Nowadays, kids face more challenges than any other generation that came before them. The over-use of technology, the amount of stress they face, the cyber-bullying, and the peer pressure. It's no wonder kids feel overwhelmed. But, what can be done to help them deal with the pressures of day-to-day life? Kids' yoga is an excellent way to boost kids' self-esteem and it can be done at home or in a yoga studio. Yoga is a great exercise for reducing stress and centering and calming the mind. It also builds core strength and balance and is a great way to build coordination and flexibility, while naturally helping with stress management.
Let's take a look at the benefits of practicing kids' yoga:
1. It improves body awareness.
2. It improves stress management.
3. It builds focus and concentration.
4. It increases confidence and self-esteem.
5. It improves coordination and flexibility.
Here are 14 easy yoga poses kids can start with:
Beginner Yoga Poses
1. Bow Pose
Here's How: Have your child lie flat on their tummy with their arms laying alongside their body, palms facing up. Ask them to bend their knees and bring their feet towards their head. Then ask them to take a deep breath and lift the chest, looking forward. Have them reach their arms back and grab their ankles.
2. Bridge Pose
Here's How: Have them lie on their back with their knees bent and their feet flat on the ground. Knees should be hip width distance apart. Have them place their arms alongside their body, palms facing down and have their fingers touch the back of their heels. As they breathe in, have them lift their bottom off the ground and press up, then tuck the chin into the chest.
Yoga Poses for Improved Coordination
3. Mountain Pose
Here's How: Have your child stand with their feet hip-distance apart and have them press their feet down into the ground to create a solid base. Ask them to stand up straight with their arms at their sides and have them turn their palms forward and spread their fingers wide. Their back should be straight as they lift from the crown of their head to the sky.
4. Chair Pose
Here's How: From mountain pose, have them lift their arms up in front of them at about a 45 degree angle while looking at their hands. Then have them sink into their posture as if they were going to sit.
Yoga Poses to Calm the Mind
5. Lotus Pose
Here's How: Have them sit on the floor with legs extended then ask them to bend the right knee and bring the foot across to meet the left elbow. Place the right foot and the left elbow together while having the right knee meet the right elbow. Bring the hands together in prayer position. To help them open their hips, ask them to sway their hips back and forth.
6. Child's Pose
Here's How: Ask them to sit back on their heels and lean forward with their arms stretched out in front and palms flat on the ground. Then have them bring their forehead to the floor, keeping their chest on their thighs.
Yoga Poses to Build Strength
7. Boat Pose
Here's How: Have them sit while keeping their back long and their legs bent a little bit in front of them. Have them lean back a little and place their arms straight out in front. Ask them to balance on their bottom as they raise their feet off the ground. And just like a boat they can gently rock back and forth.
8. Dolphin Plank
Here's How: Ask them to get into in a push-up position and then bring the forearms to the ground. Place the elbows right under their shoulders and gently have lem lock their fingers together. Ask them to make sure they keep their belly, hips and knees off the ground.
Yoga Poses for Healthy Weight Management
9. Upward Facing Dog
Here's How: Have your kids start by lying flat on the belly with their hands under the shoulders and elbows tucked in. Ask them to press up off the floor leaving their lower body on the ground. See that they press up and stretch before resting back down.
10. Triangle Pose
Here's How: From standing, ask them to spread their legs wide and have them extend their arms out. Turn the left foot our and reach down with the left hand, asking them to grab their own left ankle and extending the right arm straight up. Then, repeat on the other side.
Yoga Poses for Flexibility
11. Downward Dog Pose
Here's How: This pose can also be done with the help of a chair. Ask them to stand in front of a chair. Have them place their hands on the front of the chair while slowly stepping back. Have their arms outstretched in front of them and ensure that they keep the back flat while keeping the legs hip-width apart. Their gaze should be focused down between their legs.
12. Tree Pose
Here's How: Have them stand behind a chair, holding onto the back of the chair with one hand. Then have them shift their weight and balance on the leg closest to the chair. Bend the knee of the other leg and place the sole of the foot on the inner thigh or the calf of the standing leg. While balancing, gently sway and focus on the breath.
Yoga Games for Kids
13. Yoga Pose Musical Dots
Here's How: Cut out circles on different colors of construction paper, writing the name of a different pose on each circle. Play some fun music that you know your kids will like. And as you would with musical chairs, have them walk slowly around the circle and then randomly stop the music. The kids must then do the pose written on their circle.
14. Yoga Pose Detective
Here's How: All you need to do is call out different options - for instance, show me a yoga pose with one foot on the ground - letting the kids choose from any of the yoga poses they know that match the description.