The Jewish holiday Tu B’Shevat (pronounced: too b’ shvat) will be observed this year at sundown February 3rd through sundown February 4th, 2015 (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat). Tu B’Shevat is known as the New Year for Trees and celebrates rebirth, renewal and gratitude for the many gifts trees give us.

Some people celebrate Tu B’Shevat by planting trees and/or having a traditional meal, called a “Seder.” Tu B’Shevat Seders often include eating a variety of fruits and nuts grown in Israel, while telling stories and reciting blessings that honor the many gifts trees give us.

The following are some fun and meaningful ways to include Tu B’Shevat in your kids yoga classes:

Songs: 

Kidding Around Yoga

Jewish Folk Music

Games: 

  • Water, Water, Grow!  (duck, duck, goose)
    Using a watering pitcher (like Duck Duck Goose) water, water, GROW & then the kids would choose what to grow into: Tree! Flower! Butterfly!
  • Red Light, Green Light, Tree
    Like the traditional game “Red Light, Green Light” with a yoga twist.  Let the leader of each round call red light, green light or “POSE”.  They can choose their own balance poses (tree, eagle, dancer). The “it” person stands in front of the room and says, “My pose is the tree.” And then they start with the traditional “red light” for stop or “green light” for go. If someone moves on red light or pose, just have them go back a little bit 🙂

Poses:

  • Plow: Before we can plant our seeds, we have to PLOW the field
  • Tree: Happy Birthday Trees! What kind of TREE are you? Apple? Almond? AWESOME!
  • Hero:  I am a Tu B’Shevat HERO! I take care of the trees and the Earth!
  • Partner Tree Pose:  Have everyone stand in TREE, hands touching.  For fun, have someone try to “blow the trees down”. Don’t forget to inhale through your nose!

Meditation:

  • Walking meditation: focus on the details of trees (size, color, texture, scent…)

Raja Yoga/ Closing Circle Questions:

  • Have a discussion about the amazing gifts trees give us:
    shelter, oxygen, fruit, shade, beauty….
    How can we show our gratitude? What birthday gifts can we give trees to help them stay strong for years to come?  What are ways we can protect trees by taking care of the environment?
  • How are people like trees?  What do we need to have strong fulfilling lives?
    Strong Roots. Love & Light.

Om Work

  • Ask yogis to find ways to recycle and conserve around their house and share experiences at the next class.

Special Snack:

Bring a special Tu B’shevat snack to enjoy after class.  (Be careful with nuts & allergies.)  Some suggestions are:

  • apricots
  • dried apples
  • raisins
  • carob

Enjoy celebrating Tu B’Shevat with your yogis!  For more Omazing ways to include Jewish traditions in your yoga class, check out Online Yoga Yeladim (OYY)!!

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