Have you been having a hard time handling your kids? Are their tantrums starting to be too much to handle? Or maybe you are looking for a new way to bond with them?
Since children are still in the early stages of their lives, a lot of them find it difficult to express themselves and tend to resort to frustration, crying, and tantrums. As parents, it is also difficult to see them and not knowing what to do. It is truly hard to figure out the youngins from time to time, but there is, of course, nothing a parent wouldn’t do for their kids.
In adults, it has been long proven how exercising helps calm us down as the activity increases our endorphins or our happy hormones. We tend to feel a lot more fulfilled and fueled to go about our day and the same goes for children. In this blog, we will help you introduce your kids to yoga slowly and in a fun way! The other best thing is, you can tag along too!
Benefits of Practicing Yoga for Kids
There are a lot known benefits of yoga with regards to adults and they are quite similar to children’s, so introducing kids to yoga is a great idea.
You might already have an idea as to how yoga works. You might also think, “Wait, won’t it be too complicated for my child?” This is something you do not have to worry about.. If we try and teach our children how to channel their energy into something productive and beneficial for them at a young age, they will have so much to reap once they grow up.
According to The Good Body, there are 31 proven benefits of yoga to children, but here are the top 10:
- It’s a fun way to relax
- Helps improve their attention span
- Encourages the connection between the body and mind
- Good for balance
- Increases flexibility
- Builds strength
- Improves their mental wellbeing
- Boosts immunity
- Encourages healthy eating
- Reduces stress and anxiety
And of course with your presence as a parent, they will grow their confidence through companionship and your support. Yoga is a slow and meditative kind of practice, so its a good way to introduce your child to exercising because it is not strenuous and is easy to comprehend.
It does not require that much repetitions, lifting, or any other activity that requires our body to move fast. It only requires your presence of mind, focus, connection, and breathing.
In this day and age, where a lot of our children grow up with technology, a parent will come to a point that although it is helpful for their socialization and current studying methods, it is still important to take a break away from the screen from time to time.
Gently Introducing Kids to Yoga Poses
By now, we all know how short a child’s attention span is – A pro tip when introducing your kids to yoga is: Do the yoga to their favorite songs! Usually, children tend to develop or attach to a particular something and most of the time it is a song. May it be from the cartoon show they are watching, a children’s song, a movie soundtrack, or even a song that they hear from you — but just make sure that the song is appropriate.
Having something that already piqued their interest playing in the background will help you keep their attention span a bit longer and will allow you to, hopefully, follow through the flow until the end.
Incorporating exercising to their routines could be a way to make them rest from all-day facing the digital world and remind them that there is still a real world out there waiting to be lived. You will never know if you would not try, they might even develop a fascination or a hobby of exercising. They might be natural yogis!
Easy Yoga Flow for Children (Parents too!)
We created an easy yoga flow for children that they can do at home. And like we said, of course you can tag along! You can make this a part of your daily routine as your bonding time and build a stronger connection with your child as they grow — grow with your child.
Also, children tend to do a lot of stuff through following, so it would be really nice if you do this yoga routine with them. Ready? Good luck!
The Superhero Pose
Let us start our flow strong with the Superhero Pose. This is a fantastic pose to begin with when introducing your kids to yoga, and as the name suggests, it helps them to feel confident, which is exactly what we want our child to build.
Stand on your mat, feet apart, but not too much, and clench your fists and put them beside your hips. Open your chest and chin up. Stand tall and proud and tell your child to be their most confident.
Words of encouragement can come a long way! Remember to lead by example and don’t hesitate to tell your child that they are doing well.
Another thing that you can add in this pose is smiling. Think about the success that you will get. Smiling makes one feel empowered and just induces overall positivity.
Make sure that you communicate with your child and not just let them follow and follow. Guide them and tell them the purpose of what they are doing. Yoga may be an exercise that is done in solitude, but children do ask a lot of questions. Just do your best to answer their inquiries so that they will continue to be interested.
This next pose is what yogis also call, “The Mother of All Poses”, since a lot of yoga poses began through the Mountain Pose. This pose is another way of letting the positivity into your body and build your mindset of believing that you can do whatever it is that you need to get done.
From the Superhero Pose, bring your feet together and lower your arms down to a supine position (palms facing forward). Breathe, inhale and exhale. Then, raise your arms up forward, then above your head, and then reach. You can keep your hands parted or bring them together in prayer.
Keep the soles of your feet on the ground as you stretch up. Do not forgot to breathe.
Another good way to help your child understand the pose more is helping them with their form. Direct their limbs towards where they should be in accordance with the pose, but do not force it.
Take note of your child’s limitations. It is also helpful to tell them what they can get from doing this and that.
Warrior Pose 1 & 2
The Warrior Pose is great for helping your child find and improve their balance. There are variations when it comes to this pose but for now, we will stick to the ones that are easy and doable by kids. From the Mountain Pose, lower your arms back down and let them rest at your sides.
