Growing love for Jesus, others & ourselves through movement, music, worship & FUN!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Kids' Holy Yoga

At Kids' Holy Yoga, we love to celebrate the story of Jesus' birth with yoga poses.  We thought you and your family might like to try, too!

An angel told Mary that she was going to have a baby from God.
Angel Pose: Stand tall on your knees, spread your arms out wide, and lift your arms up like wings as you breathe in.  As you breathe out, softly lower your arms back down to your side.


When it was time for Mary to have her baby, she rode on a donkey to Bethlehem.
Donkey Kicks: Start in Table pose with your hands and knees on the floor.  Gently lift one heel up toward the sky, then the other.  Say "hee-haw!" like a donkey. Be careful of your brothers and sisters or Mom or Dad as you do this pose!


Out in the fields near Bethlehem were shepherds, watching their sheep in the night.  Angels came to them and told them the Savior baby had been born.
Stand in Warrior 2 pose with your front knee bent and your arms straight out from your shoulders.  Pretend you are watching your sheep out over the hills of Bethlehem.  What do you see and hear in that dark night sky?


Back in town, in a dirty stable, Jesus was born.  He was full of God's perfect love.
This pose is called Happy Baby. Lie down on your back.  Bring your knees to your chest. With your hands, either grab the back of your legs or the bottoms of your feet.  Gently rock from side to side and smile as you think about God's love for you!


With baby Jesus in that stable were a lot of animals.
This is Cat/Cow pose.  Start in Table. As you breathe in, lift your eyes up and lift your tail up.  Let your belly hang down like a cow and say "Moo!" Then drop your chin to your chest, arch your back like a cat, and soften your tail down. Say "Meow!"


The Christmas Star guided the wise men (or the Magi) to find Jesus.
Stand with your feet apart.  Bring your arms out wide.  Stand tall.  Twinkle your fingers, maybe twinkle your toes, and smile like the Christmas Star!


The wise men traveled a long, long way to meet Jesus.  We think they traveled on camels!
Camel pose: Stand tall on your knees. Get long through your back. Gently bring one hand to your ankle, then the other hand to your other ankle. Gently lift your heart toward heaven.  (If this pose doesn't feel good, try interlacing your fingers behind your back instead of taking them to your ankles, then lift your heart up).  Wiggle your nose like a camel.


Together, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men gathered and worshiped the baby king.  We can worship Him, too.
This is Kneeling Prayer pose.  Sit on your knees.  Bring your hands together in prayer position.  Close your eyes softly.  Say a prayer to Jesus for whatever you are thankful for today.


Merry Christmas, Holy Yoga Kiddos!
Much love from your friends Rachel, Christina & Sarah

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Hearts and Prayers are with you, Sandy Hook and America

We can only imagine the heart-break and grief that has struck the parents, teachers and children who were in the building that scary Friday.  As parents and teachers, we are sick to our stomachs as we cry out in shock, fear, and anger. We scream out, “No” and utter, “Why?”  The dictionary defines cry as “to utter inarticulate sounds, especially of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears.” We cry with you in your grief, we cry for our own fears, we cry for the safety of all children in our nation to go to school in peace. We hang on to hope in the midst of darkness and believe that the Lord hears our cries and weeps with us. “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.

If you are looking for ways to calm your children and ease your fears, read the article "Practicing Peace Breath to Help Children Cope with Tragic News and Ease Emotional Distress," written by Lisa Flynn, founder of ChildLight Yoga.


Peace, Health, and Hope in HIM-
Kids’ Holy Yoga

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent: Peace

 I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.--John 14:27 CEV

The theme for the second week of Advent is PEACE.

Merriam-Webster for kids defines peace asa state of quiet; freedom from upsetting thoughts or feelings; harmony in personal relations.

Sometimes having peace is hard for kids.  They fight with their siblings or classmates.  They feel pressure to perform at school or in sports.  They may witness difficult relationships between their parents or other adults.  Kids may worry about the things they hear on the news. Or sometimes kids are hard on themselves and think that they aren't good enough or smart enough.

