Namaste! Yoga has been around for centuries and for good reason. The discipline has health benefits for both the mind and body. It’s so good for overall well-being that more and more physical education programs are adding yoga to the curriculum. Of course, yoga isn’t only good for kids in school.
Practicing yoga with kids at home helps with focus, improves muscle strength, and balance while relieving stress and anxiety. Doing yoga with the kiddos can also help with sleep issues. So, let’s slip off the socks, unroll the mat, learn some kids’ yoga poses, and get started.
If you’re not a yogi already, no worries. Hop on a mat and do these six easy yoga poses with the kids. Yoga is a perfect pick for people of all ages. Wearing comfy clothes is best. Socks are typically off for yoga poses because it’s important to feel the ground with the soles of the feet. It’s also safer because socks can make you slip. Yoga mats are optional, but using one does keep hands and feet from sliding in the middle of a pose. Whenever doing yoga with kids, keep it light and playful. It’s okay to be a little silly when doing yoga with children.
Adults typically hold a yoga pose for 30 to 60 seconds. For kids, 10 to 15 is ideal. The more they practice, the longer kids feel comfortable holding a pose.
This is a good place to start when doing yoga with kids because other poses incorporate tabletop. It’s also a simple pose for beginners. To do tabletop, get down on the floor on all fours, resting on hands and knees. Knees are about shoulder-width apart. Hands should be directly underneath the shoulders with fingers facing forward. The back is flat.
Kids will love this basic yoga pose that builds on tabletop. Parents will too because it’s great for relieving stress. The pose starts in tabletop. While breathing in or meowing, kids round their backs like a kitty bringing the chin to the chest. From cat, kids move into cow by pushing the belly toward the floor and arching the back. As the chin moves up and the back arches, kids can release their breath or give a moo. Making the animal sounds helps make this movement pose silly and fun for the kiddos. Kids can repeat the pose going back and forth from cat to cow.
There’re a lot of ways to get to this popular yoga pose and tabletop is one. From tabletop, kids push up to bring their bottoms into the air. Palms stay on the floor as the body moves into the upside-down V shape. Feet stay shoulder-width apart while the head hangs down. Kids shouldn’t lock their knees or force their heels to touch the ground. Flexibility increases the more kids do this pose. Downward dog is excellent for overall stretching and energizing the body. It’s also just cool to go upside down for a bit.
From Downward Dog, kids can sink slowly back to the floor, bringing their knees together. Kids sit back on their heels while bringing their forehead to the mat and resting their arms back alongside the body with the palms facing up. Child’s pose is a gentle hip, thigh, and back stretcher, but also helps calm the mind. For a relaxing variation of child’s pose, bring the folded legs about hips-width apart. This variation is helpful if kids have trouble getting their foreheads to touch the mat.
Kids can move into this uplifting pose from Child’s Pose. Gently, lift up and bring the knees to the front of the body. Lay back on the mat with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. Legs should be shoulder-width apart again. Arm are at the side with palms down. From this position, kid push their behind and back into the air to make a bridge, bringing the chin to the chest. Bridge pose stretches the whole body and helps improve flexibility in the spine.
Tree is a wonderful balance pose kids enjoy. Standing poses are excellent for balance and strengthen the core. For Tree, kids stand on one leg while bending the other leg and placing the sole of the foot on the inner calf. Kids shouldn’t put their foot on the knee of the standing leg. When kids are comfortable, they raise their arms over their head to form branches. Arms can go out to the side or overhead. If the tree wobbles a bit, that’s okay. Remember, trees do sway in the wind.
There are so many fabulous yoga poses that are ideal for kids. These six only scratch the surface and are a wonderful place to begin a yoga journey with children. As kids become more confident with these yoga poses, they will want to try more. If kids are doing yoga in school, they may have some yoga poses to show you the next time you get on the mat together. Doing yoga with kids of all ages is great for the mind and the body. It’s a wonderful family-friendly activity benefitting everyone in the house. Just remember to keep yoga with kids fun. It’s okay to meow, moo, and even bark your way through cat/cow and downward dog. In fact, it’s recommended.
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