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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nutcracker Yoga


It's almost Christmas, and one favorite Christmas story is that of the Nutcracker. We can celebrate a great story because we know that God is the greatest storyteller and He is the source of creativity. Enjoy this yoga version of this beloved tale! (If it makes sense to, try each pose on both sides of the body).

There once was a girl named Clara.
Start in Child's pose, sitting on your heels, head to the floor.
She and her brother Fritz were attending their parents' Christmas party when a beloved but mysterious family friend named Herr Drosselmeyer arrived bearing gifts for Clara and Fritz.

Clara's gift was a couple of baby dolls.
Hold your shin in your arms and rock it like a baby. Try it on both sides.

Fritz received Toy Soldiers.
Stand on one foot, lift the other foot & opposite arm, like a soldier marching.




Herr Drosselmeyer also gave Clara a special gift: a wooden Nutcracker.
Stand still & tall with your arms at your sides, like you are made of wood.
Fritz was jealous and tried to snatch Nutcracker away from Clara. The gift broke in two and Clara's heart sank. And yet, Herr Drosselmeyer was able to put Nutcracker back together again.

Clara drifted off to sleep and into a very unusual dream.
Curl up using your hands as pillows.

Clara sees her Christmas tree grow and grow and grow into a giant tree!
Stand tall. Bring one foot to your ankle or calf. Bring your hands to a point over your head.

And then she encountered an evil Mouse King and his mouse army who scared her!
Start in warrior 2 pose & use your back arm to fire the Mouse King's cannon as you bring it forward.

Luckily, Nutcracker and his band of toy soldiers came to her rescue! Clara was safe.

Clara's dream then takes her to the Land of Snow, where she meets the Snow King and Queen.
Twinkle your fingers & sway from side to side like a snowflake gently falling.
From there, her imaginative adventure leads to the Land of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy dances for Clara and the prince.
Hold your foot in one hand as you stretch forward with the other.

The Sugar Plum Fairy introduces Clara to many sweets including:

Tea
Bring both hands to the inside of your foot. Hiss like a teapot boiling.

Coffee

Stand on your tippy toes and hold your hands up like you're holding cups of hot coffee!
Ginger
Mother Ginger's children hide under her large dress. Move from side to side.

and Candy Canes
Bend over, like a candy cane's hook.


And then the Rose and her flower friends dance for Clara.
Sit up with your hands holding your feet, like the petals of a rose.

Clara awakes with a sense of wonder and joy.

Have fun with this story and these poses! Know that Christmas wonder and joy found in the heart of Jesus are for you, too!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Advent Week Four: Mary & Joseph

As we come to our final week of Advent, we turn our focus to Mary and Joseph, Jesus' earthly parents.

God had a plan to make everything right between Him and people. He had a plan to bring hope and light back to a sad and dark world. He had a plan, and when God has a plan, the Bible tells us one way or another, it will get accomplished.

But God had a certain way He wanted his plan to go. And so He invited Mary and Joseph to be a part of His plan. His plan was for them to have a baby—the baby Jesus. And He asked them to participate.

God sent his invitation to Mary through an angel. After she listen to the angel explain the plan, she answered, "may it be according to your will, God," which means, "I want the same thing you want, God."

Joseph's invitation to the plan came through Mary. He said yes to God's plan by taking care of Mary while she was pregnant with Jesus and by raising Jesus as his son.

We get invited to participate in God's plan, too. He asks us to help spread His love, to shine His light, and to help the whole world know about His son Jesus. We participate in His plan by showing kindness, by trusting Him in hard times, and by loving others as much as we can. Like Mary, we can say, "yes, God. I want the same things you do." And when we do, we participate in His plan to bring hope to the world.

Try these poses to remember the way that Mary and Joseph participated in God's plan.

Table: Joseph was a carpenter. Carpenters make things out of wood. They use a table to build things on. Remember how Joseph said yes to God with this Table Pose.

