Yoga for Kids!
Do you have any little ones in your life? What better gift than to introduce them to the practice of yoga? Kids these days are under a lot of stress, and sometimes adults are not aware of that. If we can give them tools to deal with this stress, they will live healthier and happier lives – both now and in the future! (Not to mention this may lead to fewer tantrums for you to deal with…) Teaching the kids in your life yoga not only enhances their lives, it can also be a bonding experience you share. Yoga and meditation can be fun and playful, and they will enjoy showing off what they have learned.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Teach them simple pranayama, such as nadi shodhana, “blowing out the candle” (clasp hands with index fingers together pointing up a few inches in front of your mouth, and pretend you are blowing out a candle), and the cooling breath (breathing through a rolled tongue). Explain that they can use these practices any time they feel upset or just want to relax.
- Tell a story as you teach. Pretend that you are at a farm or in a jungle, for example. Teach kids poses such as cat, downward dog, cow, and cobra, and ask them to imitate the animal sounds as they do the postures.
- Read yoga books with them, such as this great one by Giselle Shardlow. A few months ago I gave this book to a 9-year-old girl. She liked reading the story and imitating the poses in the pictures. Whenever I see her now, she has a new pose to share with me!
Kids are natural yogis. They love it! They enjoy getting into different shapes and portraying animals and objects. They like doing what you are doing. And they feel empowered when they can control their reactions to stress. As the awareness of its benefits grows, yoga is increasingly being offered in classrooms around the world. I hope this continues – I can only imagine how much easier my younger years would’ve been had I had this practice. And kids love teaching others what they know, so chances are if you show them some yoga tricks, they will share! That means better focus, fewer tantrums, and happier kids who will become more balanced adults.
Have you taught yoga or meditation to kids you know? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear more ideas! Have a great day!