Yoga is a great holistic fitness practice for people of all ages, and kids are no exception. By improving focus, strength, and balance, yoga can help children relax and stay healthy in both their bodies and their minds. Since some yoga poses are better-suited for older learners, practicing age-appropriate poses that parents and kids and do together ensures children enjoy their exercise and want to make it a regular activity.
The easy sitting pose can help kids relax and strengthen their back muscles. Children might already know the basics, calling the position "crisscross apple sauce." Try showing them how to sit on the floor with their legs crossed and the top of their head "stretching toward the sky." Kids and parents can try meditating while in this pose to promote a calm start to their yoga practice. You can even throw in a simple mudra with the hands in the lap or on the knees.
The half-lotus is an easier version of the traditional lotus pose, so it's a good option for younger learners, even though their natural flexibilty makes harder postures possible. Lotus pose is also helpful in stretching the hips and legs.
Kids can pretend they're a flower in this pose, with the legs forming petals and the hands resting on the knees. Try pretending roots are growing from the legs into the earth while the upper body "blooms" upward.
Child's pose or Balasana can increase flexibility and calm the body. Try describing the pose as getting cozy and curling up on the floor. With the forehand and hands on the ground, the fetal-like position of child's pose mimics the feeling of being in the womb — which can help a child settle down if they feel overwhelmed or hyper.
Another good pose for flexibility, a seated forward fold can help kids find a sense of calm. As they stretch toward their toes, parents and children can snuggle up against their bodies to relax and breathe deeply. This pose can also help children understand how muscles stretch inside their bodies.
This pose, traditionally known as upavistha konasana, is a great option for increasing flexibility. If done in the partner variation, it can also be a calming way for parents and kids to connect. With the legs stretched out to each side, the parent's and child's feet touch while they join hands.
Cobra pose can be really fun for kids as they lay on their belly and stretch upward like a snake. The move can improve parents' and childrens' flexibility while also promoting strength in the arms and shoulders. Kids might like hissing or darting out their tongue while they hold the pose for a few breaths.
Butterfly pose is a fun, relaxing option that lets kids imagine they're flying or soaking up the sun like a butterfly. Kids and parents can also gently flap their legs like butterfly wings while in this position — giving children an opportunity to practice creativity and imagination while also strengthening muscles in the abdomen.
Tree pose can help kids improve their balance as they pretend their arms are branches stretching upward. This move can also be a fun way to add some friendly competition to a yoga practice. Try seeing who can hold the pose the longest while imagining what type of tree each person is.
Warrior one gives kids the exciting chance to see themselves as strong and confident as they improve balance and reduce stress. With the arms stretched toward the sky and the legs in a high lunge, kids and parents can pretend they're reaching for the sun and build strength in the chest.
This is a simple pose that is considered the hardest yoga posture to do correctly because it calls for total relaxation. It can help kids relax and ground in the present moment. Laying on their backs with the legs outstretched and the arms by their sides, children can practice deep breathing to decrease anxiety. This pose can also promote creativity and increase focus in kids. "Savasana" — the original name of this pose — is also the most commonly used Sanskrit term, so it's a great one to teach them.
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