There are many yoga poses for children and parents to practice that make sessions fun and nurturing. You can also do yoga together to help children learn certain aspects of control and calm.
Yoga Is Beneficial for Children
Practicing yoga with your children offers a number of different benefits, including:
- Promoting moments of calm
- Improving concentration
- Reducing behavioral problems
- Encouraging an individual path to wellness
There may be other benefits, too. The yoga lifestyle company Gaiam funded a study by California State University to determine if students who perform yoga have better grades and less behavioral problems. Other studies are underway to evaluate if yoga can help children with ADD, ADHD, eating disorders, and autism.Simply engaging in a wellness activity such as yoga with your children promotes a better sense of overall wellbeing. Use it to encourage open communication and exploration.
Yoga Poses for Children and Parents
Yoga poses for children and parents can either be performed as partner yoga, or as modifications of different postures suitable for the child's age and level of experience. Here are just a few suggestions of postures to do together, with links to our Yoga Pose Gallery for pictures and instructions:
- Plank Pose - Do this side-by-side, edges of your fingers touching. See how long your child can hold the pose with either knees bent or legs extended.
- Tree Pose - This is always a fun posture for kids because of the potential of tipping over and getting lost in a fit of giggles! If you'd like to do it as partners, face one another and do it in stages: foot resting on the leg below the knee, then, if more flexible, above the knee (but never on it). Palms together in front of the chest, then in front of the face, then above the head.
- Warrior Pose - Stand alongside one another and extend into the variations of this posture in unison, strong and confident.
- Downward Facing Dog Pose - Help your child sink his or her chest and head properly between the arms with a flat back...then give a little tickle!
- Triangle Pose - Another great posture to do while facing each other.
- Child's Pose - Such a great posture to do after school or for a few minutes before bed to calm the mind and help your child relax.
- Bridge Pose - Helpful in a variety of ways, this posture can be performed in stages by using a block or a bolster under the tailbone. Just make sure your child doesn't turn his or her head while doing this pose.
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend - If your child feels a little foggy, this energizing pose should help.
- Cobra Pose - To open up the airways, this is helpful for a child who may suffer from congestion or asthma.
- Seated Spinal Twist - This pose is good to relieve constipation and encourage healthy digestion.
More Moves to Try Together
To extend your home practice, try these family-oriented yoga DVDs, books, and cards: