You can’t take the literacy teaching out of the yoga teacher, but you can put yoga into the literacy public school teacher – or so in my case. I spent over 25 years as a professional educator. Now I am thrusting myself into yoga and discovering every moment of my ‘place’ as long time practitioner and movement lover.
In Seattle it’s Fall season – in all its glory! With seasonal changes comes Fall celebrations. My mind turns to thinking, “What would be a great idea for a Halloween themed yoga class?” I was in an intense yoga teacher training and as part of the curriculum we were required to teach one another a blend of different yoga poses and sequences. Immediately my elementary school teacher mindset wanted to incorporate the mood and beauty of the Halloween festivities as part of my instruction. Blending my creative teaching experience and my love for yoga helped me discover my unique teaching style.
For the Halloween celebrations, I created fun and playful names for the asanas (or poses) to use in Halloween classes. Below are some which you may enjoy using for a child’s class or for a Halloween-themed class.
- creepy cat cow pose- done slowlyfrom a low cow pose to a high arch using abdominals to carefully support transition;
- spooky supine twist- this twist becomes ‘spooky” with a full exhale;
- ghastly abs grippers- your favorite safely done abs exercises;
- tricky triangle – simple triangle pose’
- treats for tree pose – tree pose during which you may extend arms gently forward or upwards to ‘gather’ mythical ‘treats’ from the air for your tree;
- chocolate chaturanga- safe chaturanga done with ease while thinking of one’s favorite chocolate;
- haunted handstand – Handstands are not really haunted! For your adult students this is just for fun with the name.
- spooky splits – regular splits with extended arms;
- downward demon- simple downward dog. With a children’s class be prepared for movement or specify the ‘demon’ does not walk.
- wild warrior- this can be any yoga warrior pose, Warrior III comes to mind for me because doing warrior III taps an inner warrior strength to hold the pose balanced.
- melodic moon sequence – begin with warrior II and gracefully move forward to a half moon posewhile extending arms in a melodic manner and return to warriorII gracefully.Shift through a wide legged star pose, then warrior II to back of room and move gracefully into half moon ofacing the opposite direction.
- creepy cobra – simple Halloween fun name for a safely done cobra pose.
- wild witch pose – crescent ( you are the shape of the ‘witch” on her broom. It becomes wild as you lean forward and swoop arms behind you using abs for support as you lengthen spine .
- hallowed headstand- another fun name for a traditional headstand pose done safely. Maybe finish a yoga practice with this followed by a soul soothing savasana.
- silent savasana- alternate for soul soother savasana or save for a Christmas holiday-themed class.
There lie before us a myriad of possibilities. Your creativity is endless! This set of ideas is only that, a set of literary ideas. In choosing to use any theme for a studio class which deviates from expected curriculum, one will of course consider the students’ and studio managers’ receptivity and respect cultural beliefs and needs. To me, bringing the creativity to a class is a way to have fun as well as express my uniqueness as an instructor.
Have a Boo-tifully wicked time!
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