The good news that comes with Christmas and Advent is that Jesus is The Prince of Peace, the Bible tells us in Isaiah 9:6.  That means that He knows what peace is all about and wants to share that with us.  Our verse above tells us that He gives us a special kind of peace that only He can give.  That's one of our true Christmas presents!

Here's a Kids' Holy Yoga pose you can practice to remember Jesus' gift of peace.  We call it Easy Seated Pose, but you can call it Peace Pose, if you want!

Take a seat on the floor and cross your legs.  Sit up tall and feel like your back is as straight as an arrow! Now, either bring your hands to your knees with your palms up and open, ready to receive God's gift of peace OR bring your hands together at your heart in prayer position.



Take five long, slow breaths, in and out through your nose.  Think about Jesus as the Prince of Peace and how He wants to give YOU the gift of peace.  When you slowly open your eyes, pause a moment. Do you feel more peaceful?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent: Hope


O Lord, you alone are my hope.
I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.--Psalm 71:5 NLT


This week is the beginning of Advent, the time of the year when we reflect and remember as we anticipate the celebration of Christmas. Many traditions refer to the first week of Advent as HOPE week and focus on the prophecies that came before Jesus' birth.

Hope is important for us as Christians because it is the foundation of our faith. The dictionary defines hope as "to expect with confidence."

Before Jesus was born, God had said through His prophets that He would send a rescuer for His people. God's people had to have hope--or a confident expectation--that the rescuer God promised would come.

The rescuer did come...in the form of a tiny baby boy. Many were surprised He came this way. Some didn't believe it. But the hope of the world was found in that little baby.

This week, talk with your kids about the Old Testament prophecies that foretold Jesus' coming. Share how we have hope that He will come again some day to make everything right.

Enjoy this yoga pose to celebrate our HOPE in Jesus. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips. Feel strong in your legs and hug your muscles to your bones. Bring your arms next to your ears and open your fingers wide. Feel yourself reaching up to God.



Like a little child reaches for her Mama, we can trust that God is always there for us to give us HOPE.


PS-At Kids' Holy Yoga, we love the Jesus StoryBook Bible.  Here's a great link to an Advent reading schedule to use with the JSSB, found at homewiththeboys.net.


Wonderfully Made


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
--Psalm 139:14


At Kids' Holy Yoga, we want every kid to know about how special they are in God's eyes. It's why we developed Kids' Holy Yoga--to spread the good news that Jesus loves every single kid out there!  

And it's why we've recently launched our Wonderfully Made clothing and accessory line.

We partnered with our sister ministry, Baby Holy Yoga, to make t-shirts, bibs, baby hats, onesies, and headbands with the message that the kid wearing it is Wonderfully Made. Our hope is that kids enjoy wearing these items as they learn how much God loves them.

You can find items from the Wonderfully Made line in the Holy Yoga Shop by clicking here. You can also find our Kids' Holy Yoga DVD and Scripture Cards there--perfect for stocking stuffers and helping kids remember what Christmas is all about--Jesus' love for us all!


Thanks for your support of the ministry of Kids' Holy Yoga and Baby Holy Yoga!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

a time for everything--a meditation for fall


An interpretation of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 for kids

For everything there is a season, and a time for everything under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to grow old;
a time to plant, and a time to pick what you planted;
3 a time for hurting, and a time to heal;
a time to knock things down and a time to put them back together again;
4 a time to cry, and a time to laugh;
a time to be sad, and a time to dance;
5 a time to finish a project, and a time to start something new;
a time to hug, and a time to keep your hands to yourself;
6 a time to win, and a time to let somebody else have a turn to win;
a time to hold on, and a time to let things go;
7 a time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;
a time to be quiet, and a time to speak up;
8 a time to love, and a time to say “that’s enough”;
a time to argue your point, and a time for peace.

No matter what happens in life, God loves you and is in control.  He will take care of you in every season!

Practice TREE POSE and celebrate the season of FALL.

Look at these Holy Yoga Kids practicing Tree Pose in the Park!