Start on your hands and knees. Your shoulders are over your wrists, your knees are under your hips. Pull your belly button towards your spine and grow long all the way from your tail through the top of your head. Feel yourself strong and steady like a big wooden table.


Donkey Kicks: Mary had to ride on a donkey for a long journey to Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born. Donkeys move slowly and are very uncomfortable to ride on. Remember Mary and how she wanted what God wanted, even when it was difficult for her. Ask God to help you to want what He wants, too.

From your table pose slowly lift one leg, keeping the knee bent, as though you were a donkey gently kicking. Please watch out for anyone or anything near you! Try it on both sides a couple of times. If you like, you can bray like a donkey, saying "hee haw, hee haw."


Share your pictures with us, please! On Facebook or Instagram @kidsholyyoga!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent Week 3: the Wisemen

For week 3 of our Advent series, let's take a look at the wise men (or the Magi) of the Christmas story.

These men are described as coming from the East (which would have been far away from Judea, Jesus' home country), and they were men who studied the stars. They saw a star that made them believe a new king was to be born in Bethlehem and they traveled to worship Him (Matthew 2). Most Bible scholars think they probably rode camels to make their long journey.

Our lesson from the wise men is that sometimes God will take us on unexpected journeys and adventures. It is our faith, or trust in Him, that allows us to follow Him wherever He is leading us. Like the star that guided the wise men, He will always lead us.

Let's practice the faith of the wise men with these poses. Jesus, fill our hearts with trust for you so that we will follow you on whatever adventure you plan for us.

Camel Pose: Stand on your knees. Bring your hands to your low back and pull your shoulders and elbows toward each other. Lift your heart and let your head fall back slightly (if it hurts, STOP!). Imagine riding a camel to come meet baby Jesus.


If you have a lot of flexibility, you can try this more
advanced version of the pose. But be gentle!
Star Pose: Stand with your feet wide, turned slightly out. Bring your arms parallel to the ground. Stretch out through your fingers as you hug your shoulder blades together. Twinkle your fingers and smile to shine your light, just like the Christmas star.


Share your pictures with us, Kids' Holy Yogis! Find us on Facebook or Instagram @kidsholyyoga.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Advent Week 2: the Shepherds

In the Christmas story, an angel appears to some shepherds out in the night. The first thing the angel says to them is "Do not be afraid." He comes with good news, he says, and he tells the shepherds that the Savior has been born in Bethlehem (Luke 2). After hearing this good news, the shepherds went to Bethlehem, found the baby Jesus, and worshiped Him.

This isn't the only place in the Bible where someone is told to not be afraid. The scriptures tell us again and again to not be afraid. One favorite verse says, "Do not be afraid. I am with you. Don't tremble with fear. I am your God" (Isaiah 41:10).

Do you ever feel afraid? One of the best ways to deal with our fear is to imitate the shepherds. Instead of being afraid, they chose to worship. We can do the same thing.

What is worship? It's when we express our love for God. We can show our love for God through prayer, singing songs of praise, and many other ways...including our yoga!

Here are our poses for remembering the lesson of the shepherds. Jesus, help us to trust you and let go of our fear!

Warrior 2: Shepherds look out across the hills and horizon as they watch over their sheep. Stand with your feet wide apart. Point your right toes forward. Bend your right knee and start to sit down a little. Bring your arms up parallel to the floor and stretch through your fingertips. Look over your right fingertips like you are watching your sheep across the rolling hills. Hold for a few breaths. Ask Jesus to help you with anything you are afraid of. Then try the whole pose on the left side.


Staff pose: Shepherds use a long tool called a staff (usually made of wood with a hook at the end) to help guide their sheep. Sit with your legs out long in front of you. Set your hands next to your hips. Grow long through your spine and get tall. Push through your heels and turn your toes toward your nose. Feel as strong as a wooden staff. Remember how Jesus uses His love to guide you in your life. Take three-five breaths and then release.


