Yoga can be a wonderful way of teaching little ones to take a breath from an early age. Here are the best poses to start your little ones off
Words Kathryn Marchant
Yoga focuses on breath control, flexibility and strength, and can help boost mental health. It can lead to happier and healthier lives as research shows that breathing and moving help to alleviate stress.
Introducing children to yoga from an early age is also beneficial for them. It encourages littles to be physical and also helps little ones feel calm about life in general, from school pressures to team sports.
So how can you introduce yoga to your children? We’ve picked five easy, kid-friendly poses beginners can do.
Before you start, ensure there’s enough space, and you have a yoga mat. More importantly though, make sure your children are doing the poses safely. Concentrate on a gentle movement that feels comfortable.
This yoga pose helps with strengthening stability, flexibility and invigorating the body.
Ask your child to begin on hands and knees, and then tuck their toes and lift the bottom to make a triangle. Move the torso forward gently so the back isn’t rounded and hang the head down. Encourage your child to have their feet firmly on the floor so they’re not on tiptoes, and bend the knees if necessary. If it’s comfortable, hold for a few breaths and then lower down and repeat.
This pose is great for balance which might be difficult at first, but regular practice will help.
Your child should stand straight and put both hands upward to join the palms together. Inhale and lift one heel; rest this lifted foot on the other ankle (staring at something in front of them might help with balance). While coming down, exhale out.
This is great for helping to reducing any anxiety and for suppleness.
Ask your child to lie down, face down on the yoga mat, and put their palms on the ground to raise the abdomen so their forehead is facing forward. As they’re raising their tummy, ask them to inhale and stay in this position for as long as they can comfortably, and then whilst going down, exhale.
The butterfly strengthens the nervous system and the legs and thighs.
Start by sitting down and bending their knees so the soles of their feet touch each other. Wrap their hands around their feet and sit with their back as straight as possible. Inhale and flap their ‘wings’ by lifting the legs; whilst lowering them, exhale, and repeat.
This pose helps with flexibility and toning.
Ask them to kneel down and sit on their heels. Try and separate the knees as much as possible and exhaling, lay the torso down between the thighs. Put their arms down, release the shoulders and head towards the floor. Stay in this pose for as long as possible and focus on breathing.
There are so many more poses to try for kids who enjoy yoga, so it’s worth finding more. If your child doesn’t succeed with them at first, don’t worry. Try them again later. Showing your kids the idea of using movement and breathing to help refocus is what’s important – but not pushing them too hard is as well! They will only enjoy it if it’s something they are choosing to do rather than being forced into.
Kathryn Marchant is a mum of two and Marketing Manager at Novabods, a game that provides fun learning for 5-7 year olds. Specialising in writing content to support parents and give them helpful hints, she is a health conscious person who loves to exercise to feel calm.
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