Looking for a way to help kids get focused, get some giggles out, learn a bit, and have fun? Here are seven fun poses to do either with a few or a bunch of silly kids. These seven animals live in the Republic of Congo and come with some interesting facts. Have your child or children do the yoga animal poses while telling them the fun facts. Before you tell them about the animals, get into your boat (boat pose) and take a ride down the Congo River, the DEEPEST river in the world!
Boat Pose: While traveling down the River Congo, you are sure to meet a bunch of cool animals. Row your boat forwards or backwards, fast or slow.
Dwarf Crocodile Pose: The Dwarf Crocodile is the smallest crocodile in the world. The females lay about 10 eggs at a time and when the babies hatch, she takes care of the babies until they are ready to go off on their own. Dwarf crocodiles are mainly nocturnal and bury themselves in a burrow during the day. Sometimes these burrows have entrances under the water.
Goliath Tiger Fish or Elephant Fish (Fish Pose): The Goliath Tiger Fish has huge teeth that look like tiger's teeth. It can weigh up to 150 pounds. The Elephant fish has a long snout like an elephant and uses it's snout to sift and find food under the murky water.
Snake Pose: There are over 180 different species of snakes in the Congo.
Both small snakes and large snakes are found. Try both poses, lifting the chest a bit higher in the air for a larger snake.
Checkered Elephant Shrew Pose (mouse pose): The checkered elephant shrew looks like a little mouse with a long snout, just like an elephant. The checkered elephant shrew mates for life and is considered an insectivore. It eats mainly beetles, centipedes, termites and ants. Occasionally it will eat eggs, small amphibians, and birds.
Wild Dog: Unfortunately, Wild Dogs are extinct in the Republic of Congo. Since they attack sheep and other livestock, they are often killed by people. Though they are extinct, they are protected. This means that if one is found, it must not be killed. We are also working on protecting the habitats of other endangered species.
From Dog pose, walk feet towards hands and hang there for awhile, stretching the back and legs. Let arms and head dangle, or even shake them out a bit.
Reiterate to children that they should not rush through this pose. Remind them that they use their legs daily and need a good leg stretch. Then, slowly roll up, stacking one vertebrae at a time until they reach gorilla pose.
Mountain Gorilla: Found in the Virunga range of extinct volcanoes, these gorillas live in groups consisting of one adult male, 3 adult females, and 4-5 offspring. There is an overlap in troop territories, and so the adult males must defend themselves. They defend their families more than they do their territories. The gorilla mountain males usually have a patch of silver on their backs and have earned the name "Silverback." They live in the montane forests and also bamboo forests. They are mainly vegetarian, eating bamboo, other leaves and fruits.
Pound your chest like a gorilla does to communicate with your friends. Gorillas show emotions just like we do, including being angry or sad.
There are a wide variety of species that live in the Congo, including the Okapi, elephant, and hippo. These are just a few to get the sillies out. The children could end the series with mountain pose if they wished to do so.