At-home yoga for kids
Yoga is not just for adults, it’s a great way to energise children and engage their minds at the same time. This guide will give you two fun routines to try at home and in the garden.
5 benefits of yoga for children
- Boosts children’s self-esteem: Holding poses on their own and seeing their skills improve over time can give children a great sense of achievement and boost their confidence.
- Increases body awareness and mindfulness: Trying out various poses helps children to learn about their bodies and just what they are capable of through movement.
- Develops strength and flexibility: Yoga for children helps strengthen their growing bodies while improving their flexibility, which can reduce chances of injury.
- Concentration and memory are enhanced: One of the top benefits of yoga can be found through the focus required to try different poses. This exercises their memory, which can cross over into other areas of their life.
- Refines balance and coordination: These key elements of yoga promote both mental and physical poise, allowing children to improve their balance and overall dexterity too.
Tips for teaching yoga to kids
- Cater to their energy levels and different learning styles: Kids may not be as focused as adults when starting to exercise. Stay flexible and open to their energy at the time and work with it. Bringing them back to centre when you need.
- Keep them motivated: Kids love a challenge so invite them to show you their best moves and how long they can hold them for. Keep a track record of their progress too so you can give them some positive feedback.
- Test their memory: Invite them to memorise poses and techniques as they build their mental and body strength.
- Use their Imagination: Switching up yoga pose names to different animals or objects get kids visualising and having fun recreating poses.
- Focus on fun: Exercise should be fun so prioritise making it enjoyable.
Garden Yoga for kids
Get the children outside and immersed in their environment. It can be exciting to exercise in the great outdoors, and the kids can let their imaginations run wild.
What you’ll need:
- A flat outside area with no bumps, inclines or anything else that could cause injury.
- A non-slip mat or surface for them to create their poses on.
- Kids should dress as if for a playday or gardening in comfortable clothes that allow for plenty of movement
1. Child’s Pose (or Mouse, Rabbit, Snail, Ladybird, Turtle)
Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest on your knees, position your arms alongside your body or straight over your head, and take a few deep breaths.
2. Fish Pose (or Whale, Basket, Angelfish)
Lie on your tummy, bend your knees, and lift your chest. Reach your arms back towards your toes and hold onto your ankles. Don’t forget to breathe!
3. Tree Pose
Stand tall with your legs together and slowly raise both your arms to meet above your head. Slide the sole of your foot up to your inner thigh and breathe. Repeat on the other side.
4. Plank Pose (or Lizard, Alligator, Gecko)
With your face down and legs back, balance on your palms and toes. Keeping your arms straight and your back long and flat, pretend to be an alligator floating over the water. This can also work on your elbows.
5. Cobblers (Butterfly)
Sit on your bottom with your back straight, bend your legs and bring the soles of your feet together. Gently flap your legs up and down in small movements like butterfly wings.
Chair Yoga for kids
Chair yoga is a great way to help children feel confident and supported as they try out some new moves. The use of a prop also keeps things fresh and exciting.
What you’ll need:
- A sturdy chair which is suitable for children.
- A non-slip base and bare feet for a good grip.
- Comfortable clothing and enough space for movement.
1. Cow Pose
Sit towards the front of your chair with both feet on the ground. Place both your palms on your knees, take a deep breath then lift your head slightly. Arch your back and push your chest forwards.
2. Crescent Moon Pose
Sit back on your chair, with both feet on the ground, a little apart. Reach your arms up high over your head and bring your palms together. Slowly stretch your upper body to one side, back to centre, and then to the other side.
3. Eagle Pose
Sit forward and tall on your chair with both feet firmly on the ground, then wrap your left leg around your right. Next, bend both your arms out in front of you and wrap your right arm around your left. Repeat on the other side.
4. Extended Mountain Pose
Sit comfortably in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Look up, stretch your arms straight up above you and then press your palms together.
5. Downward Dog Pose
Stand facing your chair, then place the palms of your hands flat on the seat. Slowly take a step back so your arms are stretched out in front of you. Straighten your spine, making sure your legs are hip-width apart and look down between your legs. An adult can help keep the chair stable by holding it.
Find more inspiration for fun things to do with kids at-home here.Exercise at Home