The practice of yoga helps us to understand and appreciate our body, mind, and spirit. Coming to this practice at a young age can be beneficial for children to embrace the many aspects of themselves.
The nature of a yoga practice is that it is a non-competitive space where the goal is exploration rather than accomplishment. Since kids are so used to competing with other students in school and teammates in recreational sports, a yoga practice can give them a safe space to understand that everyone is unique and that there is room for all kinds of bodies and personalities in this world.
Learning to move mindfully and breathe intentionally from an early age can help kids to remain calm as they find their place in this world.
To get your child interested in yoga, we recommend practicing in front of them regularly. Kids naturally imitate what they see and they may even begin to try yoga on their own after watching you.
You can also get them their own mat so they feel ownership over their practice and can learn to create safe spaces for themselves.
If you are ready to start practicing yoga with your child, here are four of our favorite partner stretches to get you started!
Begin in a comfortable seated position. You are welcome to sit on a blanket or pillow if that is more comfortable. Your child will sit on your lap.
Let your eyes close and guide them to close their eyes and pretend you are clouds floating in the sky.
Take at least four deep belly breaths together.
Stay here as long you all are content.
Begin in a comfortable seated position facing each other with your spines tall like a tree.
Twist to the right as you take your left hand to reach for your child’s right hand.
Wrap your right hand around behind you and reach for their left hand.
Stay here for 4-10 breaths before switching sides.
Stand tall like a tree alongside each other.
Shift the weight into the outer leg. Lift the inner foot and place the sole of it on the inside of the outer leg, above or below the knee.
If you all are steady, you can reach your outside arms up to the sky like your branches are growing.
Take a few breaths standing tall and steady. Take a few breaths swaying around like trees in the wind.
Switch sides when you are ready.
Begin sitting on the floor facing one another with legs stretched out wide and spine tall.
Hold hands and gently pull each other back and forth in a seesaw movement.
Do this at least four times on each side.