Summer is upon us! The Summer Solstice this year is June 21st and with that, the longest day of the year. For parents, this may be entirely unwelcome-the prospect of a longer day possibly means less sleep. We feel ya.
But-it can be a fun day with a little bit of yoga! This practice and activity should pass a good hour of time thereby effectively making your day, feel like, five minutes shorter. A bit of exercise, some breathing, a craft, some music, and a bit of science makes this day a learning experience and honestly, a fun day with our most favorite star, the sun.
So, the basic outline is as follows-we’ll get into detail later:
- A song
- A sun salutation
- A story
- Another sun salutation
- A craft
- Another song
- A meditation
- A final rest
The song: This video is perfect to do a few poses to and to warm up! When they say “sun”, open the arms wide and breathe upward. When they say “tree”, be a tree. When they mention “friends”, hold hands and outstretch the arms and legs. Alternate each time by reaching upwards towards the sun, touching the toes, and side to side. Get moving!
For the sun salutation, begin by inhaling then reaching up, followed by exhaling and reaching for the mat. Jump (or step) back into downward dog. Inhale, do a push-up into upward dog. Breathe out again, back into down dog. Hop (or step) forward. Kids will be able to do this infinitely more times than the adults!
Teach kids a little about the sun, while inspiring their imagination. This book is perfect for kids of all ages because it is short, sweet, and colorful! You can even ask questions at the end to assess for comprehension and get them thinking about how it all connects to solstice and their yoga practice!
If you don’t want to do the same exact salutation, you can play Sarge Salutations and salute the sun with the Sarge, call and response style!
Scout Pinterest or come to Grow’s class to do a fun sun craft! (We have an adorable sunny face planned!) It is easy, cheap, and oh so fun to celebrate the sunny sun with crafts. Not to mention, it increases attention, focus, and mindfulness.
The last song is more subtle and gets you prepared for the final meditation and rest. Grow uses this album quite frequently. But we love the celebratory feel of our favorite ball of gas!
Lastly, the meditation is meant to feel thankful for the life-giving force that is the sun, while also increasing feelings of warmth for ourselves and our friends. Imagine the sun rising, breathe in slowly. Next, imagine the sun at the top of the sky, making everything light and bright, while the belly is full of breath and the skin is warm as can be. Then, imagine the sun setting, ready to see us again tomorrow as we let go of all the breathe in our belly.
Put your own spin on it, but use this template for a fun solstice inspired practice!