Yoga with kids
3 poses to practice at home with your little ones
Life is a race with obstacles and distractions on every corner. Thanks to technology everyone has a gadget in their hand and access to the world. We connect with everyone and no one at the same time. Our kids are growing up in this overstimulated world where expectations pull in every direction. It can be overwhelming for us and for them. I think we have lost a mindfulness and a self reflection in this generation. I would love to manifest this back into the upcoming generation. I believe yoga is the key. Yoga makes you put down your phone/iPad. It makes you concentrate. Slow physical movements accompanied by deep breathing can calm down the most erratic ADHD child. Trust me, I have a special 4 year old! Yoga also improves your mood and decreases anger tendencies. It is also super encouraging for the little ones to have that sense of accomplishment when they get into a pose. If you are looking to start some simple yoga for your children or your classroom, here are 3 simple easy poses. I always recommend demonstrating the pose to the kids first and then letting them try. As they try, even if they are incorrect, shower them with praise for trying. Doing yoga side by side with your little ones will also strengthen your relationship with them as you connect over an activity that doesn’t involve a screen!
- Downward Dog – Stand at the back of your pat with your feet shoulder length apart. With your feet flat on the mat, bend at the waist, place your hands on the floor about 3-4 feet in front of you. Walk your hand out of your hand to. You should be forming a perfect V-shape. Engage your core, really bend and the waist and keep your hands and legs straight. This is a pose that relieve a stiff neck, while making your shoulder muscles stronger. Downward dog also raises your heart rate and you come in and out of the pose. Stay in pose for as long as you can, at least a full minute.
- Tree Pose – Start standing with your feet a few inches apart, bend one knee and lift one leg as you place your foot on your thigh. Put your hand together in front of your heart and balance here for a moment. If you find your balance here, lift your hands above your head and balance for half a minute. This is a wonder pose for your torso, shoulders, thighs, ankles, calves and abs.
- Meditation pose – This is also called the Lotus Pose. Cross your legs in a seated position. Place the backs of your hand resting on your knees. Engage your ab muscles and sit straight up, as if your spine was a perfectly straight metal rod. This strengthens the inner deep muscles of your core and stretches those tight hip muscles. Close your eyes as you stay in this pose. Be sure to take slow conscious breaths and try to only think about your breathing. Stay in this pose the longest.
So many teachers have found that a short burst of yoga in the middle of the day helps “ring in” those wandering overwhelmed minds. So much is expected of kids these days (by society and their peers) and they must feel inadequate trying to keep up. A yoga session can help boost confidence while slowing down. Yoga forces you to self reflect and concentrate on one single thing. It can really train minds early on to self reflect before lashing out in anger. This in turn gives space to focus on the needs of others. What a peaceful world we would live in if the next generation was less insecure, less angry, and focused on loving each other.