This summer’s YogArt camp at Challenge to Change featured a superhero theme. Together we learned how we are all superheroes when we act with kindness and compassion. To celebrate our theme, we have put together some breath practices and yoga poses your children can do at home to unleash their inner heroes.
We also have a script for a special yoga nap that reminds young listeners of the many superhero qualities they already possess. We hope you enjoy these practices with your family!
These breath practices are meant to energize your body to prepare for the hard work of being a superhero. That is why both practices have you exhale through your mouth.
Batman Breathing: Stand in Mountain Pose (both feet on the ground, straight back, head held high, and arms at your sides). Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you breathe in, lift one knee and raise up your arms as though they are giant bat wings. Exhale through your mouth with a loud, “Ha!” as you lower your arms and your leg. Repeat on the other side.
Thor Breath: Stand in Mountain Pose but with your feet hips-width distance apart. Clasp your hands together in front of you and let your arms hang down. Inhale through your nose and raise your clasped hands up over your head as though you are lifting a giant hammer. Exhale through your mouth and swing your “hammer” down between your legs. Pause for moment, then inhale and repeat.
Superman (Airplane Pose): Lie on the floor on your belly with your legs stretched long and your arms reaching out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground. Inhale and lift your legs and your arms like you are flying like Superman. Keep your gaze down on the ground beneath you. Exhale and lower down.
Ironman (Locust Pose): Use the same cues as Superman, but place your arms down along your sides with your palms facing down. Ironman flies with his arms down at his sides.
Spiderman (Happy Baby): Lie on your back and place your feet in the air with your knees bent. Grab the outside of your feet with your hands while keeping your shoulders on the ground. You are hanging out from the top of a building like Superman watching for crime.
Dr. Strange (variation of Mountain Pose): Stand in Mountain Pose (both feet on the ground, straight back, and head held high). Cross your arms in front of you with your fingers spread wide. Inhale and uncross your arms. Keep your head still but watch your hands uncross with your eyes. Exhale and recross your arms, putting the opposite arm in front than before. Inhale to uncross, exhale to cross, switching the arm that is in front each time. Keep your head still and watch the movement of your hands with your eyes. These are the movements Dr. Strange makes to manipulate time.
The Incredible Hulk (variation of Goddess Pose): Stand with your feet spread wide and squat down. Make sure your toes are pointing slightly out. Raise your arms like you are flexing your muscles and squeeze your hands into fists. Make a loud “Grrr!” or “Roar!” like the Incredible Hulk does before he smashes.
Black Widow (Plank): Black Widow is super strong, and she often gets down low to throw kicks or trip the bad guys. Plant your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders like you’re going to do a push-up. Step your feet back so that your legs are long and your toes are pressed into the floor. Keep your gaze down and tuck your belly in. Hold for as long as you are able.
Here is also a link to a superhero yoga lesson Miss Melissa created for our YouTube channel:
Lie down on your back with your legs stretched long and your arms resting gently at your sides or on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose…and then let it out. Softly close your eyes—-you are in a safe space. Continue to take deep, relaxing breaths in and out through your nose. Breathe in…..and out…and know that you are safe.
Today we are going to think about superheroes. Superheroes are wonderful and inspiring characters. They are brave and strong. They use their gifts to help make the world a better place.
With your eyes still closed, picture one of your favorite superheroes. This might be a familiar character you have seen on T.V. or in a book….or it might be a superhero you’ve created in your own imagination. Think about what makes them super….how do they help people and the world? What makes them a hero in your eyes?
Today I’m also going to tell you a little secret….each one of us is a superhero. That’s right—inside of you are all the qualities that make a superhero. All of your super powers are being held safely in your heart right now, just waiting to be unleashed to help make the world a better place.
Are you ready to hear about all the amazing super powers you possess?
The first super power you possess is bravery. Bravery means always being willing to do the right thing. Bravery means helping others and doing good things, even when it’s scary or you are the only one.
Continue to take deep breaths in and out through your nose and repeat the following phrases in your mind:
I am courageous. (Pause)
I am strong. (Pause)
I am not afraid to do the right thing. (Pause)
The second super power you possess is the ability to take on challenges. Superheroes are always thinking hard to solve problems. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes, because they know that taking on a challenge means they won’t get things right the first time they try. Superheroes fall down again and again, but they always get back up and try again.
Think proudly about how hard you work to learn and accomplish new things, and repeat the following phrases in your mind:
I am learning. (Pause)
I am trying. (Pause)
I can do hard things. (Pause)
The third super power you possess is integrity. That means you know right from wrong, and you strive to do what is right no matter what. Superheroes believe in doing the right thing, and that is why they stand up for good.
Think about times in your life when you were honest, kind, and fair because you knew it was the right thing to do. Continue to take deep breaths and repeat the following phrases in your mind:
I am cooperative. (Pause)
I am responsible. (Pause)
I am a good citizen. (Pause)
The fourth super power you possess is positivity. Superheroes believe that the world is a beautiful, special place that is worth fighting for. Because of this, superheroes spread hope to others.
Think about the ways you make your family, friends, and others around you smile. Repeat the following phrases in your mind:
I am joyful. (Pause)
I am positive. (Pause)
I am full of life. (Pause)
The fifth super power you possess is that you are an individual with a wonderful and unique personality. All superheroes have a special identity, and you do too. All of your talents, skills, interests, and personality traits make up your superhero identity.
Take slow, deep breaths in and out through your nose, and think about what makes you YOU. What do you like, what do you know, and what talents do you have? Now repeat the following phrases in your mind:
I am unique. (Pause)
I am amazing. (Pause)
I am powerful. (Pause)
I am ME. (Pause)
Now that you have unleashed all your superpowers, you are ready to help others and to help make the world a better place by spreading positivity, love, and kindness.
Begin to wiggle your fingers and toes. Open and close your hands, and point and flex your feet. Softly rock your head side to side as though shaking your head “no”, and then bend your knees and hug them tightly into your chest.
Gently roll onto your side, and pause here to think for a moment about how you are going to be a superhero today. Then, when you are ready, bring yourself up to a comfortable, seated position.
Please share in the comments below or on social how you have integrated any of these SUPER practices into your home/school/studio or if you have other SUPER ideas!