Learn about the wonderful world of rainforests through yoga.
Rainforests are some of the world’s most diverse habitats. Tropical rainforests can contain thousands of different species. It’s estimated that tropical rainforests are home to about half of the world’s plant and animal life, even though they only take up about 6% of the earth’s land area!
In this exercise, we’ll get to meet just a few of the many creatures that live in the rainforest. Give any of these rainforest poses a try, pausing to take a breath with each one, or try them all.
Sit or stand up straight in a comfortable position and get ready to greet the sun. As you inhale, slowly raise your arms out to the sides and overhead. As you exhale, slowly bring your arms back down. Repeat this for several rounds.
Jungle Canopy (Tree Pose)
The tall tangle of treetops in the rainforest is called the jungle canopy, and it is home to a lot of the rainforest’s plant and animal life. Grow tall and strong like a tree with this pose. Gently balance on your right foot, and slowly and carefully lift your left foot off the floor. Bend your left knee and hold your left foot against your right leg. When you feel secure and balanced, lift up your arms like the branches of a tree.
You can also “grow” alongside another “tree” to help both of you stand straight and tall!
Macaw (Warrior III Pose)
Fly like a bird with this pose! Start by standing tall, then shift your weight to one leg. Slowly bend forward from the waist, lifting your other leg up behind you. As your chest begins to move down, your leg should move up.
You can hold on to a chair or counter to keep your balance. Stretch out your arms and imagine you’re flying through the jungle air like a brightly colored macaw.
Waterfall (Forward Fold)
Like a waterfall flowing down a jungle hillside, stand tall and then slowly fold your body down, bending from the waist.
Did you know that the Amazon rainforest is home to a very shy species of dog? The short-eared dog or “jungle dog” only lives in the rainforest and has rarely been seen. To pose like the jungle dog, start out on your hands and knees. Straighten your knees and lift your hips, stretching your legs as you raise your bottom up high.
While the jungle dog is rare, cats are common in the rainforest! Imagine yourself as a strong jaguar, a sleek ocelot, or a tiny margay as you do these poses.
Start on your hands and knees with your hands placed right below your shoulders, and your knees placed right below your hips. Arch your back slowly like a cat, and lower your head so you can look toward your legs.
Now let your head come up, and arch your back so that your belly is pushing down.