On a countryside there lived on a hill an appletree.
This apple tree grows such beautiful apples that are tasty and sweet.
The apples are so delicious that the kids often come by to pick ripe apples and toss them to their friends to have as a snack.
At night, the stars can be seen twinkling and shining bright.
The moon comes out from behind the clouds as if to greet the little appletree below.
We look out our window to say, “good night appletree”, before heading to our comfy beds.
We then see the neighbor’s dog take a good stretch before lying down for a good night’s rest.
Now that the Sun has gone to sleep, the appletree leaves turn away from the sky to rest. And now, so must I.
By Arwyn & Carla Moodie
Watch the Yoga Story Time of the Appletree Poem below
What this class is about
The full class of “Appletree Under the Night Sky” is available through the BurnAlong platform. It is great for both adults and children. In this day and age, the consequences of the pandemic has us stuck in the house. We are usually sheltered in place with family, and for those who have younger children, this can be challenging. Children tend to have a lot of pinned-up energy and the adults are probably sedentary most of the time. Not necessarily an ideal combination.
Thank goodness for technology. Although, if your situation is anything like mine, YouTube is about to take over my kids’ minds. So, to counter that, we get up and move around.
The Yoga & Me series, that my daughter and I put together when she was just 4 years old (now she is 7), has been ideal for families. The initial idea was to provide a yoga movement class for stay-at-home parents who are not able to get to a yoga studio. Now with a pandemic, it is right in line with what many are needing.
This particular class is fun. We came up with a story that coincides with the yoga postures and flows. It can be done around kids’ nap time, just before bed, or anytime. My daughter enjoys hearing the story even if she is not doing the yoga part. This class was also developed with the adults in mind.
The Best Way to Take This Class
The best way to take this class as an adult is to make the effort to focus on the internal process that yoga offers. Breathing fully, isometrically engaging the muscle groups, focusing on your process of strengthening, lengthening, softening, and breathing fully even though your children are running around. To be honest, this focus contributes to one of the most essential features of yoga, patience. The practice of focus in the midst of chaos also develops compassion, personality strengths, and whole-being stability.
Vrksasana (Sanskrit) – Tree posture: represents the appletree
Utthita Tadasana – five-pointed star: represents the twinkling star
Ardha Chandrasana – half-moon sequence: represents the moon coming from behind the clouds
Uttanasana – Forward bend: represents “Goodnight appletree”
Chaturanga Dandasana – plank: is represented by the comfy bed
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – upward facing dog into Ardho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog: represents the neighbor’s dog
Supta Matsyendrasana – Knee-down twist: represents “The leaves turning away from the sky at night”
Shavasana – represents going to bed
Benefits of the postures
Tree Posture is a good posture for balance and stability. To hold the posture, you are incorporating the core, which is located in the abdominal area. You are also strengthening the hip flexors. The leg that is raised with the knee to the side uses the gluteus medius and abductor muscles to maintain the position. This helps support the hips to reduce pain from poor posture and weak muscles. To avoid putting strain and pressure on the standing leg’s hip, you are using the core to lengthen the torso and straighten the pelvis and align it with the lifted leg’s hip. Great for stabilizing the abdominal muscles.
Five-Pointed Star is a standing posture that is full-body focused. You are standing with your feet firm on the ground, legs are in a wide stance, feet are at 45 degrees, arms outstretched at shoulder height to the side, while isometrically engaging the muscles of the legs and core towards the centerline of the body for stability, deep internal strength, and balance.
This half-moon series is a standing posture that focuses on engaging the core and opening the side body. You are also lengthening the sides of the body with a nice stretch and through the spine area. It is great for stability and full-body strengthening by utilizing major muscle groups. Great for the abdominals, obliques, lats, the muscles in between the ribs (intercostal), the shoulder girdle, and for focus.
When reaching the torso to the side, you should get the sense that you are in between two planes of glass – reaching directly to the side. Both feet remain on the floor and maintain equal weight of the body.
This forward fold posture is considered a standing posture even though you are bent over and touching your toes. The goal of this posture is to lengthen the back of the legs. Mostly behind the thighs and the calves. It is also beneficial for lengthening the torso.
You should be mindful of any pulling sensation behind the knees. If this occurs then substitute the posture with another posture with similar benefits.
This posture is not advised for those diagnosed with glaucoma or had surgery to the eyes, or with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
This plank posture strengthens the core back muscles and is good for the posture. You are engaging the mid and lower trapezius muscles, the anterior serratus muscles, and the core. In this posture, you are lengthening through the whole body, including the legs while also strengthening the arms. The best way to get a nice leg lengthening is to reach the heels towards the wall behind you while remaining on the pads of all five toes.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
From chaturanga, we move right into upward-facing dog posture. In this position, you are extending through the back and front of the body. This is great for core back muscles that are shortened and tight. It is also nice for strengthening the arms.
The key is to remember not to lock your elbows. Feel the stability and lift come from your upper back muscles as you create a gentle arch in the back.
Ardho Mukha Svanasana
Then we press back into downward-facing dog posture. This is also an all-round strengthening posture. It is great for toning the arms, strengthening the back, lengthening the muscles in the back of the legs, and engaging the core.
This is considered an inversion posture, so if you have glaucoma, had eye surgery, or have uncontrolled high blood pressure – avoid this posture.
This posture is like a supine tree into a spinal twist. It is a great torso twist posture, which tends to be ideal for supporting the digestive system.
Bring your full awareness to your breathing while in this posture.
We consider this divine yogic sleep or rest. The original translation is “corpse posture”. Sometimes this is the most difficult posture for some people. As you do this, lie on your back fully relaxed with the palms of the hands facing up. There is nothing to do here but allow your body and mind to integrate the practices you just completed. If this posture is too low energy for your little one, then as long as they are safe around the house, let them play. Allow yourself to trust and let go and receive the full benefits of yoga.
Well, Arwyn and I hope that you will enjoy this yoga class. Do it a often as you like. If you have questions about details or the benefits, we would love to hear from you. It will also be nice to develop a community interaction around these practices. Comment below to let us know about your experience.
Be sure to subscribe to this blog for upcoming class descriptions and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the fun we have coming up with new classes.
Actual classes can be purchased through Burnalong. Get the membership and take as many Intuitive Spirit Healing Arts Yoga & Me classes as you want.