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Sitting on a Chicken


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. Who This Book is For?. 2. Who This Book is Not For?. 3. The Heart of This Book. 4. Structure of the Lesson. 5. Using a Visual Timetable. 6. Aims, Objectives and Outcomes. 7. The Games. 8. Beginning Games. 9. Children's Yoga Sequences. 10. Sequence Games. 11. Development Games. 12. Calming Games. 13. Relaxation. 14. Nursery Games. 15. Games by Lesson Stage. 16. Games by Age. 17. Games by Qualities. 18. Games by Skills. 19. Resources.

Promotional Information

52 fun, inspiring and vibrant yoga games for children and how to teach them

About the Author

Michael Chissick has been teaching yoga to children in primary mainstream and special needs schools as part of the curriculum since 1999. He is a leading specialist in teaching yoga to children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and continues to train and mentor students who want to teach yoga to children.


This is a wonderful book for yoga teachers and mums and dads wanting to develop their children in yoga. I particularly liked the learning outcomes suggesting why the exercises or games would be useful. I would highly recommend this to my friends with children, and to other teachers who would like a resource book with so much for children of all ages to try, and enjoy! -- Andrea Kwiatkowski, yoga teacher at Santosha Yoga
This is a gem of a book if you're looking for a fun and engaging way to implement yoga in schools whilst building self-esteem and strengthening concentration. This is as much a credit to Michael's depth of experience as it is to the book's flawless presentation. The book's expertly considered structure and fun, vibrant visuals help teachers select activities according to the needs of the children. I can't wait to build this into my school day. -- Phillippa Johnson, primary school teacher
Sitting on a Chicken is one of the most educationally sound books I've read for yoga in primary schools. Michael suggests a wide range of inclusive, calming, skill-based games for yoga, designed to be used within curriculum lessons. The activities will give your pupils a well-deserved boost in self-esteem and leadership skills, and support a growth mindset for both physical and mental wellbeing. -- Ilse Fullarton, PE Consultant, Association for PE East Board Member and Founder of The Children's Health Project CIC
All readers, regardless of their background, will find much to vitalise their thinking in this book. Michael's unique approach to yoga is accessible to all children, regardless of their needs and abilities. He has created a fun range of yoga activities to focus and stimulate young minds. -- Kate Mason, Assistant Head, Phoenix School, a school for children with language and communication difficulties whose needs lie within the autistic spectrum

Once again Michael Chissick has brought his depth of experience in teaching yoga to children for a wide range of age-groups and abilities in the form of his latest book: Sitting on a Chicken. This book is directed specifically at school-teachers within the English National Curriculum, with the particular aim that Yoga be included as part of the weekly timetable rather than slotted into breakfast or after-school clubs (though actually, as Michael concedes - it works very well with them too!). As always with Michael, the simple and systematic presentation belies a deeply-structured format which in turn yields plenty of opportunities for the children (of whatever age, culture, ability or disability) to find a still centre. The book is an extremely practical guide to enabling teachers to help the children they are teaching to accept themselves just as they are. In a world where assessments, grades and progress can often seem to count for more than personal worth this is an invaluable gift to society.

The book includes clear lesson plans with aims and learning objectives and is designed to cut to the chase. It does not give step-by-step instructions on how to get into postures; the beautiful illustrations by Sarah Peacock are all that's needed. The lessons come in the form of games - `Sitting on a Chicken' being one of them and `Wind, Rain or Thunder' being another - cunningly set out in an appropriate learning curve so the children are both engaged with their Yoga and having fun at the same time. And it is not only about fun. There are opportunities for children to `punch through their shyness', to honour themselves for who they are, to express themselves in a safe environment and to recognize that life is not all about sunshine ... but that the sun is always there. Classic asanas such as the Hero poses are presented as a regulated battle, and the game is popular with 7 - 11 year-olds. Using dice, it includes the opportunity to do strong postures, co-operate, learn about probabilities and to experience the strength of self-worth gained by going within.

For younger children, postures are simplified. Tadasana, for example, is `Stick', and Sukhasana is simply `Good Sitting.' There is a chance for the children to review the session at the end and they all finish up in `Sleeping bird' ... the lesson continues even up to the point of the children filing quietly out of the room, taking the gift of silence with them.

The book is backed up with a link to Michael's website, which provides resources such as songs, posture and game cards. I really hope that Yoga may one day become part of the school curriculum and that Michael's book becomes a set text. In my mind, it is already a classic.

-- Wendy Teasdill, www.teasdill.com
I love Sitting on a Chicken! There are lots of good yoga for children books out there, which are mostly 'here's the poses' and no guidance on how to put it all together. Or they go to the other extreme and give you ten lesson plans and that's it. No room for creativity or to adapt to the children's needs. Sitting on a Chicken is the complete package, everything is there. On top of which I feel I can adapt it to suit the children's needs in a way that is authentically me. -- Gill Christie, Edinburgh
Using clear lesson plans, complete with intentions and learning objectives, Michael shares highly accessible yoga and mindfulness games to implement in your classrooms. Mr. Chissick is very imaginative and has created some very original, fun-filled yoga games that teach mindfulness...I highly recommend this book. It can be used by anyone from parents to teachers to childcare workers who are looking for fun, play centered ways to bring yoga and mindfulness to all children and with added ingenuity can be adapted for all age groups and all needs. The beautiful illustrations by Sarah Peacock are cheerful, understandable and just make you happy! -- Always Be Dancing * Always Be Dancing *

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