Easter time is time for the Easter Yogi Bunny! Just as fascinating to kids as good ole’ Saint Nick, the Easter Bunny leaves the best and coolest trinkets and impressions. The Bunny has even been known to make its appearance to yoga classes around these parts! The kids love to go on an Easter egg hunt, hop like a bunny, and welcome Spring. The pastel colors and warming days enliven our spirits and remind us that change is welcome. Spring is about new days, new changes, and birth. Little kids catch on to the idea really well because they are the masters of flexibility and change. Teaching a yoga class with the bunny as the focal point is super fun! Here are a few tips to make this spring class all about hopping our way through the next season:
Start the class by hopping to greet your students and giving them a basket filled with things to help them on their yoga journey and the crafts and tools that you will use during this themed class. Wrap it up nice and pretty with bright ribbons! Include something to use when illustrating pranayama, like a windmill/pinwheel. When you begin your breathing exercises, practice with the pinwheels to help your students become not only aware of their breath, but also more in control of their inhalations and exhalations.
To describe why we do yoga, we often explain that our brains go fuzzy or muddy with all of our thoughts. For this Easter-themed class, show them the Cuckoo Chick! Cuckoo Chicks look like cute, little baby chicks, but they are all over the place! Cuckoo Chicks can’t focus because they never just sit still long enough to breath, stretch, and relax! Show them how our brains are just like this spring chick when we don’t practice our yoga. A similar idea uses the Kidding Around Yoga song, Crazy Monkey.
Go on a mindful Easter egg hunt! Similar to a walking meditation, go searching for the eggs that the Yogi Bunny left behind (hide the treasures before class begins). Encourage your students to walk with intention as their feet touch the ground and lift again. Encourage them to breathe with each step, and to take each step one at a time as they slowly and deliberately look for an egg. Inspire them to look in unconventional spaces and help them feel happy when they problem-solve and find an egg. Be sure not to use real eggs due to possible allergies and also not to fill plastic eggs with hazardous items.
Get all your wiggles out by playing the Yogi Bunny Hop game. Have children line up while you stand at the opposite end of the room. When you say, “Here comes Peter Cottontail,” the kids all hop toward you. Stop them by saying, “There stops Peter Cottontail.” When the children stop, call out a yoga pose. Repeat until they reach you.
Each of your students can be a Yogi Bunny too! With the materials in their basket, they’ll be able to make bunny ears. Prior to class, cut pink and white construction paper. Cut a long rectangle that is about 2-3 inches wide and about 24-30 inches long for the headband. Cut two ears with the white and pink (for the center) and place in the basket with pom poms and googly eyes. Assemble them together during craft time. Make sure you hand out glue or glue sticks when it is craft time to avoid accidents.
Near the end of class when everyone rests in their guided meditation, guide them to their own vegetable gardens where there’s other bunnies, chicks, treats, and flowers. Guide them to feeling like relaxed little yogi bunnies. Hoppy Easter!