Lunar New Year: Family yoga
From downward facing dog to dragon pose, join Beam Academy as they take you through the Chinese zodiac story in yoga moves!
Hello everyone my name is Tereza and I'm from Beam Academy. Today's yoga class is going to be based on the Lunar New Year, through a really fun and exciting yoga class. I hope you're as excited as I am. Great, let's get started.
But before we begin we must wake up our bodies and warm it up and prepare it for some exercise. So, we're going to start off with this very special breathing. The first kind of special breathing that we're going to be doing today is called balloon breathing. It's very simple. Let's stand with our feet together nice and tall. We're going to take an imaginary balloon in front of us and we're going to blow it up really big. Are you ready? Let's begin.
Start off with taking a deep breath in through your nose and blowing your balloon up really big. Let's take a deep breath in and blow your balloon up really big. Great job. One more deep breath in and blow your balloons up really big. Deep breath in. And breathing out. Great job.
Next up the second kind of breathing that we're going to be doing is called wood chopper breath. Now this is a really silly kind of breath but it's so fun to do. So let's start with breaking our feet far apart. Our arms are going to come on either side of our body and we're going to take a deep breath in and raise our arms up nice and high over our head and when we breathe out we're going to say HA! Great, that felt really silly didn't it!
Let's try it again, okay. Let's bring our arms on either side of our body. Take a deep breath in and reach up nice and high and say HA! Okay, let's try that one more time for fun. Arms on either side of your body taking a deep breath in and lifting your arms up nice and high and we're going to say HA! Good job.
Okay, I'm starting to feel a little more awake but I think it's time to warm up our bodies. So, we're going to start off with some sun salutations. We're going to do this two times. Let's start off at the top of our mats but before we begin we must make sure we have plenty of space around us. Great.
Let's come to the top of our mats. Okay, we're going to stand nice and tall and take a deep breath in and reach our arms up really high and say hello sun. Great. Let's come and forward fold all the way down to our toes. Touch our twinkly toes and say hello earth. Great job everybody.
From here we're going to place our hands on the mat, take one foot back and this is called our motorbike pose. And from here, if you feel comfortable, you can take your hands off the ground and say 'beep beep' just like a motorbike. Let's bring our hands back to the ground and take our other foot back.
Okay, this is called our happy puppy pose and our happy puppy loves to waggle his tail so can you paddle your feet, just like me? Very good. I hope you're all waggling your tails.
Next up we're going to come on to our hands and knees, lift our heads up off the ground and this is called our happy cat. Now our happy cat likes to meow, can you meow like a happy cat just like me? 'Meow'. Good job.
Now let's arch our backs, tuck our chin. This is called our scared cat and he hisses. 'Hiss'. Wonderful. Next we're going to come flat down onto our tummies, point our toes and push our chest away from the ground. This is called our snake pose and he likes to slither and slide. Can you slither just like a snake? Great. Okay.
We're gonna come back and sit on our bottoms and bring our hands out and make a teeny tiny mouse pose. And our little mouse likes to squeak, so can you squeak just like a mouse? 'Squeak squeak'. Good job. Okay.
From here we're going to come back onto our hands and knees and come into our happy cat again. Great. Let's arch our backs, tuck our chin and we're in our scared cat. Wonderful. Let's tuck our toes, lift our bottoms up nice and high and we're back in our happy puppy. So can you waggle your happy puppy tails just like me? Good job everybody.
Now let's bring one foot forward and we're coming back into our motorbike pose so from here you can take both hands off the ground if you'd like and say 'beep beep', just like a motorbike. Wonderful. Let's place both hands on the ground and bring our back foot forward, tickle our toes and say hello earth. Reaching up nice and slow and we're going to say hello sun. Good job everybody.
I'm starting to feel slightly more warmed up but I think this time we're going to do the sequence from the beginning to the end through a flow. Let's try it out. Standing at the top of our mats nice and tall we're going to take a deep breath in and raise our arms up over our head. Let's say hello sun. Folding forward touching our toes we're going to say hello earth. Great job.
One foot back we're going into our motorbike pose and the next foot follows and we're in our downward facing dog or our happy puppy pose. Good job boys and girls. Can you come to your hands and knees and lift your head in your happy cat? And arching your back, scared cat. Great job.
