The Most Fun Way to Do Yoga Is... A Yoga Obstacle Course!
A Yoga obstacle course is made up of different stations which the students do in a particular order. Each station consists of a yoga assignment, breathing assignment or just something fun. You can use yoga mats to define the stations.
You can create a very big Yoga obstacle course which will take a whole hour to complete. Some of the ones we have made had over 40 stations. Alternatively, you can construct a small one made up of three or four stations as an activity to do in the middle of the class as part of your Yoga Journey. You can repeat going through those stations as many times as you wish.
If it’s a big yoga obstacle course, you will need to set it up before class. Be prepared for this to take half an hour or more to do well.
You can create the obstacle course using whatever you have in the classroom and in your Magic Yoga Suitcase. I usually use everything I have in the class room and in my yoga suitcase!
It can look something like this.
- A yoga block – Stand on the block while in Tree Pose and count to 10 out loud
- A yoga strap and a bell – Hold the bell and walk on the line (strap) without the bell making a sound
- A book with animal pictures – Open randomly and do the pose of the animal that you see on the page
- Ping pong balls – With the balls on the floor, lie on your belly and move them through a a path you can create with yoga blocks using your breath only
- Assorted yoga cards or animal cards – Pick 3-5 cards and create a mini Sun Dance, repeat four times
- Soap bubbles – Blow soap bubbles. Great breathing exercise!
- A yoga strap and an airplane eye cover – Walk blindfolded on a tight rope
- Animal sack – Choose one toy and do its pose
- Musical instruments – Play and dance!
- Bamboo flute – Let a friend ‘charm’ you while you do the Cobra Pose
- Stamps – Tattoo yourself and do the pose that’s on the stamp
- Peacock feathers – Balance the feather on your finger or chin
- Alphabet letter cut-outs – Choose one and do a pose that starts with that letter
- Three balls or handkerchiefs – For juggling!
- A yoga mat and a ball – Do the Slide Pose and roll a ball down your slide
- Face paints – Have a friend paint your face as a yoga animal, then do the pose of course!
- Balloons – Inflate with your breath and throw to the center of the room
- A magician’s gown/hat and wand – Wear and turn everyone into an animal of your choose (everyone needs to stop for a moment and do that pose)
- A Globe – Spin it, stop it with your finger and travel where you point with a yoga pose and do a pose from that country
- An empty yoga mat – Invent a pose that was never seen before!
- Masks – Put one on and walk in this pose to the next station
- Sun glasses – Put them on while doing a dance in Crab Pose
- A Pinwheel – For practicing breathing
- A Rope – For jumping rope
- A Whiteboard – To play Yoga Pictionary with a friend
- A yoga mat and a Tibetan bowl – Relax on your back, place the bowl on your belly and tap it softly
- Stickers – Pick one and put it on your shirt to take home!
The possibilities are endless! Here are some tips.
Organize the obstacle course in a spiral and have the children walk the stations in order. When you build the obstacle course, vary the stations; one with a yoga assignment, then one with breathing, then something just for fun. And don’t forget to put really fun dance music on!
It is always more fun to do yoga together. So it is best to walk the yoga obstacle course in pairs or groups of three. It is also great for parents and kids to do together.
I always demonstrate first how to go through the obstacle course and then the children/groups go one at a time. Have the children count to ten or wait until the person in front of them has reached a certain station before they start the course. You can have the children walk through the obstacle course more than once if time permits.
Make your obstacle course age appropriate. When your group is familiar with the obstacle course concept, you can ask each child to create a station.
You’ll need to keep the children busy before and after. For example, they can color Mandalas, make crafts from things you recycle, make their own prayer flags, make eye pillows, make yoga t-shirts, make pinwheels, decorate yoga mats or do another yoga art project.