It is no secret that kids need yoga now more than ever. In our technology and screen-focused world, yoga provides many benefits that kids might have difficulty receiving elsewhere. Physically, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Mentally, it improves the sense of calmness, concentration, and relaxation. Introducing children to yoga at an early age can help them learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future.
The following three yoga poses were selected for their physical and mental health benefits in young growing bodies. These poses are also wonderful for getting kids fit, flexible, and focused. Keep in mind that these are also adult yoga poses, so some of them may already be familiar to you. This is all the more reason to do them together with your children! You do not need to have a lot of space to practice these poses, and they only take minutes a day to generate results.
While on your hands and knees, stretch your arms and bring your forehead to the floor. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. This is a very centering and grounding pose. This pose is also perfect when you or your child gets overstimulated, anxious or overwhelmed. It is important to remember the deep breaths. Child’s Pose is also a wonderful calming posture before bedtime.
Down Dog Pose
Begin on all fours in a table-top position. Spread your fingers and press your palms flat onto the ground. Straighten your legs, and make an upside-down V shape. Relax your head and neck and look between your legs.
This is one of my favorite yoga poses for kids because it builds strength within their entire body. Their arms, legs, shoulders, and stomach are all working. I like to tell children that they are getting taller as this pose lengthens their hamstrings. Kids love hearing this!
Stand up straight and tall. Look on the ground or find a spot that is not moving to focus on. It is very important to tell children to look at the ground as that will help them keep their balance. Sometimes I will place a stuffed animal, sticker, or another object on the ground to help children find their focus. Next, place your hands at heart center. Slowly bend your knee and place your foot on the inside of your other leg. Then you can raise your branches (arms) up in the air.
Balance can be tricky for children (and adults), but with practice it can be improved and maintained.
Have fun practicing these poses with your child. A child who learns yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness.
Get your full color print-out of the Top 9 Yoga Poses for Kids here.
About the Author
Sara J. Weis is a bestselling author of Go Go Yoga for Kids. She is also the creator of the new Kids Yoga Challenge App which includes 40 yoga poses for kids to learn and practice on their own.
Sara is a certified kid and adult yoga instructor. She holds a master’s degree in education and has over twenty years of teaching experience. Using all of her knowledge and experience, Sara has created and kid-tested hundreds of yoga games, lessons and movement ideas that will help instill the lifelong benefits of yoga in all kids.