• Belly Boats

    Remember those good old days, folding paper into neat little paper boats. The fact that I recall using old newspaper to make ours, most likely indicates my age… I am also old enough to be so far removed from my childhood that I found myself completely stumped when I went to make them for a kiddos yoga class I was teaching several years ago. Unable to wrap my head — and most importantly, my crisp piece of fancy origami paper — around something that was completely effortless as I child, I ended up extremely frustrated.

    Cue yoga and YouTube to the rescue! 🙂

    For this week’s post I think it’s best to stick with what I do know, pediatric yoga, so instead of trying to describe – or worse, draw! – the step-by-step process of folding a neat little paper boat, I highly recommend a quick Youtube search to dig up a step-by-step tutorial. Now let’s talk about how those neat little paper boats tie in to your kiddos yoga classes…..

    Belly Boats are a fun craft to do with your class and a great segue in to some good old-fashioned belly breathing. Use plain white paper so the kids can paint, decorate and personalize their boats — or use colorful paper and fancy stickers, glitter, tinsel, buttons, pom-poms to really glitz up the paper boats. Once the fabulous paper sea vessels are complete (and dry) have the children rest on their backs on yoga mats and gently place Belly Boats on bellies:

    1. Cue kiddos to observe the Belly Boat and how it moves across the Belly ocean with a natural breath.
    2. Cue slower, deeper, full belly breathing — encourage slow and even breaths to watch the boat bob up and down.
    3. Encourage kiddos to breathe naturally and then deeply and compare the movement of the boat.
    4. Which breath allows them to see their boats sailing across the Belly Ocean?
    5. Which breath allows the boat the smoothly and safely sail across the Belly Ocean?
    6. Which breath gives them a deeper sense of control in terms of sailing their vessel?

    Class Management Tip: You will always have kiddos who want to test out rapid breathing and my best advice to counter this is to remind them that the more skillful way is breathe slowly and with control. Usually this is enough to challenge them to try the correct way. If this does not work, perhaps remind them that all of the people on the boat might get seasick if they do not find smoother seas quickly!

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  • Paper Hats and Kids Yoga | yoyoyoga said: // 2015-09-23 09:18:00
    […] If you missed out on our recent Belly Boats post I recommend clicking over and taking a quick look. The neat little paper boat you made after reading this post can very easily multi-task as a neat little paper hat. Click Here […]