You’ve likely heard all about how great children’s yoga can be and now you’re ready to start practicing at home with your kids – but you don’t know where to start.
What do you do first? How do you get them engaged? And how the heck do you get them to stay on their mats?
Don’t stress it, Mom and/or Dad! You’ve come to the right place!
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a children’s yoga teacher to start showing them fun and easy yoga activities that will have tons of great benefits for both them and you.
Here Are 3 Simple Ways to Start Practicing Children’s Yoga at Home With Your Kids:
Use these three simple tips to start doing yoga at home with your kids today.
1. Play a Game
Children learn through play, so an awesome way to teach them something is to engage them with an exciting game. In addition to having fun, playing physical games with your kids will also help them get their energy out in a constructive way.
You could play Simon Says (Children’s Yoga Style)! Instead of telling them it’s time for yoga, try calling your kids together for a game of Simon Says. You’re Simon, leading them through different yoga poses like Triangle Pose, Upward Facing Dog, or Warrior II.
They need to come into each pose with you, so long as you say “Simon Says” first. As soon as they do a pose without hearing “Simon Says,” they have a seat on their mat until there is one child left standing, who then becomes Simon.
You could also play Alphabet Yoga. Whether you have one child or a whole house full, this game is sure to keep them engaged while getting out some of that energy.
You go first, Mom, picking a yoga pose or animal that starts with the letter A and have your kids do it with you. Whoever goes next chooses a pose or animal that starts with the letter B, and so on until you get all the way to Z!
With little kids, you can help them with their letters or better yet, let their older siblings help them out.
2. Take a Breath
Breathwork is an important part of yoga that can help your children feel calm when they’re stressed, energized when they are in a slump, and more relaxed when it’s time for bed. Try out these breathing activities with your little ones the next time you need to see a shift in their energy.
Practice Dandelion Breath. If you’re lucky enough to be reading this during the springtime, then you can head outside with your kids and practice this with real dandelion puffs (the dandelions that have gone to seed).
If not, a little imagination goes a long way. Have your kids hold their dandelion puff close to their face, take a slow, deep breath in, and see how slowly they can blow away the seeds. The slower the better, so encourage them to take their time.
You can also do this activity with a pinwheel, having the kids try to move the pinwheel with their breath as slowly as they possibly can. Slow, full exhales help to calm the body and the mind.
You can also try Scarf Breathing. This activity can be done with play scarves or even a tissue. Have your kids hold the scarf up in front of their face and see how far they can blow it away from themselves.
Turn it into a partner activity by having them blow the scarf to each other, or to you. You could also take things down a notch and turn it into a calming game by having them lie on their backs and blow the scarf slowly up into the air.
3. Focus the Mind
Meditation promotes emotional health, helps lower stress, and brings about a peaceful state of mind. And the best part is that as long as you teach it in a fun, lighthearted way, meditation can be practiced at any age, even with the littlest of yogis as a part of children’s yoga!
Try coloring mandalas. Have you ever noticed how focused your children are when they color? Perhaps you have tried, unsuccessfully, to get their attention while they are concentrating on their masterpieces. The reason for that is meditation!
When your child focuses their mind on their picture, they are meditating! Meditation is focusing on what you want, for the amount of time that you want to focus on it.
Children are usually pretty good at keeping their focus on their coloring, which is why they don’t hear when you repeatedly call their name! Coloring mandalas is a great meditation activity for every little artist in your family.
A mandala is a pattern inside of a circle and can range from a simple picture to a complex pattern, so even the youngest family member can participate. Mandalas can be easily printed online or even purchased as children’s coloring books.
You could also try a guided meditation. Guided meditations are a wonderful way to focus your mind, relax your body, and even help you to drift off to sleep.
These recordings where you listen to someone’s voice guide you through a relaxing script or story aren’t just soothing for you, but for your children, too!
Search through your favorite music and podcast apps to see the selections of guided meditations available to you. Then snuggle up with your babies and a cozy blanket for a relaxing meditation session.
Now You’re Ready to Do Children’s Yoga at Home With Your Kids!
Now that you have some tricks up your sleeve, you can easily and confidently begin practicing yoga at home with your little ones.
Just remember to keep it simple and have some fun, and soon, you will all be reaping the benefits of this wonderful practice!