We would love to see your pictures as you practice these shepherd poses. Find us on Facebook at Kids Holy Yoga or on Instagram @kidsholyyoga.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent Week 1: the Prophets

Sunday begins Advent, the time in the calendar when we look forward to the coming of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. As we wait over the next few weeks, we will share a few ideas to help you consider the Christmas story with your whole being: heart, mind, soul and strength!

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This week we look at the Prophets. A prophet is someone who listens to God and is chosen by God to share what they hear. In the Old Testament, we read many stories of prophets who shared God's instructions and hopes with God's people.

One prophet was named Isaiah. He lived long before Jesus was born, but he shared this foretelling of Him.
A child has been born for us.
We have been given a son
    who will be our ruler.
His names will be
Wonderful Advisor
    and Mighty God,
Eternal Father
    and Prince of Peace.
His power will never end;
    peace will last forever.
He will rule David’s kingdom
    and make it grow strong.
He will always rule
    with honesty and justice.
The Lord All-Powerful
will make certain
    that all of this is done.
(Isaiah 9:6-7 CEV)

This is the hope that we have in Jesus, that this child who was born is making all things right with His love. During Advent, we wait with expectation that someday this will be fully true.

As we wait, we can be like the prophets as we learn to listen to God. We listen to God by reading the Bible and by learning to feel the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

Enjoy these two poses to help you think of the prophets. In both of them, we turn our ears towards Heaven. Speak, God. We are listening! 

Neck stretches: Sit up nice and tall. Softly bring one ear toward your shoulder. Keep the opposite shoulder down as you lift your ear toward Heaven. Then try it on the other side.


Twisting Lunge: Start in table pose. Bring your right foot forward between your hands (put your ankle under your knee) and then push your hips forward a little bit. Set your left hand on the inside of that right foot. Then take your right fingers up and reach towards Heaven. Stretch out through your neck and turn your head so you can hear. Then try it with your left foot forward.


We would love to see your pictures as you practice these prophet poses. Find us on Facebook at Kids Holy Yoga or on Instagram @kidsholyyoga.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How do you show gratitude?

We asked these Kids Holy Yogis what pose they think of for the idea of GRATITUDE. Kid 1 said bound angle pose with hands in prayer because it reminded him of meditation. Kid 2 said happy baby pose because when you're grateful, you feel happy for what you've been given. Kid 3 chose child's pose because she said it reminds her of bowing before God. What pose reminds you of GRATITUDE, Kids Holy Yogis?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Halloween!

At Holy Yoga and Kids Holy Yoga, we believe in engaging with culture and pointing everything to Jesus. Some followers of Jesus prefer not to celebrate Halloween, and that is just great. Others feel like it is an okay thing to do because of the freedom we are given in Christ (Galatians 5). So, if you celebrate Halloween, here are some poses that you can enjoy while you think about our amazing God.

Did you know that bats are the only mammals that can truly fly? Bats definitely show God's creativity! To do Bat Pose, stand in a Forward Fold and gently flap your arms like the wings of a bat.  Listen to what's happening around you--bats are great listeners!

A crescent moon is the phase of the moon cycle where just a sliver of moon shows. Sometimes it looks like a banana! Did you know that the moon does not make it's own light? It only reflects the light from the sun. We can be like the moon when we shine the light of Jesus, the Son of God. Stand tall with your arms overhead. Press your palms together. Bend to the sides and take a deep breath in and out. Smile and shine the light!

Pumpkins are very nutritious having lots of beta-carotene, vitamin A and fiber. Have you ever cleaned out a pumpkin? There's a lot of gooey, yucky stuff inside. You have to get that out before you can get to the good parts like the seeds and "meat." Imagine that you are a pumpkin. God comes and cleans out anything icky inside of you so that He can show you the good stuff He has put inside of you. For Pumpkin Pose, sit up tall and cross your legs. Make your arms wide and round. Smile as you think about the ways that God's love cleans you up!

