Many of us are visual learners – we retain the most information and process most efficiently when we SEE what we are trying to learn. Get the most out of this learning style by creating an entire yoga class around the idea of copying, mirroring and matching!
Yoga Master: Have students stand in a line or semicircle. The leader begins by saying, “I am the Yoga Master,” and the students respond, “You are the Yoga Master!” The leader then counts 1…2…3! On 3, students pick one of the 3 predetermined poses to show the leader (before you begin playing, learn the 3 poses like Warrior 1, Tree and Goddess). The leader also picks any one of the 3 poses to show. If the students do the same pose as the leader, they are out. The object for the students is to NOT do what the leader does. Rather than being “out”, maybe the students do 10 jumping jacks or a sun salutation. Play until only 1 player is left, if time permits.
Sherlock OMs: Make a circle. One child becomes the detective (Sherlock OMs or SO). SO gets into child’s pose in the center of the circle. The teacher points to the first Secret Yogi (SY). The SY chooses a pose and the group follows. The SY has to change the pose every 5-10 seconds while the kids follow. Then the SO opens her eyes and begins wandering around the circle, trying to catch the SY changing postures. The kids continue to follow the SY who changes poses when the SO is not looking. The SO tries to figure out who the SY is.
Pass-A-Laugh: Players sit in a circle. Player 1 looks at player 2 and does a silly laugh. Player 2 mirrors the laugh back at player 1. Then player 2 turns to player 3 and makes up a new funny laugh. Player 3 mirrors it back to player 2. Then player 3 turns to laugh at player 4, etc.
Partner Mirrors: Children pair up as partner 1 and partner 2, face-to-face. Partner 1 is the Yogi and partner 2 is the Mirror. Yogi slowly moves into any posture they’d like (or assign poses to the group) and Mirror tries to copy the movement in exactly the same way. Then switch roles. This could be a whole-class activity, with the Yogi moving and the rest of the class mirroring the Yogi’s movements.
Namaste: Discuss the meaning of Namaste. Have children hold out one hand, palm up. Tell them to fill that hand with everything that makes them awesome, weird and special. It’s heavy! Then have them hold out their other palm and fill it up with all the ways they can be a good, kind person in the world. Now press those two palms together into Prayer Mudra at your heart. Look around. All of your friends have their hands on their hearts. They are also full of awesome, weird, kind things. That is the meaning of Namaste. All the good in me sees all the good in you. We are all wonderful and weird in our own ways and as yogis, we see that in each other. What we send out into the world is mirrored back at us. Namaste.