Step your right leg out backwards and turn your right foot to about 45 degrees. You can step this foot a bit more further to the back if you are flexible enough. If not, then what you can do now is okay. Keep your left foot pointing forward.
Remember that your feet must not be linear, they should be on either side of your mid-line. Bend your left leg a little. Then, lift your hands up, similar to what we did on the Mountain Pose. Remember not to stretch your child’s body too much as this might overwhelm them and lose the fun of what we are doing.
Keep reaching up as you breathe through this pose. Stay for a few seconds.
Then, from Warrior 1, transition your arms with the left now pointing forward and the right backwards, both parallel to the ground and shoulders.
Twist your torso a bit to the side on which the leg is stretched backwards, in our case, the right side. Like so, keep breathing and hold this for a few seconds.
Do not forget to do the same on the other side! Just follow the same instructions and you are good to go. Also, do not forget to check on your child from time to time.
Like the name itself, this one is quite literally an easy pose. Sit down on your mat with your legs crossed but not tightly. Sit with your back straight but do not overdo it. Focus on your breathing.
You can choose to either put your palms into a praying position or just let them rest on your thighs. You can also choose if you will be glancing forward, or you could also just close your eyes for better relaxation.
In this part, you can teach your child affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that helps a person claim a thing they want to be or to finish. Examples of affirmations are phrases such as, “I am strong.”, “I am brave.”, “I am confident.”, “I will do my very best today.”, “I am working towards becoming the best version of myself.”, or to keep it simple for the kids, you can tell them to say what they want to feel like, “I am happy.”, “I am contented.”, “I am loved.”, and so much more.
Affirmations helps you communicate with your child and lets you have a better understanding of what they are feeling without having the need to force it out of them or letting them get upset. Or, you can spend this pose in total silence. Whatever works best for you and your kid.
This pose readies your child’s body into the next few floor poses in this flow. The Thunderbolt Pose’s purpose is quite similar to the Easy Pose: to calm and collect the mind.
From the Easy Pose, get into a kneeling position and sit comfortably on your legs. Your feet should just be flat under your buttocks resting on the ground. Make sure that you are comfortable and the posture is correct.
Like we said, similar to our last pose, you can insert affirmations here as well or just continue your breathing exercises. Keep in mind that breathing plays a vital role not only in yoga, but for the entirety of exercising. This allows for the continuous flow of oxygen into the brain that then leads to better focus and mindfulness.
Stay in this pose for a few minutes. Do not forget to check with your kid if they are still with you and following.
As you might already know, the Child’s Pose is popular because of how it satisfyingly stretches the lower back, hips, and shoulders. This pose also provides relaxation. This is good for your kids especially if they just finished school or before going to bed.
From the Thunderbolt Pose, stretch your arms forward onto the ground as you also push or lower your body down. Keep your tailbone tucked in.
You can bring your knees a bit apart to make the stretch easier. There must also be ample space from your ears to your arms. Lower your head down to stretch the back of your neck. This pose is one of the best when introducing kids to yoga because it is such a natural pose for them to do.
Stay in this pose for a few seconds or up to a minute depending on how long your child can do. Listen to them and take note of their capabilities.
We are now down to the last two poses of our flow! This pose is great for stretching the abdomen and back. The Cobra Pose is easy to do and stretches one’s torso very well.
From the Child’s Pose, lie on your chest totally on the mat. Then, slowly use both of your arms to lift your body up while keeping your legs on the ground.
Make sure that your arms are parallel to your shoulders to prevent straining. Deep breaths. Do not push yourself too much, just do the best that you can.
At this point, your child’s endurance might start to decline and that is okay! They cannot do it perfectly at first try. Just instruct them to dismount from the pose slowly and not hastily as most kids tend to. Moving too fast in yoga diminishes the point of relaxation and might strain their muscles.
Keep in mind that your pacing must match your child’s, not the other way around. Remember to breathe while doing this pose. Stay at it for up to a minute then slowly lower yourself back down on the mat.
And we have finally come to our last pose! Savasana Pose is one of the most relaxation and peace-inducing poses of all time — and it is not complicated to do.
Lay back down on the ground and let your arms just fall beside you. Widen your legs up until they fell comfortable. Open your palms and allow your body to be one with the earth.
This pose is good for grounding, especially if one of your objectives in teaching this flow to your kid is to calm them down after a tantrum. You can stay in this pose for as long as you want.
The Importance of Being Present
And you are done! You guys did so well :)
As parents, there might really be days when we do not spend time with our kids anymore especially when it comes to work, school, or other life responsibilities. But, at the end of the day, a lot us really still get the urge to think of something that will connect us to our kids even in the most simplest of ways and one of it is exercising.
Modifying your routine to include our loved ones and introducing your kids to yoga is an act of self-care. Humans are creatures of connection, so despite that hectic schedule, do not deprive yourself of the love that you, as a parent and a person, deserves. Not only you, but most importantly, your children.