Last month I finally broke open my Pose Chips from Grounded Yoga. Okay, now how to use them, I thought. It just so happened that I was launching a new class that night called, “Girls Night Out” (8 – 12 years) and that I had a full house of 18 (some of which Iʼd never met). One of the main intentions for this new class was to create a space for girls to come together and connect. So, what a perfect opportunity to use the Pose Chips as a tool to do so. As the girls were arriving, I came around and placed a pose chip on their mat. I asked them to keep it safe for the whole night. Once everyone arrived, I introduced the “Pose Chip Icebreaker – Get To Know You Game” and hereʼs how it works:
1. Everyone begins in a seated position.
2. One by one, ask the children to stand up, say their name, read their pose chip and show the group the posture.
3. Remind the rest of the children to pay attention and remember which pose goes with which person because they will soon be tested!
4. After about 6 – 8 children, pause the group and say one of the childrenʼs names who introduced themselves. That person is to remain quiet in a seated position while the rest of the group shows you the posture that went with the selected personʼs name (I like to use a bell to cue them to sit back down after practicing/showing you the posture).
5. Continue to say several more names (one at a time), asking the rest of the group to show you which pose belonged to that person.
6. Carry on with the remainder of the group, asking each person one by one to say their name, read their pose and show the group the posture.
7. Once you have gone through everyone, resume to testing the children by saying one personʼs name and asking the rest of the group to show you the corresponding posture!
Not only is it a fun “get to know you” game but it is also a great warm-up as the children move in and out of a number of postures!
Near the end of the night we break out into a full on yoga dance party! The children are asked to either hold onto their pose chip or remember their pose for the dance game. When the music plays, the children dance freely around the room. When the music stops, they freeze. For the first person, I say a name and they show their pose. The rest of the group follows and does the posture. After that, the person who was first selected choses the next person by tapping them on the shoulder during the dance movement.
When the music stops, the newly selected yogi does their pose and the rest of the group follows. It keeps going in this way as each new child selects another to show their pose when the music stops. Another great way to use the Pose Chips! Thank you for reading.
Vanessa Braun, Storyoga Instructor
Yoga has become a great way for children of ALL abilities to become aware of their body, in line with their breath, and connected to the beautiful truth and peace within them. As an occupational therapist and devoted yogi, Allison Morgan of Zensational Kids (see www.zensationalkids.com) offers up a joyful and mindful way to facilatate learning yoga with pose chips.
The Elevator Series Pose Chips help provide a fun, interactive game atmosphere that facilitates learning in a natural and enriching way. Here are a few ideas of how to use these chips in a group or individually to help develop visual and motor skills, motor planning, body awareness and most importantly, laughter.
MEMORY for you and a child
- Start with 3 chips, face up. Have the child look at all the chips and go over what each pose is. This can be done either verbally (saying the name of each pose), or motorically (making your body into each pose).
- Turn the chips face down. You can test your memory now, or do something else for a few minutes and come back to the chips.
- OK, do you remember what poses were on the chips? If you can’t say them, do them. As the child remembers the chips, turn them over to reveal the pictures. If they can’t remember the poses, you do one of them, and see if they remember the name of the pose.
- Do you remember the order the chips were in?
- OK, once you master 3 chips, try some more.
MEMORY for a group of children
- Start with one chip per student. All the children see the chips, say the names of the poses, or do the poses. You will see that their memory is enhanced if they can say them and do them. This demonstrates the power of our body and how important it is in our learning process.
- Now count to 5. Everyone STRIKE A POSE. This allows the children to do anything that they remember.
- As a group, can they decide what pose is missing? Can they remember any of the missing poses that no one in the group formed? Can they put the poses in the same order that the chips were in?
- This is also fun to play with a big group, with a little challenge. Divide the students up into groups of 3, 4, or 5. Every group gets the same number of chips. If each group has 3 students, they get 3 chips, 4 students, 4 chips, etc…. See which TEAM can remember all of their chips and form the sequence with their bodies.
This is a memory game. The object of the game is to turn over pairs of matching chips. Concentration can be played with any number of players or alone.
You will need two tubes of the Grounded Pose Chips. Decide how many poses to include in the game based on the number of players and time. Pick poses that the class is familiar with unless you plan on teaching the poses during the game. (This is not ideal since it interrupts the play). Lay the chips face down on a surface. In turn each player choose two chips and turns them face up. If they are of the same pose (e.g. Down Dog and Down Dog) then that player wins the pair, everybody practices the pose and plays again. If they are not of the same pose, the players still practice the 2 poses, the chips are turned face down again and play passes to the player on the left. The game ends when the last pair has been picked up. *The winner is the person with the most pairs, and there may be a tie for first place.
Variation: concentrate and relate
This is played the same way with the following twist. If the chips are two different poses then the player states a relationship or connection that the poses share and everyone practices both poses. The answer must be backed up with a good explanation. For example, We Will Rock You and Bridge are both back bending poses. Calm Steam Silly and Take Out The Trash both help to release energy, thoughts or emotions that you don’t want to hold onto any longer. Tall Mountain and Forward Fold flow perfectly from one to the other linked to the breath. If the player is unable to relate the two poses to each other, turn the chips over and the play passes to the next person. (This can be played with just one tube of chips)
Set the chips out in organized rows. Two tubes of pose chips takes up an entire yoga mat.
Set a timer for each pose to encourage the players to be mindful of their alignment.
Set out 12 or fewer poses for the Pre-Grounded Kids.
This game may be played in pairs. This works well for large groups (Yoga Clubs, PE)
*We have learned from our students that it is OK to have a winner sometimes. We will dive deeper into this topic on another post. Stay tuned.
Grounded, Grounded, GO! is a game designed to use with any age and all levels. Use the Grounded Pose Chips and a round mat. It is a detective duck duck goose game played with a purpose.
Set Up: Place Grounded Pose Chips face down in a circle with a large yoga mat in the middle. Use poses that the students are familiar with. Everyone sits in a circle behind the chips. The students must sit Grounded Style in order to be touched and potentially get picked. This encourages students to stay grounded and focused at all times.
How to Play: One student picks a pose chip without anyone seeing it. He then goes around the circle touching the top of each person’s head with the entire palm and fingers saying “Grounded” until he picks one person and calls out the name of the pose. Then he runs around the circle as the picked person tries to catch him. If he makes it back to his seat without getting caught then the one picked does the pose in the middle alone. If he gets caught then they both do the pose in the middle together and turn it into a partner pose in some creative way. The other students act as detectives, observing the student(s) in the pose, and take turns saying what is good about the pose. The detectives may then point out what could be done to make the pose feel better. The one picked now becomes the one to choose a pose and go.
Variations: There are many ways to change up this game according to the age and experience of the students or the amount of students and the location.
- For a really large group like a yoga club, leave the pose chips stacked in the center of the circle.
- If the students are beginners, teach a selection of poses during the beginning of class and then use those poses in the game. Each class you can add poses to play the game.
- For each round, choose only one or two detectives until every student has a turn being the detective.
Click to see our Grounded Pose Chips