Sunday, 14 August 2016

Pirates Ahoy- A Yoga Adventure!

Continuing our series 'Yoga for every body - Kid's yoga', this week we are practicing a pirate sequence. Kid's will love this swashbuckling adventure. 

Note to Mums and Dads - you can make this activity even more fun by dressing up and face painting. You could even make pirate flags and/or a treasure chest! 

In olden days pirates roamed the seas, plundering ships and stealing their treasure.  Perhaps the most famous pirate is Blackbeard, who had a long beard into which he would coil smoking fuses to frighten his enemies.  Many pirates were known by fearsome "pirate names", such as Black Bart, Calico Jack Rackham and Red Legs Greaves. What will be your pirate name?

Ahoy there! Are ye ready to sail the seven seas aboard our fine ship?  Then let's hoist the sail! 
Sit with your legs wide.  Stretch your right arm up, fingers open, then draw your hand back down closing your fingers in. Do the same with your left arm and continue until the sail is hoisted up high.  Is the pirate flag flying?  

For boat pose sit with your knees bent.  Stretch your arms forward.  Breathe in and as you breathe out rock back on your sit bones and lift your lower legs level with the floor.  Can you use your arms as oars? 

Let's steer the boat- take your feet wide and place your right hand on top of your left, thumbs crossed.  Breathe in stretch your arms up, breathe out, round back and draw your hands towards your chest.  To reverse the direction of the ship, breathe in stretch your arms forward, breathe out stretch your arms up and back to your heart.  

Reverse rowing

What can you see in the water? Look to the starboard side of your boat (right)- there's a dolphin swimming alongside the ship! Let's pretend to be Dolphins - come onto all fours then come down your elbows and interlace your fingers.  Breathe in, tuck your toes, breathe out lift your hips. Sway your hips a little from side to side as you swim in the sea.  Can you hear other dolphins calling? Dolphins find one another and their prey by listening to their voices echoing back to them. To come out, breathe in, drop your knees to the mat, breathe out take your bottom back to your heels, unclasp your hands, turn your head to one side and take a rest.

Avast there! To the port (left) side of your boat there are sharks.  Did you know that the skeletons of sharks are made out of a material called cartilage and not bone? This is the same stuff as you have in your ear and at the end of your nose. Shall we be sharks?  Lie on your back, tuck your arms under your body and lift your chest.  Careful of your neck - don't try to turn your head now. Just as in adult yoga never do anything that might hurt. Please read my disclaimer.

Squawk, squawk - why is the ships parrot making such a racket? Let's pretend to be a parrot (Eagle pose). Stand tall and swing your right arm down under your left. Either bring the backs of your hands together or bring your left arm in front of your right and bring your palms together.  Softly bend both knees a little and bring your right foot to the outside of your left or tuck your right foot behind your left calf.  Breathe out and release.  Try being a parrot with your left arm under your right and your left foot lifted.

Ah, ah another pirate ship- that's why the parrot was squawking.  It's time to do battle, me hearties!  But first, we need to anchor our boat. Sit with your knees bent, your hands behind your hips.  Inhale lift your shins level with the floor, lift your chest.

Get ready to board their ship. Let's teach these landlubbers a lesson - these 'ere waters belong to us.  Battle positions (Warrior 1)! To come into position step forward with your right foot and turn the toes of your left foot out. Breathe in take the arms up, breathe out, bend the front knee. To come out of the pose, exhale take your hands to your hips, inhale step your feet together. Repeat second side.  Alternatively you can come into the pose from downward facing dog.  From downward facing dog, inhale and step the right foot three-quarters way forward, exhale lower your back heel, turning the toes of your left foot out. Inhale come up taking your arms up.  Hold and breathe.  When you are ready, exhale bring your hands down, step back to downward facing dog and repeat second side.

Shiver me timbers! Warrior 2- stand  with your feet wide.  Turn your right leg to the right and the toes of the left foot in. Breathe in, stretch your arms out at shoulder height, lift your chest, breathe out bend your right knee, turn to look down the fingers of your right hand.  To do battle with an attacking pirate on your other side, breathe in straighten the right knee, breathe out bring your hands to your heart, turn your feet to face forward  then repeat second side.

That's sorted those bilge rats out - now let's make them walk the plank.  Come onto hands and knees and stretch your right leg back.  Stretch your left leg back next to your right so that the back of your body forms a 'plank'. To come out breathe in and drop your knees down to the mat, take your bottom back to your heels.

Now let's head off to find some treasure! Ah- here we are at the island where the treasure is buried.  Anchor the boat again, and let's get going.  Our map is taking us through those palm trees.  Can you be a palm tree swaying in the gentle island breeze (Palm tree) - stand tall, interlace your fingers and stretch your arms up and come up on your tip toes. Breathe out and lean to the left as you press your hips to the right.  Breathe in come back to centre and repeat to the other side. You can make yourself more stable by keeping your heels down. 

Oh, look up in the trees, there's a monkey jumping from branch to branch.  To be a monkey come onto all fours and take your hands to two blocks. Stretch your right leg forward, your left leg back and make monkey noises as you leap through the trees.  Don't forget to leap through the trees with your left leg forward this time.

This is the spot - let's get digging, mateys!  There's the treasure chest full of pieces of eight- we're rich, me hearties! To be a treasure chest sit back on your heels, interlacing your fingers behind your back.  Breathe in and lift your hips, breathe out bring your the top of your head to the mat or a cushion and lift your arms. To come out lower your arms, breathe in and come up slowly. Don't do this one if it is not comfortable on your neck.

I hope you enjoyed your pirate adventure! You may also like -

'Yoga for every body - Kid's yoga'- 'Amazon Adventure'

'Yoga for every body - Kid's yoga- 'Space explorers- Start here'


Janet x

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