Between school, recreational activities and time with friends and family, kids seem to have busy, if not busier, schedules than adults. It can be challenging to help your child find time to slow down, connect with the breath, and still have fun. To help your child deal with all of his or her responsibilities, introduce yoga. Implementing a yoga practice can help your child handle stress and patience with grace.
Yoga can teach your child about self-health and relaxation while encouraging self-esteem and body awareness. It increases focus and concentration, keeps the body strong and supple, and allows your little one to play and connect with his or her inner being.
How to Engage Kids in Yoga
To engage kids in yoga, the practice has to be fun and relatable. Children have incredible imaginations and easily connect with nature, animals and other images that allow them to create a visual in their mind.
Use visualization to help kids act out the images with their bodies, which makes the experience creative and playful.
Fortunately, many yoga poses are named after objects that can be found in nature like a tree, fish, dog, shooting star or a rainbow. Yoga poses can also take on characters like warriors or mermaids. Younger children may want to make noises and move around like the objects they imitate. Older children may prefer to hold the postures and test their abilities.
Here are four yoga poses to introduce your child:
1. Dolphin Pose
Begin on your hands and knees, with your knees and feet hip-distance apart. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders with your palms on the floor and fingers spread wide. Walk the hands forward, bring your forearms to the floor, and drop your elbows down to touch the floor directly under the shoulders. Exhale, straighten the knees, and lift the hips up. Hold your head between your upper arms, don't let it hang or press into the floor. Press the forearms firmly into the floor to lift the shoulders and hips while you draw the heels down. Breathe steadily for 5 to 10 cycles. To release, exhale, and bring the knees to the floor.