I was drawing a blank on a theme for Yoga Buds this week when I came across this post on YoYo Yoga School for March Madness Yoga. While I’m not a huge follower of college basketball, I knew it would be the perfect lesson plan to talk about what collegiate athletes and yogis have in common… a lot of practice. I also decided it would be the perfect class to use my new nifty balloon inflating toy, but I quickly regretted that decision.
After our ‘Welcome Song,’ I mentioned the NCAA Championship and asked if anyone had a favorite team. In attendance were two brothers and their younger sister, and to my surprise, not only were they watching the tournament, but they were all rooting for Gonzaga-“Dad’s favorite.” We talked about what it takes to make a great basketball team and then I pulled out the balloon inflater, which gave a whole new meaning to “March Madness.” The class swiftly went from being basketball oriented to a “who could burst their balloon first” competition. To get the class back on track, everyone held their balloon like a basketball as we moved through yoga poses, but as usual, my plan took another unexpected turn.
As we were about to begin warm-ups, the kids thought it would be funny to rub the balloons in their hair and stick them to their shirts rather than hold them. I decided to run with it and we saw how many poses we could move through without the balloon dropping. Then, we played around with keeping the ball up in the air before moving onto a game that incorporated more yoga poses.
I set up a game that looked similar to Skee Ball with the use of hula hoops and a yoga wheel. After the kids were situated in a circle around the hoops, I handed them each three pom-pom balls. They each took turns tossing their pom poms into the hoops. If they made it into one, they picked a card from the Yoga Pretzels deck and had to hold the pose for a designated time; the center hoop was 5 seconds, middle was 10, and outer was 15. Finally, we moved to our craft for the day.
I found this craft here, and felt like I had hit the jackpot. Any craft that also functions as a game is a tiny blessing in my book. However, I did make a few adjustments to the supplies (you can check them out on the cheat sheet), since the original post had issues with sturdiness. The kids got to decorate the backboards, assemble the parts, and shoot some hoops before we laid down for final relaxation. I may not have had a Final Four favorite at the start of class, but…
Go Gonzaga and Namasté!