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Yoga to Calm Down: Hot Air Balloon



How was your day today? Did you do a lot? Maybe now is a good time to relax a bit. Today’s practice is going to show us how to go from feeling wound-up to feeling calm and centered.


Kathryn, our yoga guide, is going to take us on a relaxing hot air balloon ride. Using just our breath, we can fill up the entire balloon with air and soar through the sky.





Parents, you and your kids can use this as a guide while you listen to the podcast. Or, try listening to the podcast first and going through the moves, letting your kids follow their instincts. Then, check back in here to see if their moves were correct.


Marching:

Let’s take 4 or 5 big steps over to the field where the balloon is waiting for us. You can march in place or move around if you have room. 1...2...3...4...5!


Balloon breathing:

Take a big breath in through your nose and reach both of your hands up to the sky. Now, open your mouth and let your air out while you lower your hands back down. Let’s try 3 or 4 more balloon breaths.


Sun salutations:


Mountain pose:

Stand with your feet planted on the ground. Take a big breath in, reach up really tall with your fingers, and wave to the bright sun for a tall mountain pose.


Forward fold:

Then breathe out and reach down for your toes and forward fold.


Plank:

Now put your hands on the ground. Try to hop or walk your feet way behind you. Ready? 1-2-3 hop. Wow! You are in a plank pose. Can you keep your knees up for 3-2-1? Good job.


Snake Pose:

Come all the way down to the ground on your belly. Can you make your body into a snake? Lift up your head and chest and make a “sssss” sound in snake pose.


Downward dog:

Now come back down, and we can come onto our hands and knees for downward dog. Push into your hands, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips up high. If you want you can lift one leg up high in the air, and wag it like a tail. Woof. Put that foot down and lift up your other leg up. Give it a shake! You can put that foot down.


Next let’s try hopping or walking our feet near our hands. Keep your hands where they are, bend your knees and hop your feet near your hands. 1...2...3...hop! You got it! Now straighten your legs and stay in a forward fold.


Take a big breath in as we come all the way up and reach our fingers up to the sun. Breathe out as we bring our hands down beside us and we can stand strong and tall in our mountain pose.


Basket Balance Climb:

Lift up one knee really high. Now straighten that leg so that it floats. Just like a balloon floats! Can you hold it up while standing on one leg? 1...2...3….Great! Now put your foot down. Let’s try it on the other leg. Lift your knee and straighten your leg in front of you. Let’s try to hold our leg up! 1...2...3….Great. Lift your knee and straighten your leg in front of you. Let’s try to hold our leg up! 1...2...3….Now our foot can come down.


Chair pose:

Bend your knees like you're sitting in a small chair. Now lift your arms up near your ears. We call this “chair pose” in yoga. Can you hold it? 3-2-1. Good. Okay, Let’s sit all the way down in the basket? Bring your arms down. We can cross our legs or leave them stretched out.


Seated Twist:

We can criss-cross our legs and put one hand on the floor next to us. Now take our other hand and put it on the knee that is near the hand on the floor. We can look over that shoulder. Twist. Come back to the middle. Let’s twist on the other side. Take the hand that was on your knee and put it on the ground near your body on the other side. Here comes our twist. Take your hand that’s in front of you and put it on your opposite knee. We can look over our shoulder on the other side now. Twist. Let’s come back to center again.


Savasana:

Lie down on your back, and stretch your arms and feet as wide as you can. We can take a long deep breath in through our noses, open our mouths and let the air out slowly. You might try 2 or 3 more hot air slow balloon breaths. When you are finished with your hot air balloon breaths, you could lay on the ground a bit longer, or you could find a comfortable way to sit up.


We like to end our episodes with an affirmation. This episode’s affirmation is “I am calm.” Can you think of another affirmation? What kind words would you like to say to yourself? Try out your new affirmation today, and see how it feels!


In this episode, we went to a hot air balloon. We filled our balloon with deep, slow breaths, and lay still, admiring the space around us. What was your favorite part of today’s practice? What pose made you feel the most calm? Do this practice with your friends, and then ask them what their favorite poses were!