Practicing yoga can benefit people of all ages. Even children can join in on the fun and have a practice of their own. Yoga helps to improve mood, concentration and cultivates a sense of calm in those who practice, and this includes children. Yoga can be made into a fun family activity and give kids something to focus their energy on and turn into a playful way to relax and exercise. We cultivated an easy yoga sequence tailored for your little ones. Have your children practice these simple postures when they need some extra focus and to get out excess energy.
Start by standing at the top of the mat, feet hips width apart and arms by your sides. Take a few deep breaths in through the nose and release with a large sigh out of the mouth. Start shaking the body gentle, starting with the arms and hands. Allow the movement to move down through the legs and the rest of the body, letting the body loosely shake and move in any pattern that allows the muscles to be soft. Bring a smile to the face and continue to move the body in a fun, lighthearted way for a few minutes, coming down to sit on your mat when finished, breathing deeply.
Child's pose (Balasana)
Separate your knees hips width distance apart on the mat. Sit back onto your heels as you extend the arms forward, coming into balasana, child’s pose. Allow your chest to be heavy and keep your palms and forehead planted on the mat. Feel the connection of your body on the earth, and breathe into that grounding sensation. Hold this posture for 10 breaths, allowing the body to soften deeper with every exhale.
Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Press into the palms and straighten your legs, creating an inverted V shape with your body. Straighten out through the spine and extend the hips toward the ceiling. Invite in gentle movement, straightening one leg and then the other. Find stillness and hold for five breaths.
W II (Virabhadrasana II)
Step your right foot between your hands. Plant your back foot down on the mat at a 45 degree angle and come up to extend the arms out shoulder height. Gaze over your front middle finger as you keep a strong core. Hold and breathe for 3-5 counts, cartwheeling your hands to the mat and transitioning through a vinyasa to repeat high lunge and warrior II on the other side
Transition into waterfall pose by coming down to lie on your back. Maybe place a block underneath the sacrum and then simply extending the legs up toward the sky. You may need to adjust the prop underneath you to feel supported. Keep a slight bend in the knees and allow your legs to be soft. Relax deeply and hold the posture for up to 20 breaths.
Happy Baby Pose (Anadnda Balasana)
Once you have finished the supine twist on both sides, bring your legs in toward the chest and reach for the outer edges of your feet, directing your knees toward your armpits. Keep your spine firmly planted on the mat as you open up through the hips. You can invite gentle movement into the posture by rocking back and forth on the spine or straightening out one leg and then the other. Hold and explore the posture for 10 breaths.
Bring your knees in toward the chest and wrap your arms around the legs. On an inhale, squeeze the legs and bring your forehead to the knees, starting to tense every muscle. Breathe in one more sip of air as you engage the entire body and on an exhale release your grip, coming to lie down on the mat. Extend your arms and legs out long, taking up as much space as you want. Let go of any breath control or attempt to control the mind and allow your body to melt into the mat, relaxing deeply. Stay here for up to 10 minutes, gently coming up when you are finished to resume your evening.