Let's come flat onto our bellies, point our toes and lift our heads up. We're in our slithering sliding snake. Wonderful. Now let's tuck into a teeny tiny ball and we're in our little mouse. Coming back onto your hands and knees we're gonna lift our heads off the ground and we're back in our happy cat. Let's arch our back and tuck our heads in, scared cat. Great job.
Tucking our toes and lifting our bottoms off the ground once again, we're in our happy puppy. Now our happy puppy likes to waggle his tail so can you paddle your feet just like me? Good job. Okay, next up we're going to take one foot forward bringing it to the top of the mat and we're in our motorbike pose. Wonderful, let's place our hands on the ground bring the back foot forward, tickle our toes and say hello earth. Very slowly we're going to come up nice and slow and we're going to say hello sun. Great job everybody.
Okay I'm feeling super warmed up and ready to start our story. Our story is based on the Chinese New Year's zodiacs, and on this adventure there are many animals. All you have to do is follow me and copy my moves. Are you ready? Let's begin. Okay.
Long ago there was a Jade Emperor. He decided he needed a way of measuring time. So, he called up all the animals and told them that there would be a swimming race and the first 12 animals to win the race would win year of the zodiac that would be named after them.
So, all the animals lined up and they dived in to the river. Are you ready? Let's dive into the river! Great job. Can you show me how you dive? Wonderful. Now, the rat and the cat - let's do our rat pose. We're going to come down onto our knees and we're going to bring our fingers out. This is our rat pose. We're going to come on to our hands and knees lift our heads and we're in our cat pose. Great job everybody.
The rat and the cat were good friends but they both knew they were very poor swimmers, so they cleverly asked the strong ox. Let's get into our ox pose. We're going to come on to our elbows and we're going to lift our feet and bottom off the ground. Great. They asked the strong ox if he could carry them across the river and help them out.
'Now of course' said the strong ox. 'Just hop on and I'll take you across'. So the strong ox started to swim across the fast-flowing river. He was really winning the race. He almost made it to the other side and just before he reached the bank, the rat pushed the cat off the ox's back and jumped onto his head and made it across the riverbank first!
So, the Jade Emperor greeted the rat and said 'Well done'. The first year of zodiacs will be named after you. Shortly after the ox made it across, he was tricked! He took the second year of the zodiac to be named after him.
Shortly after, the tiger made it across. He clawed and swam all the way across the fast-flowing river. It was incredibly difficult for him but once he made it to the other side, he took third place. The emperor was very proud of him and very impressed. He said to the strong tiger 'Well done, the third year of zodiac will be named after you'.
Now, next to arrive was a little bunny. A little bunny rabbit. Let's get into our rabbit pose. We're going to come onto our knees and sit down onto our bottoms. Let's lock our hands behind our back and lean all the way forward to the ground. See if you can lift your arms up just like me.
Now, the rabbit had not swum across the river at all. He was very smart. He hopped and jumped on stepping stones until he found a log that he got on and it took him across the river. So the rabbit got onto the log and he made it all the way to the other side. Now the Jade Emperor was very impressed. Let's get into our emperor pose. He said to the rabbit: 'Well done. The fourth year will be named after you'.
Not long after, the dragon swooped down and took fifth place. Let's do our dragon pose. We're gonna bring one foot back and we're gonna put our hands on the ground. Very good. The dragon took fifth place. The Jade Emperor asked 'But why did you take so long? You can fly and swim, you should have come first'.
The poor dragon had to explain that there were people and animals who needed water and so he had to make some rain. And shortly after, he said 'I saw a little rabbit'. Let's get into our rabbit pose. Let's come all the way down and lift our arms up nice and high.
He came across a little rabbit and he said to the rabbit: 'What are you doing?' The rabbit couldn't get across, so the dragon blew a big puff of wind and he got the rabbit onto the other side. 'Well, I'm very proud of you kind dragon' said the Jade Emperor, 'You have now taken fifth place in the zodiac'.
Next up, the Jade Emperor heard some hooves and what he saw was the horse - can you come onto your horse? Very good. - swimming across the river. He was just about to make seventh place when a sneaky snake came out from underneath his hooves.
