Believe it or not, pop culture is one of the ways to get our kids, especially tweens and teens excited about learning. This is the lesson I have learned as a teacher and a parent. Harry Potter, Lightening Thief, Angry Birds are few of the themes which we have used to create art, origami, yoga and science activities at SMARTS Club. Recently, youngsters have been taken over by the Hunger Games fever so I thought of making this as one of the theme for my yoga sessions with kids twelve and above. It is also a known fact that Katniss (Lawrence) did yoga to get ready for the part in the movie. (Source: People magazine). The following are series of poses one can practice as these are related (directly or indirectly) to the fabric of Hunger Games story.
Hero Pose-We start by sitting tall between the heels on the mats.
Bumble bees-Follow it with the bumble bee breath, it’s a takeoff from Tracker Jackers(killer bugs) – Breathe like a bumble bee by producing a sound while closing the eyes and blocking the ears makes it easier for kids to bring their focus inward. This breath is especially effective at calming the parasympathetic nervous system.
Tree pose-Imagine being a strong tree in the arena and practice this pose. This pose improves balance and focus in children, helps in getting inner calm while balancing and focusing on their breath.
Sun Salutation-Fire is an important element in the Hunger Games trilogy. Sun is nothing but huge ball of fire so it makes sense to practice sun salutation. Sun salutation is a flowing series of 12 poses which help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column. This pose also warms up the body and tones the abdominal muscles.
Archer Pose-Next, do the archer’s pose-the movie poster shows the star of the movie with her bow and arrow. Archery dates back to the Stone Age (around 20,000 BC) and while we do not hunt anymore, it is alive today as a sport. Archer pose requires steadiness, focus, and strength. In kid’s yoga archer pose requires coordination of the arms and legs. When they practice it, one has to make sure that the same arm and leg are forward.
Bow Pose-As bows are used in the movie it justifies the use of bow pose in the yoga lesson. This pose helps in keeping spine flexible and also good for digestive system.
Cat pose-Following from bow pose, cat pose is a good pose to practice. Prim had a tom cat named buttercup – imagine being Prim’s cat to practice cat pose for a supple spine.
Mocking Jay pose-The spying birds – Mocking Jay – can be an inspiration to do a bird pose which are mostly related to balance. Other bird poses like eagle and swan can be practiced too.
Warrior Poses-all the variations I, II and III of the Warrior Poses go well with this theme.
Corpse pose-At the end, kids can relax by imagining being covered in mud and not being able to move just like in the movie.
One can play the song ‘Tomorrow Will Be Kinder’ or ‘Safe and Sound’ from the Hunger Games Soundtrack while doing these poses to get kids in the mood and environment of the Hunger Games. This is one of my small efforts to make learning fun and be connected to my students’…. be it in education or Yoga!