  • Stand rooted on one foot.  
  • Bring your other foot to your ankle, calf, or inner thigh. Be careful to not put it on your knee--that might hurt you!
  • Pull your belly in. Feel as strong as a tree trunk!
  • Let your arms float up like tree branches. Is that a bird sitting on your pinky?
  • Wiggle your fingers like leaves falling to the ground.
  • Now, practice TREE on the other side!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Babies: Crying & Yoga

by Christina Mroz

As the Director of the Baby Holy Yoga program, I read lots of books on yoga and babies.  Most, if not all, books tell you to not practice yoga with your baby when they are crying.  I understand the concept behind not forcing a baby to practice yoga when they aren’t ready, but I’ve also found that some moments of crying are the best time for yoga.  I think it all comes down to the type of crying--crying due to hunger, crying due to falling, crying due to injury, crying due to fussiness, crying due to not getting their way, crying during a tantrum.

I typically only try yoga with my crying baby if she is fussy or throwing a tantrum.  One yoga technique that works well is "drops".  Drops mean that you hold your baby as you stand up, you then quickly “drop” your arms down, which causes the baby to “drop”.  Please note, you are always holding your child securely!  I have found that these movements can take a child out of the constant cycle of crying into experiencing something new.  Many times they forget about why they were even crying.

This is not always fool proof.  There have been times I have tried drops or swinging my baby and it only makes her cry louder. When this occurs, I use cuddling instead of redirection to bring her comfort.

Every baby and body is different.  Some babies may welcome certain yoga postures when they are crying and others may not.  Baby yoga has given me the skills and confidence to recognize what my child needs and when.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

by Heather Bergan, Kids' Holy Yoga Teacher

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to go on a Halloween Yoga Adventure with a great group of kids. On our adventure we exercised our minds and our bodies. We started our adventure off with Boo breath (extending our exhale and making a boo sound). We then played shake and freeze (we pretended to get our Halloween costumes on very quickly while using body control to freeze when freeze was called). After we were dressed we went on an imaginary walk around our neighborhood trick or treating, doing yoga poses on what we had seen and done on our walk (stars...trees...cat...bridge...pumpkin...bobbing for apples etc.). After we completed our trick or treating, we relaxed by taking a few moments to notice our breath and what we seen, heard, smelled or tasted on our magical adventure.





In the second part of our class, we read the book "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" by Liz Curtis Higgs. The Pumpkin Patch Parable is a story about a loving farmer who turns a simple pumpkin into a glorious sight. The story weaves a beautiful parable as the farmer picks out a special pumpkin from his garden and scoops out all of the messy "goo" to make room for the pumpkin to shine from the inside. We talked about in the same way the farmer cared for his pumpkins, God cares for us and takes the yucky stuff away so our light can shine all night and day! We then did an art project to go along with the story.





Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blank Slates?

by Christina Mroz, Director of Baby Holy Yoga


Babies are said to be born as blank slates.  I have identical twin girls who are 15 months old.  Their little lives have just started. They are virtually free of trauma, negative influences, or hurt in their lives, though one may argue that by just being a twin, they have some level of trauma.  Their precious hearts, minds, and bodies have had little impact by society at this stage.

So because my girls are identical and “new,” you would think they would respond similarly when practicing yoga.  As I practiced yoga with them today, I paid particular attention to their physical responses to our practice.

As I was noticing how their bodies responded, I also thought about their different personality traits.  I was amazed to see direct similarities to their bodies and their personalities already—remember they have a “clean slate,” they are “brand new.”

This is what I observed:

Elsa
Physical Observations:
  • Spent most of the time sucking her fingers
  • Her spine was less flexible than Ellianna’s
  • Her hips were less open then Ellianna’s
  • She had to be holding her blanket
Elsa’s Personality:
  • Needs physical comforts of her blanket and sucking her fingers
  • Needs moments of cuddling and physical contact
  • Determined
  • Reserved
  • Seems to be more like her big sister Hannah
  • High strung (not that I want to label her as such but I can’t think of a better word to describe her)
Ellianna
Physical Observations:
  • Floppy
  • Flexible
  • Free movement of body
Ellianna’s Personality:
  • Free spirit
  • Sociable
  • Out going
  • Adventurous
  • Knows how to push her mom’s buttons in regards to sleep and naps
  • Needs less sleep
At 15 months of age, my daughters are not only different in their personalities, but in how they carry their bodies.  Their bodies and personalities seem to be a direct reflection of each already.  Lastly, it seems as though they really aren’t “blank slates” as some would proclaim—before my girls are even two years of age, they are distinctly unique.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kids' Holy Yoga Teacher Training 2013


Are you interested in becoming a Kids' Holy Yoga Teacher?