Did you know that some kinds of spiders are actually good to have in your house? Most spiders aren't dangerous to people and some kinds of spiders eat other insects that spread germs and sicknesses, insects like mosquitoes, fleas, flies and cockroaches. Thanks, God, for spiders! To do Spider Pose, start in Downward Dog. Step your feet out wider, then take your arms out wider, too. You can crawl around a bit like a spider.

Cats have been kept by humans as pets for a very long time through human history. They can be great companions. Try Cat Pose and remember how the Bible says a friend loves at all times. From hands and knees, round your back and drop your head. You can hiss or meow like a cat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrate Fall with Kids' Holy Yoga

Happy Fall, Kids' Holy Yogis!

Fall is the time of harvest. Harvest is when the good things that have grown over the growing season are picked and collected to be shared and enjoyed. In Luke 10, Jesus says that He needs workers to harvest the things of God. God grows things like love, kindness, gentleness, peace and joy. Can you be a gatherer of those things for Jesus?

Here are some fun Fall poses for you to play with.

Sit with your knees into your chest. Let your head come toward your knees. Imagine that you are an acorn that a squirrel has buried to eat later in the winter.

Stand with one foot at your ankle, calf or knee. Bring your arms out like the branches of a tree. Bring your thumbs and first fingers together and make them round like apples on your tree.

Start on your hands and knees. Press into your hands and toes and lift up, keeping your knees bent. Growl like a bear getting ready to hibernate for the winter.


Corn is a crop that gets harvested in the fall. Stand up nice and tall. Bring your arms up overhead. Knit your fingers together, but keep your pointer fingers extended like the silks on an ear of corn. See if you can root your feet down and then grow tall like a stalk of corn.

Stand in tree pose. Wiggle your fingers like falling leaves. What color are the leaves from your tree?

Stand on one foot and take your other foot behind you. As you find your balance, begin to gently move your arms as though they are your bird wings. Did you know that many birds fly south in the Fall? Honk like a goose if you want to.

A Harvest Moon is the full moon that is closest to the Fall Equinox. What is the Fall Equinox, you ask? It is the day when the amount of darkness and light are the same amount of time. To do Harvest Moon pose, stand on one foot and lift up your back leg as you rest your standing leg fingers on the floor or a prop (this kid used the stair). Lift your other arm up. Stretch out through your arms and legs and smile! You shine like the Harvest Moon!

Sit with your legs crossed. Bring one hand behind you and bring the other hand to your opposite knee. Look over your shoulder. Sit up nice and tall and hoot like an owl.

Farmers put scarecrows in their fields to frighten away the birds that might eat their crops. Stand on one foot and bend the other knee. Bring your arms out to your side and bend your elbows.

Every fall, the Monarch butterfly make a long migration to Mexico. That's a long way to go with two little wings to carry you! Sit with your feet facing each other. Bring your hands to your ankles. Let your knees rise and fall gently like the wings of the Monarch butterfly.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Toddler Holy Yoga-God Made Animals

Kids of all ages love to move their bodies. Even newborns are often found moving in one way or another. This is why yoga is perfect children of all ages.  

A few benefits that toddlers receive through yoga:

  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion and eased gas pain/colic
  • Reduced constipation
  • Increased immunity and circulation
  • Increased awareness of body and movement
  • Early understanding of health and physical activity
  • Development of a positive self-image and self-esteem
  • Reduced stress, tension and anxiety
  •  Aided development
  • Longer and more restful naps after a yoga session
  • Promotes contentment and relaxation
  • Teaches release of tension
  • Teaches healthy management of stress and stressors


As you read this, you may be wondering how one might teach toddler yoga. The answer is through play and imagination.

Baby/Toddler Holy Yoga Director Christina Mroz has a toddler yoga class to share with you that moves children through various yoga poses and teaches them about animals.



The Baby/Toddler Holy Yoga program offers trainings for parents and caregivers each year. The purpose of the program is to foster a connection with babies and God from birth to 4 years of age. Baby/Toddler Holy Yoga introduces children to yoga at a young age, promotes health, increases bonding between children and caregivers and teaches the love of Jesus. We see this as a privilege and honor for parents and caregivers. The next training starts October 7th. Click here to find out more information on how to bring yoga to children.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Baby Holy Yoga Giveaway on Instagram! (Ends Today!)


