This is one of the most fun ways to do yoga!
A Yoga obstacle course is made up of different stations 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’ve made have 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 will need to set it up before class if it's a big yoga obstacle course. 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 classroom 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 to a certain
target 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!
- 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
- Balloons – Inflate with your breath and throw them to the centre of the room
- A magician’s gown/hat and wand – Wear and turn everyone into an animal of your choice (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
- Sunglasses – Put them on while doing a dance in Crab Pose
- A Pinwheel – For practising 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!
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 etc... 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, decorate the sticks for the Push Sticks Dance, make pinwheels, decorate yoga mats or do another yoga art project.
The Yoga obstacle guide: Alternatively, the obstacle course can be navigated blindfolded with a guide to lead you! You can divide the group in half and have the blindfolded half wait outside while you build the obstacle course and explain it to the group of leaders. Each leader holds the hand of a blindfolded child and leads them (verbally and physically) through the obstacle course. When switching groups, you can walk the obstacle course backward!