March Madness – Tying Basketball Fever Into Kids Yoga Classes
Cupid made his exit a month ago, paving the way for little green leprechauns, shamrocks and … basketball? Oh yes, March madness is upon us once again – college basketball fever in the USA! Encourage your future Globetrotter to find his/her own shining moment with a healthy game of Air Basketball. Have them play several rounds, playing against themselves to improve their basketball score!
What is Air Basketball and how does it help me?
A variation of the breath game Air Soccer, Air Basketball is a fun way to learn about the breath and train the body and mind to understand that when we breathe fully and deeply we can gain control of how we feel physically and emotionally; this is particularly helpful during episodes of anxiety and stress.
Air Basketball is a lot of fun and can be played alone or with friends.
What will I need?
• Straws (thick smoothie straws or regular drinking straws – bendy ones are easiest for maneuvering)
• 3 x Dixie Cups (numbered 1, 2 and 3 on the bottom of inside with a sharpie)
• Scotch tape
How do I do it?
• Tip Dixie Cups on their side with the open end facing you. Tape them to the surface of table or yoga mat so they do not roll around. Place the one labeled 1 (1-point) closer to your starting point, 2 (2-pointer) should be a little further away and a little more challenging, and the 3 (3-pointer) should be the most challenging to reach.
• Place pom-pom at starting point and gently blow through the straw to move the pom-pom toward a goal.
• Practice for 1-2 mins before setting a timer or a fun song (like the Harlem Globetrotters theme song Sweet Georgia Brown) to play Air Basketball – see how many baskets you can hit, tallying your score for the duration of song or time set.
• How did you go? Did you notice anything about how you breathed to move the ball? Which worked breathing technique worked best?
• How about another round to see if you can improve your score?
*Tip: The aim in Air Basketball is the have control over the direction your pom-pom rolls to score as many baskets as possible. Short bursts of breath will send your pom-pom flying, but you won’t have control. Deep inhales with long controlled exhales will help you direct your ball toward the baskets. Notice how breathing this way makes you feel.