Yoga with kids: African Safari Theme

When my kids were younger I thought it would be fun to teach toddler and parents Yoga. I did a Rainbow kids training in Vancouver and spent a lot of time putting my class lessons together and I want to share them with you. I believe that kids Yoga needs to be fun, educational and interactive. This class was a parent participation class that was 45 minutes long. I have 6 different lesson plans that I want to share with you, they all have a different theme.  The first one I shared was “In the garden”. The second plan lesson I shared was “African Safari”.  The third one was “Going into Space theme.” The fourth Yoga class plan I shared was “Going at the Zoo and at The farm”. The Fifth Yoga class plan is “Going to the beach/ocean.” The last kid yoga plan class is “Weather and Season” theme.

When I teach little kids I first talk about my expectations: keep our hands to ourselves, use our words, say “Excuse me” and wait for our turn before talking and of course have fun. In the Rainbow Kids Yoga teacher training, we were placing our Yoga mats in a big circle all overlapping each other’s mat. I really like this way of setting up the class and usually had parent and kid using the same mat. I also tried to add different values to the theme. I would love to hear what you think about theses lesson plans and get feedback once you try teaching them.

2 class: African safari

Intro topic: What is yoga?

Its important to explain what is Yoga to little people in a simple way. This is how I explain it to them. It’s a way to exercise our bodies, breath and mind at the same time. Yoga makes you feel great! It also help you develop flexibility & strength in our bodies and happiness & peacefulness in our mind.

Value: Compassion & Empathy

Caring, helping, kindness…

Acknowledge another person’s feelings, thoughts & experiences. Compassion is a desire to help a person in distress. It also represents respect for all living things.

Game: try to guess the feeling another person expresses with his/her face.

Song: Rub your hand by Karma Kids Yoga

Name games: One person at the time says his/ her name and do a movement. Then everybody repeats the name and the movement they did.

Song: The Sun dance by Bari Koral Family rock band

Song: Shake my sillies out by Raffi

Poses with themes

How do you travel to Africa? Airplane (partner), helicopter, boat, bike
Climb Mountain (Kilimanjaro) – Tree pose and talk about king of tree you can find in Africa like the Baobab
Get your binocular, what do you see on this safari?
Monkey (swing kid side to side, swing arm side to side while making noise, eat bugs off each other)
Rhino (low squat with hand prayer pose over our nose)
Hippo (big mouth & eyes)
Cheetah (cat stretch)
Elephant (make trunk with arms, drink water, splash yourself)
Giraffe (standing side stretch with arms reach above head pretending to eating leaves wit fingers)
Ostrich (dancer pose)
Gazelle (holding hand running in circle)
Tarzan sound while doing thymus tap to boast immune system

Games: crossing a river full of alligators

All the parents spread around the room while laying on their belly. They make a big alligator jaw using their arms. The little ones have to cross the room without being captured by the “alligators”.

Song: Joggin’ Through the Jungle by Kidding Around Yoga

Book: Sophia’s Jungle Adventure

Relaxation dreaming about all the beautiful things we saw.

How I discover Zumba and why I am still loving it after over 10 years of teaching it

I am super passionate about health and fitness. I spend lot of time searching for the new trends and ideas that come out. In 2006, I found a DVD set on amazon and ordered it. It was Zumba’s first dvd set, Beto, the creator of Zumba couldn’t even speak English. He only spoke Spanish on the dvd. I loved it right away. My bellydance and fitness background made me feel like Zumba was the perfect combination for me. There was nothing like it on the market and its not a surprise Zumba became such a popular dance fitness revolution because it blends so many styles of music.

The following winter, in 2007, I saw a Zumba teacher training at a Can Fit Pro conference in Montreal. I registered right away and did my training in Montreal with Beto himself. When I started teaching Zumba, I realized how much people loved it. The music variety and the fitness aspect disguised into a dance party were the perfect combination. Over the years Zumba expended it’s musical repertoire a lot. At first it was mainly latino music; Salsa, Batchata, Merengue, Cumbia, Quedradita, Reggeaton, Calypso, Samba… Since then, many new styles of music have been added, from Funk to Afro- Cuban, Brazilian, Flamenco, Bellydance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tango, to name a few. I have now been teaching Zumba for over 10 years. I taught Zumba to seniors, in high schools, in elementary schools, for fundraisers, for university students; I love that it get so many people together that simply have a love for music and moving. Dance is also good for your brain to, it increases coordination, balance, agility. On top of being good for your brain and body of course it feels so good for the soul. Each time I teach a class, it brings much joy and happiness to me and the participants. I often hear people telling me how they didn’t feel good before coming to class and how the class completely changed their moods. In the last fews years I’ve been enjoying adding more pop songs into my Zumba repertoire. I love that we can relate to a song we hear on the radio and can sing to it. I you feel intimidated by a Zumba class, just know that its purpose its simply to move. There is no right and wrong, and no dance show to perform to. You are only there to move your body, sweat and smile. The advice I give to participants its to start from the ground up; try to do the steps, then add the hips, the arms, then the hands. Make sure you add your special flare to it, after all we all have different bodies and we all move differently. Simply have fun and move your body!!!

A fews Zumba videos I took over the years. Hope you enjoy!

Check my Zumba bundle

Click here for my calendar of current classes and click here for more information about dance classes I offer. 

You can also check this article: Bellydance help understand how your hips and torso can move; 5 basic movement explain. Simply click here.