When it comes to yoga and kids, there’s only one rule. Make it fun - a rule we could certainly apply to our ‘grown up’ practice that can often feel uptight and far too serious.
So grab your little one and bust out these shapes that will inspire both the child and child at heart to move, breath and enjoy.
This is a great after school activity and one to pull out when away on holidays.
6 yoga poses for kids: Adventures from land and sea
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Our 6 yoga poses for kids are great for the imagination and encouraging your child’s creativity.
We’ll talk you through how to do each of these fun positions in a minute, but here they are in a nutshell:
1. Banana Pose – Get fruity with your little one with this great side stretch.
2. Tree Pose – A fun pose for both of you – try to keep your balance!
6. Bug Pose
3. Raccoon Pose – Get wild and stretch your ankles, feet, quads, arms and wrists.
4. Turtle Pose – Face each other to stretch and stimulate wisdom.
5. Shark pose - Swim gracefully with ease with a strong core and open heart.
– Finish up with this playful pose to stretch the lower back, inner thighs and hamstrings
Now, time to get started!
How to do kid-friendly yoga poses
You can adapt or change these poses to suit your needs, always remembering to have fun with them!
1. Banana pose
Opening the side waist and expanding breath capacity for growing lungs.
- Stand with feet hip distance apart and arms by side
- Inhale stretch arms above head as if reaching for the stars. Bring palms together
- Exhale lift the torso and arms up and over to the left so that the right side waist starts to crack open and resemble the shape of a standing banana. Stay 5 breaths
2. Tree pose
Playfully improving focus and balance as well as strengthening the joints in the standing leg.
- Stand with big toes together and then take a moment to lift just the left heel up off the ground to feel a shift of weight into the right foot
- Eventually, lift the left foot and (using hands to help) place left foot to the inner right thigh
- Stay for as long as possible before swapping side
3. Raccoon pose
Stretching ankles, feet, quads, arms and wrists.
- Sitting on heels, take a few breaths to ground and centre
- Take the thumb and index finger together on both hands to form Gyan Mudra (or your ‘raccoon eyes’) and lift them up to eyes
- Stay for ten breaths like a resting raccoon. Blinking when required
4. Turtle pose
Stretching the back body, neck and stimulating some kidney energy which is both calming and uplifting. Oh and retreating into oneself can feel like embodying the wisdom and slowness of a turtle.
- From a seated posture, take both legs out in front, bending knees to bring soles of feet together. The feet are quite a length away from the bottom
- Take hands underneath the legs with palms turned up
- Start to fold forward and let the neck hang
- Try staying and breathing deeply for ten breaths or as long as desired. Remember – this one’s all about the ‘slow’. Slow is strong. Slow is cool
5. Shark pose
Strengthening the core muscles attached to the lower back as well as opening the chest and strengthening the legs. The idea is that we’re swimming gracefully 9and with ease) through the clear blue waters of the ocean.
- Lie flat on tummy with arms down long by your side
- As you inhale, lengthen the chest forwards and up and then the feet back and up
- Stay like this swimming through your ocean like a majestic shark or interlace hands behind back for a little more shoulder depth. Stay five breaths
6. Bug pose
Stretching the lower back, inner thighs and hamstrings.
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- Lying on your back, lift feet towards the sky
- Grab a hold of the inner edges of feet and start to pull them down towards the earth
- Try lining up the ankles and knees as best as possible
- Stay still like a patient bug soaking up some sun or rock a little from side to side like a wriggly one
Kate Kendall is the Co-Founder and Director of Yoga at Flow Athletic. Follow @activeyogi to be inspired to move into more shapes for better wellbeing.