This fun movement series is designed to get you moving and thinking like a frog to celebrate the international Save The Frogs Day! Today, all around the world, people are celebrating their shared loved for a group of animals often overlooked. Frogs may not be the first thought on your mind this Saturday, but with any luck from the SAVE THE FROGS! family perhaps they’ll hop into your mind this last Saturday of April, the 8th annual Save The Frogs Day.
My goal is to bring attention to amphibian conservation by studying the effects of human land uses on frog and toad populations in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. My goal is to give this information back to the community, particularly the youth. So, I’ve developed a fun interactive learning series that incorporates every sense for a well-rounded educational class. Throughout the sequence, focus on how your body responds to the poses and wonder what it’s like to be a frog!
Chelsea teaches metamorphosis through yoga to youth in Ecuador
I created this fun yoga sequence to highlight the life cycle of amphibians. This is a great way to bring the subject of amphibians into a kids’ camp, mindful movement class, or simply to pass time!
Set the stage for this yoga sequence by beginning with a lesson on the biological nature of amphibians: what they are, where they live, why they are important to protect, and what characteristics make them special (email me or check out www.savethefrogs2.com for ideas!) Lead the discussion into metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is described as “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.”
Come back to this after the sequence to explore how we also adapt and morph throughout our life. Start to brainstorm connections between how we rely on our environment during different stages of our life and what physical and mental adaptations we use to progress.
I invite you to follow the steps below for a fun and interactive way to celebrate Save The Frogs Day.
Metamorphosis is about an organism using different environments and behaviors during different life stages. Here are positions inspired by a frog during each of its life stages.
Warm up withfrog ribbits, a mountain-to-squat position. In the squat position reach hands in front and stretch neck forward. Be sure to croak like a frog to exercise that throat chakra!
Start in child’s pose
Roll onto back and hug knees to forehead into a ball
Extend legs down, keeping them together for a tail
Grow the arms for full body stretch and roll from side to side
Absorb the tail (nutrient uptake!):
Turn onto belly and move through child’s pose to cobra x2
Growing in size:
Push back into down dog
Hinge forward half frog pose (knee to outside of body, belly on ground or lifted) each side
Learning to use your limbs:
Release into tabletop
Release down into mandukasana, a hip opener
Strengthening the legs:
Through tabletop and into down dog
Coming out of the water:
Hop feet to hands
Adapting to land:
Squat into frog (malasana pose) and gently bounce/sway your hips
Using our limbs:
Reaching frog (goddess squats)
Becoming an adult frog:
Stand to mountain
Daily life (maneuvering through your habitat):
Sun salutation b with optional crow pose, “hopping feet into and out of chaturanga,” ending in standing
Wide-legged forward fold to headstand, returning to forward fold and standing
Balanced frog (trusting our long legs, connecting with the earth):
Tree pose, bow to acknowledge the earth, and find your way to the seated position. Cool down.
Time to eat:
Frog tongue a.k.a. lion pose, breathe, and reach for insects
Supta baddha konasana, reclined bound angle
Supta matsyendrasana, reclined spinal twist
Final savasana, corpse pose
When you complete the sequence, invite your group to come back slowly to a seated position and close the practice with a short meditation. Guide the collective imagination back to the topic of metamorphosis. If time allows, lead this into a discussion. How did it feel to transform? What are ways we metamorphosize as humans? Are we reliant on our environment, which aspects? End the discussion with important links of our well-being to the environment, how amphibians need healthy resources and we do too; create a metaphor for how amphibians can be used to ensure a healthy human existence. End the discussion by explaining how saving amphibians really means saving ourselves by ensuring preservation of water resources, safe treatment of our soils, and maintaining the delicate balance between land, water, and air.
We can use the biological nature of amphibians--which rely on multiple aspects of the environment to survive and adapt--to understand the intricate balance of life and the dependency of human survival on its conservation. Our ability to adapt enables us to find balance within work and play, science and spirit, and environment and society, to foster a unique and sustainable life. Kind this in mind as you celebrate the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation!
Happy Save The Frogs Day!