Today we are visiting Australia, with Giselle Shardlow, the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write her stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon.
Australia in Action! Part One
Australia is a fascinating country full of weird and wonderful animals and awe-inspiring natural wonders.
I would like to take you on a tour of this country by introducing you to some of my favorite Australian landmarks and then matching them up with a corresponding kids yoga pose.
So, please join me in moving around Australia!
The poses are listed in a specific sequence to maximize flow from one pose to the next. Feel free to add or take out any of the poses to suit the needs and interests of your children. Creativity is always encouraged.
Ten Australian-inspired kids yoga poses:
Cradle Mountain – Mountain Pose
(Stand tall with arms extended slightly away from your body)
This majestic mountain in Tasmania is tricky to navigate because of the large boulders you have to climb to get to the very top.
2. Blue Gum Forest
Hiking – Walking on the Spot
(Pretend to be hiking up or down a mountain)
One of our favorite places to hike is to the Blue Gum Forest in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney. Despite the extreme heat and relentless flies in the summertime, the beauty and tranquility is worth the effort.
3. Australian Coast
Surfer – Warrior 2 Pose
(Surf on your surfboard and make a whooshing sound like the wind)
All along the coast of Australia, groups of surfers enjoy the ocean waves. You might see dolphins playing just offshore, as well.
Racing Horse – Horse Stance
(Feet apart, legs bent, and then stand firm like a proud horse)
The Melbourne Cup in November is the “race that stops the nation.” People everywhere stop what they are doing to watch the horse race on TV. Bets are made. Spirits are high.
5. Traveling around Australia
Qantas Airplane – Warrior 3 Pose
(Stand on one leg, other leg extended behind you, bend your torso forward, and fly like an airplane)
Qantas is a quintessential Aussie icon. Australians returning from overseas feel as if they are “home” as soon as they step foot on the airplane. You can also find the notorious Vegemite onboard.
6. Sydney Harbor
Ibis – Dancer’s Pose
(Stand on one leg, bend the other leg, and take it up high behind you like an Ibis)
These prehistoric-looking Ibises make their home in the Sydney Harbor. Ibises are such an interesting sight with their long, pointy black beaks and snow-white bodies.
7. The Australian Bush in the National Parks
Gum Tree – Tree Pose
(Stand tall on one leg, bend the other leg and rest it on your inner thigh, and then sway like a tree in the breeze)
There’s nothing like the smell of a eucalyptus forest, which is yet another special Aussie experience. The classic Aussie song-book “Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees,” written by Ben Wood and illustrated by Bob Brown and Wally Johnson, is a great book.
8. Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Koala – Eagle Pose
(Wrap one leg around the standing leg, intertwine your arms out in front of you, and pretend to wrap yourself around a tree branch like a koala)
While you are enjoying a walk through a gum tree forest, have a look for koalas. Though they are often hard to find, many zoos and sanctuaries host koalas for you to see and touch.
Kangaroo – Kangaroo Pose
(Stand tall with feet together, bend your knees, make your hands like paws, and hop like a kangaroo)
A visit to Australia is not complete without seeing a kangaroo. Our first sighting was in Durras, a town south of Sydney. There were about twenty kangaroos lying together on the grasslands near the beach. Watch for kangaroos in the bushes when you hike through the many national parks.
10. Fraser Island, Queensland
Dingo – Three-Legged Dog Pose
(On hands and feet, lift one leg and stretch like a dingo)
The locals share many stories of dingoes in the outback. They are a mysterious dog-like creature that, by the sounds of it, you don’t want to come across on your travels in the Outback.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Australia through movement. Please check out Part Two next week for another ten Australian landmarks and matching yoga poses.
What other Australian icons would you add to this list? Email me at giselle at kidsyogastories dot com to share your ideas!
You might also like:
Join the Luke’s Beach Day virtual book launch in June 2013 to celebrate an Australian-inspired yoga story. Get details and free kids yoga resources in your inbox by signing up for Giselle’s weekly Kids Yoga Stories Newsletter on her website, or check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Thank you for this fun, active tour of Australia, Giselle! And, readers, my kids and I loved reading Luke’s Beach Day!