Friday, March 8, 2013

Kid friendly yoga - how to do yoga with toddlers

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Are there are any sports or other activities that are valued/enjoyed by you but difficult to do now that you've got children? I did a pregnancy yoga routine throughout both my pregnancies, which I'm sure helped to keep (some) aches and pains away, aid my flexibility and just maintain my general wellbeing. I struggle to keep it up now though... go figure!

Well, I thought I'd try a few fun yoga poses with Miss Daisy this week as our gymnastics class hasn't been on for a few weeks. She loves to balance and her gross motor skills are constantly improving. So I figured a little kid friendly yoga every few days was a good idea!

I decided to make it a little bit fun and choose animals or other 'things' to represent each of our yoga poses. This made it easy for her to picture the pose and she was happy to hold or repeat the pose over and over. Doing yoga with your kids is also a fabulous listening activity as children follow instructions and move their body into position as instructed!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Giraffe: Miss Daisy loves to point out how tall giraffes are when she's reading books or playing with toys. To do the giraffe pose. Spread your legs shoulder width apart, place one hand on knee and stretch the other hand high up in the air over your head like a giraffe eating leaves from a tree! Repeat on the opposite side.
We made up this cute poem too - hold the pose for the length of the poem:
Giraffes are lucky that they're so tall,
They make me feel very small,
Reaching up toward the sky,
They grab the leaves from way up high!

Hermit Crab: This is traditionally called child's pose. And is used as a resting pose in yoga. Have your toddler keep nice and still. Then ask them to wriggle certain parts of their body. Fingers. Toes. Bottom. Then return to resting. A good way to start or finish your yoga fun.

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With KidsJust For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Sailing Ship: Miss Daisy loves Justine Clarke's If I Had An Aeroplane song and is particularly fond of making a sailing ship with her hands as a mast. We used the window sill to assist with balance. Miss Daisy made a mast with her arm stretching up high. And a sail with one leg bent at the knee and foot resting on the opposite knee. To add a little extra balance testing, move the 'sail' forward and backward as though blowing in the wind!

Seal Pose: This is a lovely light stretch on the back. Your child will probably be easily able to do this with their hands on the ground as Miss Daisy is above. For yourself you may like to modify and just have your elbows/forearms on the ground if it's too big a stretch on your back. Boy kids are flexible!
Lay on stomach and come up onto forearms, then slowly come up onto hands keeping arms relatively straight. Spread your legs out wide like a seals tail. Making seal noises is always fun!!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With KidsJust For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Digging Dog: A well know yoga pose is the downward facing dog. This is great for balance and strengthening. Have your child hold this pose for 30 seconds or more, then move into the hermit crab pose. You could also have them pretend to dig like the digging dog!

Flamingo: Basically the same as our sailing ship pose. This time Miss Daisy told me she was a flamingo. She's enjoyed learning to stand on one leg lately!

Roaring Lion: An easy pose. Have child kneel then sit back on their feet. Spread knees out wide and put hands on knees. Roaring like a lion is optional but lots of fun!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Child's Pose: :) This is the true child's pose. The one where she was ready to stop! :-) 

You could ask your child to create a few poses of their own based on their favourite animals or other parts of nature, a tree blowing in the breeze, a starfish, etc.
You could also play a game of 'Simon Says' style yoga, where you instruct your child on the pose to do and they move into that post independently. This is great once they know the poses here or ones you've created yourself! :)

I'd love to know if you give our fun kids yoga a try! Leave a comment below and don't forget to follow along on facebook, instagram or Google + for all the latest from us! :-)