Spring is here and so are babies.  Celebrate new life with us this week by joining our Instagram challenge. Simply share a picture of your baby doing a yoga pose and tag it #celebratehybabies.  On Friday a winner will be picked at random for a FREE Holy Yoga Baby Onesie.
1 Samuel 1:27–28
"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." (NIV)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kid-Friendly Ideas for Lent


Jelly Bean Lent Activity
 
Kids’ Holy Yoga Director Rachel found this activity to celebrate Lent at http://www.ehow.com/list_7830656_catholic-activities-kids-during-lent.html
The "Jelly Bean Prayer" is a super sweet way to teach children about the meaning of Lent through sacrifices, good deeds, acts of kindness, respect and forgiveness.

  • Red for the blood of Christ (a sacrifice).
  • Green for the shade of the palm (doing a good deed).
  • Yellow for God's light (kindness to others).
  • Orange for prayers at twilight (good behavior at bed time prayers).
  • Purple for days of sorrow (apologizing to someone).
  • Pink for each new tomorrow (forgiving others).

Starting on Ash Wednesday, observe and reward your child(ren) with a jellybean that reflects the appropriate color each time they do something that connects with that action or attitude. Celebrate Easter Sunday and allow them receive their jellybean treasures.
Here are Rachel’s ideas to help you with your jellybean count:
What are some sacrifices you can make?

  • Give up your screen time and read the Bible and/or write a letter to God without being prompted.  
  • Give your favorite toy or shirt to someone who you know that loves it.

What are some good deeds and kind acts you can do?

  • Clean up the dinner dishes.
  • Help clean the house.
  • Bake cookies for a neighbor.
  • Write a letter or draw a picture for your grandparents to show you are thinking of them.

What are some ways to show respect before bedtime prayers?

  • Have a positive attitude when it is time for bed.
  • Say “yes” with a happy heart when told it is time for bedtime.
  • Be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19).

How do you say sorry when you done something wrong?

  • The first step in apologizing to someone is to understand what you did was wrong. Say, “ I am sorry for hurting you, taking your toy, or not listening."
  • For the second step, say, “Please forgive me for hurting you, taking or not listening, etc.”
  • As the third step, pray and thank God for forgiving you and thank the person for forgiving you too.


Children can be encouraged to pray during Lent. One simple prayer that we are adding to our morning routine this year is called, "My Morning Offering."
God, our Father, I offer you today
all I think and do and say.
I offer it with what was done on
earth by Jesus Christ, your son.

We'd love to hear how your family is observing Lent this year. Please share with us in the comments.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Treasure of Our Hearts--Happy Valentine's Day!


”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  --Matthew 6:21

What is your treasure?

Where is the love?

What you hold dear to your heart, what you value, what you find important, that is what you treasure.

Let’s remind our kids this Valentine’s Day that they are the most treasured people in God’s Kingdom--and God wants His Kingdom to be the same on Earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

When children understand that they are treasured, it fills their hearts. When their hearts are full, it will overflow in their words, their actions, and their attitudes.

Ask your children where love is? What do they treasure? Guide them into “Treasure Pose” AKA Knees to Chest, a posture where you lay down and hug your knees to your chest.




  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and plant your feet on floor.
  3. Wrap your arms around your shins and bring your knees to your chest.
  4. Give yourself a giant hug imagining Jesus’ arms wrapped around you, whispering, “Come to me; I am your treasure and you are mine. I live in your heart forever.” Breathe in and Breathe out: I am treasured by Jesus.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about the Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training Program



What is the Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training Program? 



The Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training Program is a comprehensive training program designed to help you bring the Holy Yoga experience to kids. Combining prayerful and playful elements, Kids’ Holy Yoga is a worship-centered yoga practice that helps kids to fully experience God’s love. The Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training Program equips teachers to plan and facilitate Kids’ Holy Yoga classes and events.


