Doing yoga with your children is always a wonderful habit to get into, but it can be particularly helpful around back-to-school time. Tenants of yoga like deep breathing and mindfulness can be helpful tools for children who might be overwhelmed by all of the rules and clashing personalities they’ll encounter at school. Yoga is also a fun hobby that children can share with their friends at school. As an added benefit, if your child is doing yoga with you, they won’t be demanding your attention or crawling all over you while you’re trying to practice. Win-win.
Here are some of our favorite yoga poses for kids and parents to practice together.
Sit on your knees facing your child and instruct them to sit like you. Place your hands on your knees, take a deep breath in through your nose, and then stick your tongue out like a lion as you audibly exhale from the mouth. Do this a few times with your child, making roaring sounds as you exhale and practicing your best lion expressions. This is a fun and relaxing way to begin any practice with children.
Children seem to all have naturally perfect form when they get into down dog. A lot of kids get into this pose regularly during play. Doing this pose with them will help them feel strong and flexible. It’s also a great chance to be a little silly with your child. You can make faces at each other upside down or take turns crawling under one another’s frames.
These favorite kids yoga poses feel perfectly named for children. Show your child how to transition between cat and cow and align their breathing with the movements. This pose is wonderful because it’s easy, relaxing, and playful – everything your child needs.
Tree pose is another yoga pose with a perfect name for kids – fun, descriptive, and easy to remember. Tree pose is a great pose for practicing balance and calming down over-active kids. You don’t need to head to the studio and don your eco-friendly yoga clothing to practice this one. If your child is feeling antsy waiting in line at the grocery store, for example, you can both get into tree pose and see who can hold their balance longer.
When your child is old enough to start putting yoga poses together, introduce them to sun salutations. This basic yoga flow is full of poses that will make your child feel relaxed, balanced, and powerful. They’ll love reaching up to the sun and pretending to be snakes in cobra.