Yoga Postures For Children:
Yoga postures for children is becoming more popular and in demand in the modern world. In fact, a national survey back in 2012 found it’s growth in usage to be more then 400,000 since 2007, in this age demographic.
It has long been proven that yogic practice is good on a physical and mental level for all ages, and therefore also for the little ones. From helping to manage anxiety, emotional regulation and self esteem, to improving strength, flexibility and balance, the benefits are vast.
In addition, helping correct posture, increasing awareness of their body, and adding some fun into their daily routine(s).
5 Yoga Postures For Children:
Asanas or postures, are one way in which yoga benefits both the body and mind. Accompanying this is breathing techniques, or pranayama. With the pairing, research has even identified particular benefits to those children whom suffer from ADHD and Autism. For example, helping reduce kids aggressive behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity for those with autism.
Importantly, when teaching yoga to this age demographic, tailor the practice to them. Oftentimes, making a game works best to keep attention and interest high.
Downward facing dog
Let’s start with downward facing dog. Oftentimes, a lot of fun for the little ones to carry out. Furthermore, it is one of the best-known positions of yoga.
Sometimes, having the children imagining themselves imitating a dog, who’s just woken-up and is stretching, helps them perform better. It gives them a mental image. Perform the pose with them for extra guidance.
Downward Dog helps stretch the back, shoulders, neck, arms, and calves.
- Firstly, come onto all fours.
- Then, spread the fingers wide at the top of the mat.
- Push your buttock and hips toward the ceiling, extending your arms.
- This pose somewhat resembles an upside down ‘V’.
- Press down and though your palms, bring the head closer toward the naval, and torso in-between the arms.
- Attempt to touch the heels to the mat.
After Downward Facing Dog, try Cat pose. This posture resembles a cat stretching.
- Come onto all fours.
- Then, simply arch the back in the direction of the ceiling. Let the head drop.
- Press into the palms of the hands. Thus, helping bring the shoulders away from the ears.
- On exhale, try Cow pose.
Tiger Pose is similar to that of Cat, but slightly more challenging. It will tone the back, increase flexibility of the hips, and strengthen the muscles of the thighs and buttocks.
- Get on all fours, with arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor and knees separated.
- On inhale, bend the back, lower the chin towards their chest. Simultaneously, raise the right knee, bringing it towards the forehead.
- On inhale, arch the back, lifting the head with a forward gaze. Simulatensouly, bring the right leg back, lifting it off the ground with the heel facing upwards.
Tiger pose is a bit more complex. However, fun at the same time. Imitating a confident tiger stretching and roaring.
Another well-known position that children often enjoy is Flamingo Pose. In addition to being fun and effective, it helps the child to experience balance, concentration and focused attention.
On a physical level, this position strengthens the thigh muscles, gives stability to the ankles, lengthens the spine, aligns the body and may help alleviate problems related to flat feet. Like that of Tiger, this is also a slightly more difficult position, as it requires concentration and balance.
- Begin standing with feet together. Then, take the left foot slightly back behind your body.
- Bring the shoulders back, and arms-up and out to the side, parallel to the floor.
- Lean forward slightly, then bring the left leg up off the ground. The right leg should be straight.
- Breath for a few cycles. Flap those wings slowly and gracefully.
Tell the kids to imagine themselves as a strong, sturdy and beautiful Flamingo. At the beginning it is normal to struggle with balance. However, this can also be part of the fun. See who can hold the position the longest.
We close with Cobra Pose which in yoga for children is very useful and fun. Also known as Bhujangasana, it is among the most effective positions to open the chest and aide in posture alignment. The kids will have fun imitating a rascal snake that raises its head.
- Firstly, begin belly down on the mat.
- Then, position your hands at chest level, tucked in close to the body.
- The feet should be stretched behind with the tops of the feet on the mat.
- On inhale, lift the chest, bringing the shoulders firmly back. Use the core and lower back to lift. The elbows may remain bent.
- Gaze forward.
- Then, on exhale, lower your body back to the mat. Furthermore, the hips shoulder remain on the mat, along with the upper thighs.
Hopefully, these poses are a good starting point for a children’s yoga routine. Importantly, this should be presented in a way to catch and keep kids attention. Make yoga postures into a game.
Oftentimes, yoga is perceived as only for spiritual purposes. While some practice is highly devoted to this, yoga doesn’t have to be this way. Use it as a way to feel better physically and mentally.