The Irish are great storytellers, and the stories (or tall tales) about St. Patrick have also been greatly embellished over the years. Much of the history of St. Patrick’s life has been focused around when he “drove the snakes out of Ireland.” Though in truth, there were never any native snakes in Ireland, it has more to do with the cool climate and geography of Ireland than the story of Patrick’s missionary work in Ireland. But, the Irish love their stories and their traditions. What better way to explain the absence of snakes in Ireland, than the extraordinary tale of St. Patrick?
Share the Yoga Story of St. Patrick With Your Class
Long ago, on the Emerald Isle, an island of tall MOUNTAIN and green, green valleys, a young man came over from England by BOAT to help the people of Ireland. Patrick was once a shepherd, watching over his master’s flock of SHEEP (CAT/COW).Now, during this time, the people of Ireland had a very bad problem withSNAKES. There were SNAKES living in the TREES, and SNAKES high up on the MOUNTAINS, and SNAKES hiding under ROCKS (CHILD’S POSE) and even underTABLES! They hadtried everything to scare them away—loud, barking DOGS(DOWNWARD-FACING DOG),high-kicking DONKEYS(EXTENDED LEG OR HOPPING IN DOWNWARD DOG), and fast-flying EAGLES—but nothing worked. St. Patrick’s idea was to bring PEACEFUL (PEACE BEGINS WITH ME –touch thumbs to each finger, index through pinky, saying one word per touch: “Peace” “Begins” “With” “Me”) thoughts to the Irish people.
So, he met with the shoe COBBLERS, and the WOODCHOPPERS, and the WARRIORS, and the DANCERS (KING DANCER), and all of the people in Ireland and taught them to have PEACEFUL (PEACE BEGINS WITH ME) thoughts. Before long the SNAKES climbed down from the MOUNTAINS and out of the TREESand left Ireland forever because it was too, too QUIET (RELAXATION POSE)
How to Play Leprechaun, Leprechaun Where is Your Shamrock?
Set the game up by cutting out about 10-15 small shamrocks (or purchase some shamrock paper decorations from the dollar store to save yourself some time), and place them in the center of the yoga circle or room.
On the back of each shamrock write the name of a yoga pose that the children will know already, and have the first LEPRECHAUN choose a shamrock/yoga pose to teach to the other students.
Next, everyone will sit down on their mats and the LEPRECHAUN will go to the front of the room and sit with his/her back to the other children, with their eyes closed. Teacher then chooses a student to be IT. The student must quietly leave their space, and sneak up behind the LEPRECHAUN to pick up the shamrock (the one used to teach the pose), return to their space, and hold it between their namaste hands. All the other children must have namaste hands.
When everyone is ready, have the children call out: “Leprechaun, Leprechaun where’s your shamrock?” The LEPRECHAUN can then turn around and has 3 (or more, you decide!) guesses to find out who has the shamrock.
The child with the shamrock is the next LEPRECHAUN, who gets to choose a new shamrock/yoga pose to teach/demonstrate, until everyone has had a chance to be the LEPRECHAUN.
Heather Gruber is the owner of YogaFlow and Fitness. She is a certified ACSM Personal Trainer and 500hr certified Yoga teacher in the Birmingham, Alabama area. You can find out more about me at www.yogaflowandfitness.com.
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