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5 Yoga Poses for Kids: Benefits of Yoga in Early Childhood

Author

Will

Posted on Apr 6, 2022

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Here at MyYogaTeacher, we believe you’re never too young to start practicing yoga! In recent years, researches have proven that children between the ages of 6-12 who practice yoga regularly have improved mental, emotional, and physical health.

Children in the 21st century don’t “have it easy.” Their “difficult” is simply different, and in some ways worse, than the childhood of older generations.

Between the rise of technology, social media, and their exposure to more and more world negativity, children today are far more exposed to things that negatively impact their mental and emotional health than those that came before them.

This makes teaching kids yoga and meditation practices at an early age all the more important!

Here, we’ll uncover 7 yoga poses for kids and how this form of physical activity benefits them in the present and future!

Not sure which kids yoga videos to choose for your mini you? Don’t choose one at all! MyYogaTeacher offers traditional, authentic yoga classes for kids, taught live by expert and highly experienced yoga teachers from India! 

Your child will have the opportunity to ask questions, get feedback, discuss problems (whether mental, emotional, or physical) while also having fun!

Grab your two-week free trial here and check out the Kids Yoga classes offered there. Plus, get two free 1-on-1 sessions with one of our yoga teachers. No credit card required! And your kiddo will love two-way live streaming with their yoga instructor from across the world!

1. Cat and Cow pose

One of the primary benefits of yoga for kids is that it calms their often overwhelmed central nervous systems. Concentrating on matching their breath with their movements also improves memory and focus while getting more oxygen rich blood going to their developing brains.

How to do it:

  1. Get in tabletop position on hands and knees.
  2. The knees should be directly below their hips, and toes curled under.
  3. Keep the wrists, elbows, and shoulders straight and perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Make sure head is in a neutral position with eyes looking at the floor.
  5. On an exhalation, arch the spine up towards the ceiling.
  6. On an inhalation, slowly round the spine and tuck the chin towards the chest.
  7. Do this for 5-10 breaths. To make it more fun, younger children can meow as they arch into cat pose and moo as the exhale into cow pose.

Benefits:

Warms up and stretches the spine, improves posture, calms the central nervous system, decreases anxiety, improves mood.

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2. Butterfly Pose

With many children in the modern world not getting the proper nutrition they need, or too much of all the wrong foods, their little digestive systems are often disrupted, causing constipation and stomach discomfort. Many yoga poses for kids, including this one, help get (and keep) their bowels moving in the right direction!

How to do it:

  1. Sit upright, spine lengthened, and legs spread out straight.
  2. Bend the knees and fold the legs so that the soles of your feet are touching each other. Hold them with your hands.
  3. On an exhale, gently press the thighs and knees in a downward motion.
  4. Begin flapping the legs up and down, like the wings of a butterfly. You can also keep them pressed down and not flap them if that’s preferred.
  5. Flapping should be slow initially and then pick up to speed. Breathing should be at a normal pace.
  6. When ready, slow down gradually and then stop.
  7. Gently release the posture while exhaling.

Benefits:

Stretches out the inner thighs, knees, and hips. Helps to regulate bowel movements and promotes intestinal health. For females, this pose can help alleviate menstrual cramping.

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3. Lion Pose

Sometimes kids just need to scream (adults too)! They’re frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, anxious, and all of those emotions need somewhere to go. This pose in particular helps them make some noise while releasing those negative thoughts and feelings they have stored up from their day.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on your knees with your hips resting on your heels.
  2. Rest your palms on your knees.
  3. Start inhaling through the nose, and simultaneously open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out.
  4. Keeping your eyes open, exhale through your mouth, and make a sound of a roaring lion (Haaa).
  5. Concentrate on looking at the tip of your nose or in the middle of your eyebrows.
  6. Repeat 5 times.

Benefits:

Stretches out the lungs, clears the throat and improves the respiratory tract. Also promotes better immunity, reduces stress and irritability, and relieves anxiety. This kids yoga pose is particularly helpful to calm hyperactive children.

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4. Bow Pose

This pose does address digestion, but, just as importantly, it’s fun! Kids need to be allowed to be kids as much and for as long as they can. Bow pose, especially if they choose to rock, is fun, boosts immunity, massages their internal organs, and will make them laugh, which releases much needed endorphins.

How to do it:

  1. Lie flat on the stomach on a yoga mat or padded flooring, and keep your arms stretched along the sides of the body, forehead resting gently on your mat.
  2. On an inhale, bend your knees bringing the feet towards the backs of your thighs or glutes.
  3. Grab your ankles, one hand for each ankle..
  4. Lift your head, shoulders, torso, legs, and hips off the floor  and look straight ahead.
  5. Hold the posture for four to five deep breaths, then lower the knees and release the feet. You may also rock gently in this position.
  6. Rest on the stomach.

Benefits:

This kids yoga pose stretches and strengthens the back, shoulders, chest, and legs - all areas that get tight and stiff during long school days of sitting. It also improves flexibility in the hip flexors and helps to regulate digestion.

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5. Cobra Pose

Kids may want to do child's pose after this one! We've dropped an image for both poses below. Kids, just like adults, are often more emotional when they're tired. Sometimes it's not physical activity that makes them tired but stress. This pose will help with both physical and mental fatigue.

How to do it:

  1. Lie face down with the tops of your feet resting flat on the floor,  palms on the floor underneath your shoulders on either side of your body 
  2. Draw your shoulders slightly back and inwards, towards the spine.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles during the pose to protect your lower back.
  4. Pressing your palms down, lift your body into the pose while keeping the chin up. Use the hands for support, but mostly use your back muscles to lift.
  5. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds or 5-10 breaths, before gently releasing the body to the floor. 
  6. Kids should pay attention to their breathing during this pose, as it’s easy to want to hold your breath.

Benefits:

Increases energy and improves fatigue, stress, and anxiety. This pose may also help manage breathing issues such as asthma. It strengthens the spine, stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen.

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Children need more than just a few yoga poses to help them stay fit, healthy, and emotionally and mentally at ease. They need a consistent yoga practice. They need tools to help them manage their big emotions and major stresses in a healthy way! 

Yoga classes for kids are on the rise for good reason. But schedules are busy and time is often limited for families today.

MyYogaTeacher offers traditional, authentic group and 1-on-1 yoga classes to people of all ages, fitness levels, and backgrounds. Our yoga instructors from India are experts in the field of yoga and guide their students on their yoga journey! Because it is a journey, not just a practice!

Not a MyYogaTeacher member? Whether you’re interested in teaching yoga, starting yoga, or growing in your yoga journey, MyYogaTeacher is a great place to do it!

When you sign up for a 1:1 membership with us you get:

  • 102 expert, highly qualified yoga instructors to choose from

  • The ability to switch instructors or take classes with only your child’s faves

  • Access to unlimited group classes, taught live

  • Personalized instruction and work out, diet, and lifestyle plans

  • To be a member of a HUGE community of happy yogis from around the world

  • Yoga teachers who become friends, who truly care about your child!

If you haven’t checked us out already, grab two free 1:1 sessions with your 2-week free trial here!

 





 

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