Join us next February for a week-long intensive retreat in beautiful Hendersonville, North Carolina, where you will learn how to play, pray and bring Bible stories alive through movement.  In our week together, we will learn about yoga postures, child development and anatomy, teaching methods, and games, healthy snacks, and arts and crafts projects to enhance your teaching themes.

But that's not all.  This training is also an opportunity to reconnect with the child inside of you and learn anew how to come to Jesus like a little child (Matthew 19:14).  Daily Bible study and Holy Yoga practice will grow your faith so that you can then reach out to others.

Open to all interested adults.  No prior yoga training necessary.

For questions, email Rachel, Kids' Holy Yoga Director, at rachelg@holyyoga.net.  To register, click here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rocket Ship Breath

Get ready to take a ride on your very own Rocket Ship!

Close your eyes and start your journey to any planet you choose. God is so cool that not only did He create this beautiful Earth with colorful leaves, rainbows, ocean waves to splash in, sand to dig your feet in, but HE also made the stars to gaze upon and planets that we can pretend to visit using our God-given imaginations!

  1. Squat low to ground to prepare take to take and take a big deep breath in.
  2. As you count down starting from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...slowly lift yourself up to standing.
  3. When you make it all the way to the top,  press your palms together with arms reaching up towards outer space!
Get ready!

Ten, nine, eight...
seven, six, five, four...

three, two one...

BLAST OFF!!

Meditation:

Psalm 8:3-4 (Easy-to-Read Version)

I look at the heavens you made with your hands.  I see the moon and the stars you created.
And I wonder, “Why are people so important to you?  Why do you even think about them?  Why do you care so much about humans?  Why do you even notice them?”

 

Talk with your kids about why we are so important to God and how much He loves us. 

written by Rachel Glowacki

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kids' Holy Yoga at Home

Did you know that you can do Kids' Holy Yoga at home?

The Holy Yoga store just got a brand new batch of the Kids' Holy Yoga DVD that has three fun yoga sessions for kids of all ages.  Join Rachel and Christina as they lead you and your little ones through the Creation Story, Noah's Ark, and the Lord's Prayer.  It's a great way to help get the Word of God planted in the soil of little hearts!

These Holy Yoga Kids practice with the DVD
after school to help unwind!

Another great way to facilitate Holy Yoga with your favorite kids is with the Kids' Holy Yoga Scripture Cards.  Each card has a pose picture and corresponding verse on the front and the pose directives on the back.  You can play a variety of games with these cards...look to this blog for some ideas soon!


You can purchase these items at the Holy Yoga Store here.  Save when you purchase the DVD and Scripture Cards bundle!

When you support Kids' Holy Yoga with your purchases, you not only bring Godly fun to your family, but you also support our mission to bring the love of Jesus experienced through playful and prayerful movement to other kids and families.  Thank you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Watching


Have you ever taken time to watch a baby process new territory?  All their senses become heightened as they become fully present with the situation before them.  For a moment, they ignore the outside world in order to conquer the thing before them.

As we took our twins outside this fall, there was a new world before them with new obstacles.  The obstacles before my girls are insignificant to us, but required new functions of their brain—like spacal awareness and muscle memory.  Some of their obstacles ranged from uneven sidewalks, gaps between the sidewalk and the road, and curbs.  My husband and I watched in amazement as our daughter Ellianna tired to navigate the end of our driveway.  The driveway ends with a slight dip before connecting with the street.  The dip is there for drainage purposes.  However, to our 15-month-old, it was an obstacle to conquer.  Her first attempt to getting over this obstacle looked like this…she got down onto her hand and knees and crawled backwards across it to get to the street. On her second attempt she tried to walk over it, but held our hand to navigate the unsteadiness she experienced walking down the slope.  On her third attempt, she staggered across it on her own.  Now she conquers that dip with great ease and grace.  Her little body and mind were able to figure out how to walk over a dip in the road with only a few tries

The vastness of our children’s brains amazes us.  Sometimes we find ourselves just watching them as they process something new.  We chuckle at how they approach something and then stare in utter amazement at how they developed the needed knowledge to do what they wanted to do.  (Like climb a stool to get on top of the dresser to play in the fish tank!)

