Poetry in Motion: Combining Poetry with Kids Yoga

By Sydney Solis

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussycat original artwork by Paloma Solis.by Sydney Solis

I’m a lover of words. All words! I love words in other languages, rhyming words, unusual words. I love the sounds of words! Theses sounds and words make neurological connections in little children’s brains. Even the sound of your voice speaking words is of great importance to children. Studies show that the more words you speak to your kids when they are young, the easier it is for them to succeed in school. The rhyme, rhythm and repetition help kids develop in body and mind and acquire language. Try out the beautiful sounds of poetry with your children or classes in the kids yoga studio, school or at home.

My favorite poems tend to be nonsense poetry.

Try out Ogden Nash's nonsense poem The Cow and do cow pose!

The cow is of the bovine ilk;

One end is MOO, the other MILK!

and one I made up!

Coffery, Chicory

by Sydney Solis

Coffery, chicory

Tacoma to Tehachapi

One for you and one for me

Gilly, gilly, kitty, kitty

chickadee,

chicory, cofferey

 

For a warm-up with poetry I tap my body with my hands and encourage the kids to also while I say the poem, such as thighs, hips, chest or arms, in rhythm with the sounds of the poem. And act a little crazy! I say it again and again, faster and faster! Then the body gets WILD! It’s a great warm-up and helps put kids’ minds to their bodies, as well as wake up the body and its parts!

The Owl and the Pussycat poem by Edward Lear is by far my favorite! Read below for yoga asana to go with the poem, listen to the Queen of Bohemia recite the poem on audio, and watch her performing at the Boulder Public Library in the YouTube video!!

 

The Owl and the Pussycat

by Edward Lear

 

Click here and listen to the Queen of Bohemia recite the poem!

 

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!

II

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

 

III
'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

 

Suggested Poses for Owl and the Pussycat

Owl – Eagle Pose – Gardudasana or Crow Pose – Bakasana

Pussycat – Cat Pose, Bidiasana

Boat – Boat pose – Navasana

Guitar – Half Lord of the Fishes pose with leg extended - Ardha Matsyendrasana – move arm and hand as in strumming a guitar while twisted

Pig – cat and cow poses again but with oinking!

Bong Trees – tree pose - Vrksasana

Turkey – Squat – with turkey arms and Gobbling noises while moving!

Moon – Half moon pose – ardha chandrasana

 

 

More Great Ideas for Sharing Poetry in Kids Yoga!

 

• Read the Article Three Basho Poems for Children's Yoga, with yoga poses and relaxation suggestions.

• Read the article on How to Help Kids Write Their Own Nonsense Poem for some great ideas.

• Poetry and Art! Read how to Create Jumble Poetry Art with Kids!

• Find regular short poems to use with kids yoga by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg and other favorites. Try reading poetry, even Shakespeare, to your youngest kids while they are in the bathtub!

• Record your voice reading poetry and let children listen to it during relaxation!

• Have kids choose a short poem to memorize and recite. Builds memory and speech skills!

• My all time favorite compendium of kids poetry is the Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Lots of great animal and nonsense poetry for yoga as well as relaxation and mediation

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