BEND AND STRETCH Children

Relax, let go

Yoga is a wonderful way of de-stressing and countering the pressures of school, friends, sports and life in general. You feel strong, flexible and confident. The best part is that yoga is non-competitive, which means that you do it just for yourself! You connect more deeply with yourself. You become aware of your body, of the muscles that are stretching, bending, contracting… making you stronger, and filling you with self-esteem. Yoga brings to the surface that marvellous inner light that is within us. So, spread that yoga mat, and try some poses that our friends from Yoga Jungle are waiting to teach you!

Chapter 1

It was a nice sunny day in Yoga Jungle, and Vriksha the Tree had spread his branches out to shelter a group of friends chatting and laughing.

“What shall we do today?” Bunny the Rabbit was jumping around, eager to start playing.

“Hide ‘n’ seeeeeeeeek!” Everyone shouted. It was their favourite game.

Bunny Rabbit was the denner. She covered her face on Vriksha’s trunk and started counting.

1…2…3… All her friends ran off to hide. 8...9...10… Bunny Rabbit grinned as she heard the sound of someone climbing up Vriksha’s trunk on the other side. Must be the monkeys! 23…24…25… She also heard fluttering in the bushes to her right — no doubt it was Beauty the Butterfly trying to hide among the marigolds. 38…39…40… There was some scraping of rocks on the path that led to the mountain — could be either Bub the Bear or Gruff the Dog trying to clamber up the mountainside. 52…53…54… That thudding sound could only be Ellie the Elephant, who was so big that she could never be fully hidden by any tree or bush! 68…69…70… Dimpy the Duck was noisily walking on the grass. 85…86…87… Who would she catch first? Probably Turtle Tom, who, having taken some seven steps, would simply hide under his shell and pretend no one could see him. 99…100!

“Ready or not, here I come!”

Bunny Rabbit whirled around. All her friends were hidden. Even Turtle Tom was not to be seen. So Bunny Rabbit had to leave her place by Vriksha and run around in search of them.

But from the opposite direction came running Ellie the Elephant, hoping to reach Vriksha before Bunny. Seeing her, Bunny raced back, but on the way spotted Grappo the Grasshopper and shouted “Out!” Grappo the Grasshopper leapt out of the grass and teased Bunny, “Catch me if you can!” Soon all the animals were racing for Vriksha, and Bunny was trying to catch each one of them. She did manage to catch all of them, except for the monkeys who were high up on Vriksha and laughing down at everybody.

Grateful for the cool shade provided by Vriksha, they flopped down under the canopy of branches to take rest.

“What shall we do next?” asked Bunny Rabbit.

“How do you have so much energy?” wondered Ellie the Elephant, who was Bunny’s best friend. After the lively game of hide ‘n’ seek Ellie was exhausted.

“I’ll show you how to relax,” offered Bunny. She got into her favourite pose —Shashankasana. After all, it was named after her — the Rabbit Pose.

Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose is a great pose to relax and let go. Your upper body is nicely stretched, and your tummy gets well massaged.

Step 1

Start by sitting with your legs tucked under you. Head straight, chin parallel to the floor. Big toes touch each other. Place your hands on your thighs and breathe in a relaxed manner. This is called Vajrasana – the Thunderbolt.

Step 2

Now, take a deep breath, raise both your hands above the head, palms facing forward. Your arms should be in line with the shoulders.

Step 3

Slowly bend down and bring your hands forward, till your hands and forehead touch the ground. Exhale while you are bending forward. Do not lift your hip up. Breathe deeply. In the final position the forehead and hands rest on the ground. Rest in this position for as long as you are comfortable. Breathe slowly and rhythmically.

Relax, let go

Relax, let go

Relax, let go

Note: This fun yoga series only aims to create awareness, and not teach yoga. One must learn yoga ONLY from a qualified teacher. Yoga must always be done on an empty stomach.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 3:54:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/relax-let-go/article24219989.ece

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