My hope is that we (adults/parents) take moments to watch our children as they conquer the world before them.  That we don’t automatically jump in and try to help them but that we sit back and watch our children process through the obstacles before them on their own.

by Christina Mroz, Baby Holy Yoga Director & Kids' Holy Yoga Teacher

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Story Time Yoga

Did you know that you can teach Godly principles from your kids' favorite story books through yoga?

My kids love Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  It's a story about a boy named Max who dresses in a wolf suit, gets in trouble with his mom for saying unkind things, and is sent to his room.  While there, Max goes on an imaginary journey to the Land of the Wild Things.  While it is fun for a while, Max realizes he'd rather be at home "where someone loved him best of all."  When he returns, he sees that his mom has left him some nice, warm supper.

To make the story come alive through yoga, you can add poses.  We decided to go from Wolf (Downward Facing Dog) into Wild Thing!

Start in Downward Facing Dog (or Wolf!)
Bring your heel to your bottom &
begin to bring your belly button up
Open up your top arm & heart as you
come into Wild Thing pose!

You could also do Boat Pose or Crescent Moon to go along with the story.  Kids love to make up their own Wild Things poses, too!  Be creative--like Max is!  The only rule is to be safe with your yoga poses.

As you play, you can talk about Godly principles like honoring your parents and unconditional love.  You can talk about how God always forgives us when we make mistakes and His love for us is like a nice big bowl of soup--comforting, nourishing, and warm!

Yoga Freeze Tag + Dancer Pose

Turn up some fun worship music and dance with your kiddos! When you turn off the music, everyone has to freeze into a favorite yoga pose! Turn on the music again & DANCE!

Here's a Psalm to inspire your time:

Shout praises to the Lord!
Praise God in his temple.
Praise him in heaven,
his mighty fortress.
Praise our God!
His deeds are wonderful,
too marvelous to describe.
Praise God with trumpets
and all kinds of harps.
Praise him with tambourines
and dancing,
with stringed instruments
and woodwinds.
Praise God with cymbals,
with clashing cymbals.
Let every living creature
praise the Lord.
Shout praises to the Lord!

Psalm 150



Here are some Kids' Holy Yoga girls enjoying DANCER POSE!


Beachside Meditation

Enjoy this meditation with your kids!

Lie on your back and close your eyes. Imagine that you are on your favorite beach towel, lying on the warm sand of your favorite beach. What color is the towel? What is its' pattern? Feel the rays of the sun as they touch your skin. Experience the glow you begin to have as the sun's energy meets you. Take a deep breath in through your nose and smell the salty sweetness of the sea air. Listen carefully as you hear the squawks of the seagulls circling high above you. Hear the rhythm of the the ocean's waves as they wash on the shore. Oh, goodness! One wave crept all the way up to your towel and got your toes wet! Feel the water as it begins to evaporate in the sun. You feel something tickle your fingers. You wonder if it might be a sand crab. You gently open your eyes to peek and it is a little crab! But he sees you, too, and he scurries back into his hole in the sand. Bye, bye, little crab!

Now teach your kids Crab Pose. Sitting on your bottom, reach your hands behind you, under your shoulders. Put your feet on the floor a little behind your bottom as wide as your hips. Feel strong in your hands and feet. Lift up you bottom with your strong tummy. Now you can move side to side or front to back like our friend the crab!




Micah 7:18-19

Our God, no one is like you.
We are all that is left
of your chosen people,
and you freely forgive
our sin and guilt.
You don’t stay angry forever;
you’re glad to have pity
and pleased to be merciful.
You will trample on our sins
and throw them in the sea.

Isn't God good?


The Cooling Breath

To beat this summer heat, teach your kids the cooling breath! 

For those who can, roll the tongue like a straw and gently sip air in. On the exhale, gently release the breath out. If someone can't roll the tongue, no worries. Round the lips into an "O" and breathe slowly in and out.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.