Let's come down onto our tummies and lift our bodies off to the ground. The sneaky snake leapt off from underneath the horse's hoof and he made it, he made it to sixth place. 'Well done', said the Jade Emperor, 'You are now the sixth in line for the zodiac name'.
Shortly after the poor horse made it across taking seventh place. Not long after, the Jade Emperor - let's come into our emperor pose, very good - the Jade Emperor saw a raft coming across the river. Shall we sit in our rafts?
Let's all come down onto our bottoms. Lift our knees. Let's place our hands behind us and lift our chest. Our feet are going to come up nice and high. Now this is too easy for you, you can take your hands off the ground. This is our raft pose.
The Jade Emperor saw a raft and on that raft there were three animals. The first animal was a goat. Can you show me your goat? Great job. The second animal was a rooster. Let's bring one arm over the shoulder and the other arm follows. And our rooster pose is this. Wonderful. And the third animal on the raft was a monkey. Can you bring your feet far apart and stand? Let's squat down and jump like a monkey. Very good.
Now, the Jade Emperor was confused why they'd made it across on a raft but very impressed by their efforts and teamwork. The goat explained that they had found a raft and taken all of the weeds off and the three of them made it across as a team. 'Well done' said the Jade Emperor. 'Goat, you will be named eighth in the zodiac race and monkey you will be ninth and rooster you will be tenth'.
The next animal to finish was the dog. 'You are such a strong swimmer' said the emperor. Let's go back into our emperor pose. Great. Shall we do our dog pose? Let's come down onto our hands and lift our bottoms up in the air. Great. The emperor was very confused because the dog was such a strong swimmer. The dog said 'well the water was so clear and beautiful. I had to take a bath!' Nonetheless, the 11th place in the zodiac race was named after the dog.
Now, there was only one place left and the Emperor waited and the emperor waited and just before he gave up he heard a sound of a boar. Now let's do our boar pose. Okay, so let's bring our feet far apart and we're gonna come all the way down to the ground, see if you can grab hold of your ankles just like me. This is called our boar pose. Great job.
The boar took last place but the emperor wondered why he took so long to get to the other side. The boar had explained to the emperor that he was very hungry and so he stopped to eat but soon after he took a nap. 'Nonetheless' said the emperor, 'Well done for your efforts. You are now the final year of the zodiac'.
So all 12 places were filled so the animals lined up across the riverbank and all took a big bow. But what happened to the cat that was pushed in the river by the rat? He finally made it to the other side of the bank but he was too late. All 12 spaces of the race had been filled.
He was very angry with the rat. Let's get into our rat pose. Come down onto your knees and walk your fingers away from you. Very good. The cat was very angry with the rat and from that day onwards the cat and the rat were never friends again.
So, from that day onwards to this the Chinese zodiac has followed this cycle of years named after these 12 animals. To this day it stands. Oh I'm feeling very tired. That was a very fun story.
Are you ready for some relaxation? Great. Let's sit down on the ground and bring our feet into cross-legged. Are you comfortable just like me? Awesome. So in celebration for the Lunar New Year in the Chinese New Year we're going to do some full moon and crescent moon stretches and special breathing.
Can you copy me? Let's sit nice and tall and take an imaginary string from the top of our head and pull it up as high as we can. Very good. Next up we're going to take a deep breath in bring our hands together and we're going to breathe out and lean one way and crescent moon stretch.
That feels good. Let's come back up into the centre and take a deep breath and breathing out leaning over crescent moon the other way. Very good. Let's try that again. Let's come into full moon, take a deep breath in and crescent moon breathe out the other way. That feels really nice, let's come back to centre.
Full moon and lean over the other side crescent moon. Great job, let's come back into centre. And release our hands breathe out. I'm feeling super relaxed.
Now in celebration of the Chinese New Year, let's place a little wish in our hearts and in our mind. Can you close your eyes? Take a deep breath in and make a wish for the new year And when you're ready, you can take your hands off your eyes. Great.
Thank you so much for joining me in my class. I had so much fun, I hope to see you all soon. And, thank you very much one more time.
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