone joining in and having fun. I talked the toddlers through the story, a simple affair involving a lonely scarecrow being befriended by a large, noisy crow. We moved our bodies, breathed deeply in and out and danced around the room being excited scarecrows. As I usually do, we did the relaxation at the end of the story as the characters lie down to relax and reflect - then I take Tommy the Turtle around the room to visit each child in turn whilst his music is softly playing, each child gets the chance to spot the crescent moon on his shell. We then usually jump up once again to get moving and singing, but yesterday the children lay quite still and quiet - almost reflective, not keen to leap up for more songs just yet..... Perhaps the moon's energy was a little too strong and they needed a little extra time to relax!
Anyway we eventually got up and used my breathing ball toys to open and close with our breath - again the toddlers were concentrating well and really understood what I was asking them to do (some of them are not even 2 years old yet so I was amazed at how focussed they were)
We then had our usual healthy snack which was rice cakes this week - mindfully eaten by smelling first, listening to the crunch and then closed eyes whilst chewing! We then sang some more songs and did accompanying yoga moves. We played 'Who is in the bag?' each child taking a toy animal out and then we all do the pose for that animal before the next animal can be retrieved from the bag.
Next we rolled the mats up and lined them end to end to practice balancing and to practice turn taking. Each child walking along, tight-rope style with arms out to the side - it's always a winner!
Finally we all sat down together and chanted Om three times, this is usually a favourite part of the class for the children (and for me) they all joined in with hands pressed earnestly together in Anjali Mudra. Then we all said Namaste.
So for Full Moon, Summer Solstice and the eve of International Yoga day - my toddler group did superbly well and I think for the first time in almost 5 years of teaching toddlers - I almost stuck to the class plan! It really goes to show you how you just cannot predict how things will turn out. Next week could be a whole different story.....
Happy International Yoga Day!
For details of Claire's teaching schedule and further information on Toddler Yoga see www.yogiclaire.com