The Grinch's Heart Chakra!

GrinchHeart (Image from

I lucked out yesterday with a last minute ticket for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the San Diego’s Old Globe Theater!  It’s been a long time since I read the book or saw the movie, so it was as if I was hearing the story for the first time.  What struck me about the play was how “yoga” it is.

This is actually a story about the heart chakra! Initially, the Grinch’s heart is cold and closed- he hates Christmas, carols, holiday feasts, toys, and children.  But, he connects with one little girl, Cindy Lou Who.  She shows him compassion and forgiveness for being the Grinch that he is, and her open heart helps him open HIS heart! On stage, the Grinch’s heart lights up and we hear it beat loudly. His heart chakra is opening! The chakra of love, compassion, and kindness. And guess what color is the color of the heart chakra- GREEN! The color of the Grinch!

I was planning on putting together a Grinch yoga lesson plan, and stumbled across this post on my friend Angela’s Moorad’s blog, OmAzing Kids, here.  This makes my lesson planning easy! We must be connected at the heart chakra this week! Thank you Angela!

I also thought of the Loving Kindness relaxation story in my book, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids. It says:

"Now think of someone who is mean or unfriendly. Send this person some love, too. Sometimes people are mean because they don't feel loved. So send this person some extra love."

So our challenge as yogis is to send some extra love to all the Grinches out there from our heart chakras to their heart chakras!!!

With love and gratitude,

Carolyn Clarke

The Holidays

I can remember being a kid and thinking that the time from Halloween to Christmas seemed to take years! And now I'm realizing that I haven't made a single post since before Halloween and now it is almost Christmas, and the time seemed like a few days! So here are some holiday things that I've taught for the last few months...

Halloween- Spooky Yoga Halloween

I love Halloween yoga! Here are some things we did:

  • We talked about bones  and skeletons
  • Made scary faces while stretching the muscles in our faces
  • Black cats- Meow!
  • Pumpkin squats (Sit in squat and make a Jack o Lantern face)
  • Gate pose- with lots of Squeaks
  • Work as partners back to back and move arms and legs to become spiders

Thanksgiving- Thankful Yoga

ThanksgivingThere are so many wonderful things to do for Thanksgiving because being grateful for what you have in the present moment is such a huge part of yoga. I always start off a Thanksgiving class with going around the circle to ask what the kids are thankful for ("my parents", "my cat", "trains", "chairs" and lots more things). Here are some other things we do:

  • Strut around like Turkeys
  • Make apple pies to Kira Willey's Making Pie
  • Table Pose
  • Chair Pose

This year I also read I wonderful book recommended to me by another YogaKids teacher, Heather Wurtzle. The book was Thank You World by Alice McGinty.

December Holidays- Peace on Earth Yoga 

Peace on EarthI love December and the holidays during the month. I celebrate Christmas, so many of the things that I include in the class are Christmas inspired, but we always do candle pose for the lighting of the  menorah. Here are some other things we do:

  • Christmas tree decorating- Kids work with partners. One stands in tree while the other decorates the "tree" with tinsel or garlands

Christmas tree

  • Pass the present- Similar to hot potato, but when the music stops, the person holding the present comes up with a yoga pose for us all to do
  • Star Pose
  • Acting out carols- Like 12 Days of Christmas!

I also always talk lots about peace- we send out peace to the whole world  during December. Did you feel it?

So, I know that it is probably too late to use most of these ideas, but save them for next year!

With love and light,

Happy Holidays,