Looking for a way to get some of the “too cool” kids interested in yoga? You know the ones – they think yoga is easy or just for hippies. Challenge them to try yoga by grabbing their interest – and sports may just be the ticket!
First, you aren’t just going to sit around and watch sports on TV – you are going to join in the fun, whether as the athlete or even the ball! Before class starts, have a bag or basket filled with the names of sports. Then each child takes a turn picking out a slip of paper and as a group you do the activity or pose. Of course, you should choose sports based on the interests of you students and possibly the season. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Swimming – locust
- Soccer – dancer with a leg swing to extended in front
- Diving – half Sun Salutations
- Baseball Catcher – squat
- Baseball Pitcher – arms circles (try to do both arms in opposite directions at the same time)
- Sumo Wrestling – goddess
- Skiing – chair
- Biking – candlestick with legs pedaling
- Motorbike racing – cowface legs
- Bowling – roll on your back like a ball
- Basketball – reed
- Football – high knee lifts touching opposite hands/knees
- Ice skating/Hockey – half moon
- Surfing – warrior 2
- High Jump – camel
- Archery – bow
- Javelin/shotput/discus – shoot the arrow
- Sailing – boat
After everyone has a had a turn or two, spread the slips of paper amongst the mats, each mat getting one pose. Then play Musical Mats. While the music plays, players must move around the circle of mats in a unique way (crawling, skipping, walking backward, hopping, etc). When the music stops, players come into the pose that is on the mat they stopped at. Continue moving around the circle again when the music starts up.
An important part of sports is teamwork. Build camaraderie and teamwork with a game of Orange You Grateful. Sit in a circle, fairly close together. Using ONLY your feet, pass an orange (or ball) to the person next to you. As you pass it, share something you are grateful for. With a sports theme, maybe encourage your students to share a skill or sports-related ability they are grateful to have, like “I’m grateful for my speed” or “I’m grateful for my strong arms”. They could be grateful for their coaches or their moms for doing their uniform laundry.
Time for a cheer! The leader tosses a ball in the air. As long as the ball is in the air, the rest of the class yells, “OM”. When the leader catches the ball, the cheer is over. Vary the height of the toss so the class has to pay close attention to the timing of the cheer.
Finally, close the class with a Huddle Up OM. Just like a football team, gather in a tight circle, arms around the people next to you. Lean in and chant a good, long, steady “OM” and feel the vibrations.