Yoga for Kids: Getting Started
Kids under six shouldn’t perform any pose for more than one minute, and their entire yoga session shouldn’t exceed fifteen minutes. Kids over six can hold poses for ninety seconds and their yoga sessions can safely continue for up to twenty-five minutes.
Kids doing yoga poses should be encouraged to try them with eyes closed when appropriate, as it helps them to better “tune in” to their own bodies. Children shouldn’t practice yoga on a full tummy and should always warm up before practicing.
The following yoga poses are very beneficial for children to practice as they not only exercise muscles and promote relaxation, but engage the imagination!
Yoga for Kids: The Tree Pose
Have your child stand up straight, feet together and arms at his sides. Then, ask him to pull one leg up and place the sole of his foot on the inside of his leg (ideally on his thigh, but you can work up to this.) Be sure he’s not pressing on his kneecap.
Then, have him slowly lift his arms above his head, stretching his body. Have him hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.
Yoga for Kids: The Leaf Pose
Have your child sit on her bottom and place her legs on the floor in front of her. Then, have her touch the soles of her feet together and clasp them with her hands. Ask her to straighten her spine and then to slowly roll down until her head touches her hands and feet. She can hold that for fifteen seconds or so and then slowly repeat.
Yoga for Kids: The Swing Pose
This pose has two steps. The first step will help to improve your child’s flexibility while the second will help to energize your child’s body.
First, have your child stand with his legs shoulder width apart. Ask him to stretch his arms up as high as he can and then slowly roll forward from the waist until he’s leaned over as far as is comfortable. He can then slowly roll back up to the “arms up” position and slowly roll down to the left and then right as far as is comfortable.
Then, have your child hold his arms out to the sides at shoulder level and make a fist with each hand. Have him tighten and hold the muscles in his hand and arm for two counts and then release for two. Repeat once and then return to the first step to repeat the series several times.