How does the Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training Program work?



The Kids’ Holy Yoga training program is entirely virtual. There will be six 2-hour webinar sessions held on Monday evenings (7:00-9:00 pm Eastern). Classes will be held on March 24, 31, April 7, 21, 28 and May 5, 2014. These webinars will be interactive between students and the teaching team. Each week will have a balance between scripture study to equip you to teach the Word of God to kids, information about the practice of kids’ yoga and additional information to help you have a great experience working with children.


What if I cannot attend the classes on Monday nights?



The webinars will be recorded and available to be listened to within the weeks of the training course. We prefer you listen live so that you are able to contribute; however, we understand this is not always possible and we are pleased to be able to offer this course via recording.


Do I have to be a Holy Yoga Instructor or Registered Yoga Teacher to take this training?



No! This training is open to any adult who is interested in learning to teach Kids’ Holy Yoga and wants to bring Jesus’ love to children through this practice. Students are also asked to agree to the Holy Yoga Statements of Faith.


How much does the Kids’ Holy Yoga Program cost?



Tuition for the Kids’ Holy Yoga Training program is $475. You can pay all at once or you can pay in four monthly installments, if that is better for you.


Does Kids’ Holy Yoga offer scholarships?



At this point, Kids’ Holy Yoga has a limited number of small scholarships. We will pray with you and brainstorm with you about ways that you might be able to raise the funds needed. We believe that if God is calling you to this ministry, He will provide for you. We will join you in taking steps of faith for your training.


Is there a travel requirement for this Kids’ Holy Yoga Training?



For this session of Kids’ Holy Yoga Training, there is NO travel requirement. The entire training course will be conducted virtually.


Can I take this specialty training while I am taking the 225-hour or 95-hour Holy Yoga Instructor training?



Because of the intense nature of the Holy Yoga Instructor training, it is advised that students do not take additional Holy Yoga specialty trainings at the same time. Any exceptions to this must gain approval from Jonnie Goodmanson, Director of Instructor Training for Holy Yoga.


Can I take the Kids’ Holy Yoga course while taking another Holy Yoga Specialty course (i.e. Holy Yoga Therapy, etc)?



Yes. You will, however, be responsible for meeting the requirements for each course within the allotted time frames (i.e., listening to recordings, homework, reading requirements).


How many hours a week can I expect to spend on Kids’ Holy Yoga Training?



You will be required to attend (or listen to) the 2-hour webinar each week, as well as complete required readings, scripture study/interaction, yoga practice, and additional homework. You can expect to spend approximately 5-8 hours each week on your training.


I’m already a Registered Holy Yoga Instructor/Master Holy Yoga Instructor. Why should I take the Kids’ Holy Yoga Training?



If you have a heart to teach little people, this training will enrich your skills to bring prayerful, playful, story-enriched yoga to the little ones God places in your path. You will learn about the unique aspects of yoga for little bodies and how to weave the Word especially for kids. You will also experience an in-depth study of what it means to be a child of God yourself. Kids' Holy Yoga counts toward your Holy Yoga CEU credits. And one more thing: only those certified in Kids’ Holy Yoga are credentialed to teach “Kids’ Holy Yoga” classes.


I did a Kids’ Yoga training with another agency. Do I have to do this whole program to be certified in Kids’ Holy Yoga?



Yes. Because Kids’ Holy Yoga is so much more than the physical aspect of yoga, we believe this training is greatly different than many other Kids’ Yoga trainings. We spend a good deal of time teaching you to connect with God and your inner heart to bring this aspect forward in your teachings with kids in addition to the physical elements of yoga for children.



Will there be another offering of the Kids' Holy Yoga Instructor Training program in 2014?



At this point, this is the only offering of this specialty in 2014. 


How do I register for the Kids’ Holy Yoga Instructor Training program?



Click here to register. For questions, email kids@holyyoga.net.