Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 Term 6 Week 7. The Summer Holidays - Let's Relax Awhile! Tatty Bumpkin’s Kid’s Activity for this week is Bee Pose

By Sue Heron – Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist

In this blog I focus on our weekly Tatty Bumpkin ‘Yoga Activity’, giving you all a description on how to do the pose or activity with your child and describing some of the benefits. To find out about the Baby Bumpkin’s Baby activity – look out for my ‘Mid-week Baby Bumpkin Blog!’

Please remember though, for your child to gain the full benefit of all the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga and multisensory activities, find out about your local Tatty Bumpkin class at or ask your child’s nursery if they are using the Tatty Bumpkin Kid’s Activity Programme.  Our qualified Tatty Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in child development and children’s Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians.

Or, maybe, you are thinking of a new career, which gives you:
  • The opportunity to work with kids
  • A great sense of job satisfaction and
  • Flexible working to fit around your own family?
In which case - find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at

The Tatty Bumpkin Multisensory Yoga Adventure This Week ..

This week the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga Activity is ‘BEE’, because everyone needs a bit of relaxing ‘bee buzzing’ near the end of term! 

On this adventure Tatty Bumpkin steps out of her back door into the sunshine, so she sings and does her special Tatty Bumpkin ‘Hello to the Sun’ song -

Then, because it's so hot, Tatty Bumpkin decides to find out whether any of her friends would like a bath!

On her sunny walk round Wobble Farm, she meets Cat and Seagull but finishes up with her friends the Bees. Now - just how do you give bees a bath? Carefully I think!! Why not come and find out at your local class. 

Because each Tatty Bumpkin kid’s activity session is carefully linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop your child’s communication, social and thinking skills.  
In this week’s activity session your child will have the chance to:

1. Develop their balance skills
as they stretch out their paws in Cat pose and wave their wings in Seagull pose. 

2. Develop their ‘crossing midline’ skills, for improved writing and dressing skills, as they do the actions to Tatty Bumpkin’s Cleaning song. 

3. Use gestures or words to express their thoughts, for example:

  • Feeling ‘happy’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she steps out into the sunshine.
  • Feeling ‘excited’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she sets off to find her friends.
  • Feeling ‘curious but careful’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she visits the bee hive!
4. Come up with their own ideas, and feel confident to talk about them. For example:
  • Deciding what to pack when they go washing with Tatty Bumpkin?
  • Wondering which of Tatty Bumpkin friends would like a bath?
  • Thinking about how to wash a Seagull?!
5. Develop their sense of rhythm and stretch their body skills as they do the actions to the Tatty Bumpkin Sun Salutation.

6. Most important of all - have fun with their friends as they: sing Tatty Bumpkin’s cleaning song, wash the seagull and help the bees clean their hive!

Bee Pose for Children and Toddlers

'Buzz' together sitting down...

Or 'Buzz' lying down

Or you can even 'Buzz' standing up!

Description of Pose

If your child is about 4 years old or younger they will be learning new movements by looking at and copying others. Therefore it is best to do Bee pose with your child or toddler so they can see what to do. In addition, Bee pose has many benefits for both adults and children – see below.

Bee pose for You!

  • Bee pose is actually a form of breathing and is called ‘Brahmari’ from the Sanskrit for a humming black bee. Bee pose will give you the chance to focus on your breathing and help you to relax (see ‘Why it is good for me’ section). 
  • Start by finding a comfortable place to sit, and make sure your shoulders are relaxed. Think about increasing the distance between your ears and your shoulders, letting your shoulders move downwards and slightly backwards.
  • Breathe normally and close your eyes.
  • Keeping your lips lightly sealed, breathe in through your nose and then breathe out making the sound of the letter ‘M’, basically a humming sound, until you need to breathe in again. The longer you sustain your ‘Bee hum’, the more relaxing Bee pose is likely to be—but forcing the breath beyond your capacity can have the reverse effect, causing even more stress. So don't force yourself and only do your ‘Bee hum’ for as long as it is comfortable.
  • With your eyes still closed, repeat this Bee breathing pattern for a few minutes, or as long as it feels good i.e. breathing in through your nose, then humming like a buzzing bee as you breathe out.
  • To make the sound feel more ‘intense’ you can put your hands over your ears whilst you do the hums.
  • Take the time to do a few ‘Bee hums’ whilst sitting quietly and see if you notice a change in your mood – hopefully you should feel calmer!

Bee Pose with Your Child or Toddler

  • Find a comfortable place to sit on the floor with your toddler or child, settling them either on the floor or on your lap facing you.
  • Start by doing the ‘bee breaths’ of Bee pose yourself (see above). Do a few ‘Bee hums’ with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed - to give your toddler or child the idea of the pose.
  • Then encourage your toddler or child to hum along with you.
  • Try doing louder, softer, higher, lower ‘Bee hums’ together. 
  • Try humming along to Tatty Bumpkin Bee song (see below) or to other songs and rhymes – it is a great exercise for your child’s vocal chords and speech muscles.
  • You can then try to do Bee pose in lying or standing.


  • Sit down together and try doing ‘bee hums’ together with your hands over your ears. If your child is younger, you may need to guide their hands over their ears initially until they get the idea. Then see if they can do the activity by themselves.
  • If your child is older they can have a go at doing ‘Bee hums’ with their eyes shut and their hands over their ears. 

Other Games to Play in Bee Pose with your Baby or Child

Bee Relax for All Ages

After doing Bee pose with your child, lie down together in a comfortable position and listen to the Tatty Bumpkin Bee song. You can download this song for 79p from iTunes, or for a free preview, go to:

Why Bee Pose is Good for Both You and Your Child

As you do Bee pose with your child you will both have the chance:

To relieve anxiety and relax together.  
Recent research (1) highlights the powerful effect of a child’s cry on most adults, regardless of whether the adults look after children or not. Areas in our ‘mid-brains’ (associated with the ‘fight, flight and fright’ response) appear to be quickly activated when we hear a child crying as opposed to any other man–made sound.

This research is backed up by other findings which show that adults also have a hormonal response to a crying child i.e. 

  • Men produce more testosterone – this can lead to increased stress levels. Interestingly, fathers who are more involved with the care of their baby or child seem to produce less testosterone on hearing their cry - this may mean that they are less vulnerable to stress when coping with a crying child. 
  • Mothers release more cortisol - a hormone associated with the stress response.
As a result of both these neurological and hormonal responses, our blood pressure and heart rate rise and our breathing becomes shallower and faster amd we get stressed!

Researchers suggest that these changes our body 'state' possibly reflect an increased need for us to be ‘ready for action’ and ‘more alert’ so we can care for our child in ‘distress'. 

However, over time, these responses can lead to an increase in our overall stress levels.  In addition young children will often naturally respond to their parent’s and carer’s ‘increased state of alertness’ by becoming more anxious themselves - breathing quicker and perhaps crying more - and so the tension builds.

As you take deeper, slower breaths in Bee pose, concentrating more on the ‘breath out’, your heart rate will automatically decrease and this will hopefully lead to in an increased feeling of calmness. Lengthening the time you spend ‘breathing out’ in relation to the time you spend ‘breathing in’ also reduces the 'fight, flight and fright' impulse described above - helping you to relax. 

1 - C. Parsons, et al (2013) Ready for action: a role for the human midbrain in responding to infant vocalizations; Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

So remember:

For a fun, kid’s activities which not only encourage your child to move but also enhance their development - find your local class at
or find out how you could be trained to deliver Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at

Love Tatty Bumpkin  x

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