Yoga isn’t just for experienced yogis. It can have benefits for everyone, even young children.
Yoga offers a fun and health-conscious activity for you and your kids. It creates a strong core, improved balanced, and increased flexibility. In turn, these benefits help reduce your child’s risk of injury, as well as contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle.
So, how can you introduce yoga to your kids?
The main thing is to make it fun! Help your kids create a positive association with physical activity. Here are some simple and easy yoga moves you can try with your kids.
The tree pose is all about balance. To do this pose, you stand on one foot. Your opposite leg is bent, with the bottom of your foot resting on your inner calf or inner thigh. To make it more challenging, lift your arms up high like the branches of a tree.
With this pose, you can create a friendly competition. Who can hold it the longest? Challenge your entire family. Get the kids excited about it! Will they beat mum and dad?
The downward dog is a great pose to stretch out the upper back, hamstrings, and calves. Flexible hamstrings are important to help prevent common low back pain. To do this pose, begin on all fours. Lift your hips and tailbone up high. Straighten your legs and push back into your heels. Your body should create an upside down ‘V.’
The downward dog pose can serve as part of a human obstacle course. Have one of your kids hold the pose, with a few other obstacles they have to get through, while other navigate their way through the course. Afterward, have them switch spots. Each of them gets a turn doing the obstacle course and being part of the course itself.
To perform the Warrior III Pose, stand tall with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Bend forward at the waist, bringing your torso parallel with the floor. At the same time, extend one leg straight back. For a more challenging pose, extend your arms out to your side or straight in front.
To get your children excited about this one, have them imagine they are an airplane. Challenge them to see how long they can keep the plane in the air. Are they able to hold the pose?
This one is fun since your children get to perform this pose with a partner. One person begins on all fours. They, then, bring their buttocks back to their heels into child’s pose. Their arms should remain outstretched in front of them. Their partner comes and lies face up on their back, with their arms extended out to the sides.
This pose opens up the chest for the person on top. The person on the bottom gets a nice shoulder stretch. Tell them to hold the pose for at least 30 seconds. It can be held up to 3 minutes for even more of a stretch. Plus, it offers a way for your kids to unwind and relax. Tell them to take deep breaths when holding this one.
The name in itself makes this pose sound more like playtime than work. Start on all fours. As you exhale, slowly bring your head in between your arms and round your back. Inhale and arch your back down, bringing your gaze up to the sky. Continue to alternate between the 2. This pose is great to help stretch out your entire back.
Make it fun by instructing your children to make their best cat sound or face during the inhale. During the exhale, have them make the cow sound.
The boat pose is a great way to work the core. A strong core protects the back from injury and builds a strong foundation. To do the boat post, start in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Extend your arm straight in front of you. Lift your feet up off the ground and extend your legs. Hold here for the count of 5.
To keep the kids entertained, you can again make this one a friendly competition. Or you can perform it with your child, facing back to back.
If any of these poses cause pain to you or your kids, make sure to stop immediately. Encourage your children to listen to their bodies. Help them create a healthy mind to body connection. If the pain continues, seek out the proper medical attention. The use of our BodyICE Kids gel packs can also help with any bumps or bruises that may arise during your child’s yoga workout.
Remember, have fun with it! Laugh off any errors with your children. This is the time for you to make memories with them, as well as instill positive values and habits. Get your and your family’s yoga on and enjoy the benefits that come with it!
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