Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Batty about Books

I have been a teacher, library lady and now serve as a school counselor.  I am a mom of four:  16 year old, 13 year old, 11 year old and 7 year old—2 boys, 2 girls!  I love to share a good story!  My favorite way to share a story is to move and breath while you tell the tale!  It’s time to FALL into a GOOD BOOK.  “Tis the season” to enjoy one of these:

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
This is my absolute favorite this season.  It’s better to “tell” the story and move.  The witch and her cat are riding on her broom.  Warm up with Cat/Cow except have a “happy cat” and an “angry cat” in October.  Try out Warrior 3 for “Witch on a Broom” (thank you, Mira) and when the witch’s hat drops, do triangle.  It’s awesome how many postures and breathing patterns you can incorporate.  I especially appreciate “dragon’s breath” or Breath of Fire for the brief appearance of the dragon.  This delightful tale is also fun for encouraging working together or synergizing.  You can make a connection to The Bremen Town Musicians, a traditional story where animals cooperate to scare away the “bad guy” too.

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Another great for story synergy!  I love the way the little guy’s idea is the BEST idea.  Sometimes the shortest person in the room has the most to contribute .  .  . this is a seasonal story much like the traditional story, The Enormous Turnip.  Partner yoga works great with this story to encourage cooperation and working together!

I explored fear and courage with some of my kiddos this month and found Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley, My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck, and The Monster at the End of the Book by Jon Stone great fits for these experiences.  When considering our circle of control (I’m in charge of what I think, where I look, what I say, how I feel, and what I do), we are also in charge of our imaginations!  Sometimes with fear we need to reign in an overactive imagination.  We’re anticipating something bigger and more beastly than what’s before us.  So we MASHED the MONSTERS with a game of Musical Mats to the “Monster Mash” song by Bobby "Boris " Pickett.  This was SO MUCH FUN.  Put the yoga cards on the mats, crank up the tune and when the music stops--MASH the monsters!  We used quiet music as we mashed or held our yoga postures.  A free Apple app for iPad, iPod, or iPhone-Relax Melodies Seasons Premium--is awesome for some autumn sounds.

Yoga is so great for your bone health.  The weight resistance opportunity strengthens bones and the calming effects of practice helps with managing the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol has been linked to decreasing bone formation and increasing its breakdown.  Have fun improving all 206 of “dem bones!”

Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa
I have a wonderful Jack ‘O Lantern Hat I enjoy with this story!  We walked around in a circle like in “Monster Mash Musical Mats” and during the chorus of “shake, shake dem bones now” we held a posture.  I think it would be fun to hold the posture while reading the “verses” and then do the Milkshake (dynamic twist) on the “chorus.”

Dem Bones, Dem Bones by Bob Barner
“Untie the Knots” from YogaKids Silly to Calm Video:  Untying the knot: alternate opening & closing mouth while hands mime pulling (untying) a string from the mouth> stick out tongue> move jaw around> untie neck muscles> head rolls, both directions> untie shoulders> move shoulders up & down> shoulder rolls, back & forth> untie ribs, hips move side to side w/ arms> untie hips, hip circles, both directions> Untie thighs, knees & ankles> shake body out.  http://www.videofitness.com/reviewsdb/disp_review.php?id=3875

Also, new in the world of children literature this month is (1) Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and  James Dean and (2) Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie star in I’m a Frog!  If you don’t know these book characters, prepare to FALL in love with them!  The lessons learned are absolutely priceless.  You can have fun exploring postures with each, but I particularly love how I’m a Frog! opens the door to “pretending” to be animals with your body.  Pete the Cat and the Magic Sunglasses would be great to partner with a gratitude journal and “alligator breath,”

FALL into a GOOD BOOK!  No BONES about it—it will add COLOR and SPICE to your season!

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