Doing yoga together is a great way to connect with your child. It’s fun, it’s free, you can do it at home, and it’s good for both of you! The best postures to do with children are ones that allow them to use their imagination and creativity, and learn something new in the process.
Try out the following postures with your children:
This is a fun posture to do with kids because it requires balance, so there’s always the possibility of tipping over – which can result in uncontrollable giggles!
To do this pose: Stand with both feet together. With your right hand, bring the sole of your right foot to your calf, or if possible, the inside of your thigh. Once you’re balanced, bring your palms together and raise them over your head as you breathe in.
Tell your child to breathe deeply, and imagine feeling rooted and stable—like a tree! Or to mix it up, tell them it’s a windy day, and see if you both can keep your balance while swaying in the wind.
Before you do this pose, ask your child if they know how ostriches sleep. If they don’t, tell them that ostriches sleep with their heads in the ground, and that they are going to see what this feels like.
To do this pose: Step your feet wide apart and point your toes forward. Breathe in and reach both of your arms over your head, and breathe out as you bend forward. Place your hands on the floor or on your legs while you look through your legs.
See if you or your child can bring your heads to the floor like an ostrich.
Downward facing dog
We often see dogs in this position, bending and stretching out their legs, lengthening and stretching their spines, and enjoying the full body stretch that this pose offers. Tell your child that you’re going to mimic it together!
To do this pose: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under and push your hips toward the sky so that your body is in a V-shape. Bend your legs together or one by one, and try to keep your back straight.
Feel free to bark!
Cobra pose encourages your child to experience movement in a different way—as a snake. It’s also a good chest-opening posture for children with asthma.
To do this pose: Lie on your belly with your hands resting next to your shoulders and the tops of your feet together and in contact with the floor. Breathe in and gently lift your chest off the ground, using your hands for support. Breathe deeply through your nose.
Feel free to wiggle around down there before or after the posture, as a snake would.
Cloud pose (Savasana)
This pose will calm down and relax your child—and give you a few moments to rest!
To do this pose: Lie together on your backs, with your feet about hip distance apart and your palms facing the sky. Encourage your child to close their eyes, be still and calm, and imagine that their body is floating on a cloud. Tell them to feel the softness of the cloud, and to picture the blue sky and surrounding clouds as they float along.
Stay like this together for a few minutes if possible.
Feel free to practice with your kids regularly, as yoga offers a number of different benefits for children. These include promoting calm, improving concentration, reducing behavioral problems, and introducing them to healthy activities that will allow them to stay well in the future.
-The Alternative Daily