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{Guest Post} Visit Morocco Through Kids Yoga

Today I’m welcoming 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 worldwide.  My kids and I love yoga – they’ve been practicing since their pre-K days in a Montessori school and I love how it is one of the only things that make my back feel good! Enjoy this guest post inspired by Morocco!morocco camel

“Morocco is THE destination for all lovers of flora and fauna.” (VisitMorocco.com)

Whether you are sipping Moroccan tea, hiking through farming villages, watching snake charmers in the main square, or surfing the Atlantic Coast, Morocco is sure to exceed your expectations. When I first heard about MarocMama, I was super excited to meet an expat mama living in this intriguing place in North Africa. I haven’t been to Morocco (yet), but I have friends and family who’ve been there. And they raved about it.
Kids yoga is a great way to visit a place on the other side of the world without ever leaving home. Yoga for children is all about exploring new places through movement, embracing our creativity, and having fun with loved ones. Join me as we learn more about the extraordinary country of Morocco through children’s yoga. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t tried yoga before, just jump in and give it a try! Below, you will find yoga sequences with keywords, corresponding yoga poses, and descriptions.

Kids yoga poses inspired by the activities in Morocco:

Morocco is an adventurer’s paradise with loads of outdoor activities, including rock climbing, skiing, kayaking, kitesurfing, windsurfing, canoeing, golfing, and camel trekking. Who knew?! If you have only a few minutes for your pretend journey to Morocco, here is a “5 for 5: Five kids yoga poses in 5 minutes” inspired by five activities that you can do in this beautiful country:

Trekking through the old cities, gorges, or volcanic pinnacles – Walking on the Spot
(Pretend to go for a hike, and walk on the spot.)

Surfing the Atlantic Ocean waves – Warrior 2 Pose
(From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outwards. Take your arms up in parallel to the ground, bend your front knee, and look forward.)

Horseback Riding along the sandy beach – Chair Pose
(Pretend to ride on the back of a horse and giddyup.)

White-Water Rafting down rivers winding through the mountains – Staff Pose
(Sit down on your buttocks with a tall spine with your legs straight out in front of you, then pretend to row with your arms.)

Mountain Biking on dirt tracks in the foothills – Knees to Chest
(Come to lying on your back and make circles with your bent legs as if you are pedaling a bike.)

morocco shop

Kids yoga poses inspired by the animals of Morocco:
Morocco boasts a diverse landscape, with stunning coastlines, rugged mountains, and breathtaking deserts. Twelve animals that live in these various locations inspired these yoga poses:

Bald Ibis – Dancer’s Pose
(Stand on one leg, take the other leg in your hand behind you, and balance like an Ibis.)

Eleonora’s Falcon – Warrior 3 Pose
(Stand on one leg, with the other leg extended straight behind you. Bend your torso forward, then flap your wings like a falcon flying through the sky.)

Greater Flamingoes – Tree Pose
(Stand on one leg, bend your knee, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh, and balance like a flamingo.)

Golden Eagle – Eagle Pose
(Stand on one leg, wrap the other leg around the standing leg, bend your knees slightly, bring your arms out in front of you, and wrap them together. Then pretend to perch in a tree like an eagle.)

Barbary Ape – Squat Pose
(Come down to a squat, rest on your buttocks, and pretend to groom yourself like an ape.)

Donkey – Handstand Prep
(Place the palms of your hands flat on the ground in front of you, step back, bring your buttocks high, and kick like a donkey.)

Herbivorous Lizard – Plank Pose
(Come down to a plank on your hands and toes like a lizard.)

Horned Viper – Cobra Pose
(Lie on your tummy and lift your head and shoulders off ground. Place your palms flat next to your shoulders, then hiss like a snake.)

Golden Jackal – Cat Pose
(On your hands and knees, look around like a jackal.)

Camel – Camel Pose
(Come back to kneeling, lift your chest, look up, and gently lean back reaching your hands to your heels)

Dorcas Gazelle – Seated Twist
(Sit down on your heels, twist to one side, and look over your shoulder like a gazelle.)

Desert Hedgehog – Child’s Pose
(From sitting from your heels, bend your upper body, place your forehead in front of your knees, and rest your arms alongside your body.)

Click here for pictures of some of the kids yoga poses. For printables of the yoga sequences, click here.

Ways to have a successful Morocco Yoga experience:

There is no “right” way to practice yoga with your family, but there are a few things to consider. Wear comfortable clothing and practice barefoot. Practice the poses on both sides/legs. Focus on having fun and don’t worry about doing perfectly aligned poses. Kids yoga is more creative and spontaneous than an adult yoga class. Your children will feed off your energy, so enjoy yourself. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it. Think of yoga as a way of life, not just the physical postures. Bring their attention to their inhalation and exhalation in a light-hearted way. Always finish your yoga experience in a resting pose, lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched out, taking a few deep breaths. Research Morocco further and share your findings with your family. Take the opportunity to be in the present moment and connect with the little people in your life.

Thank you for reading this article and learning about Morocco through yoga. Thank you to Amanda for the opportunity to learn more about her adopted home – it’s now high on my list of places to visit with my family!

Have you been to Morocco? What were your favorite places to visit? We would love to hear about your experience!

Watch for the next Kids Yoga Stories book, a bedtime kids yoga book featuring animals from around the world including two from Africa. 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.

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