If you're passionate about yoga, you probably wanted to share the benefits of yoga with your child. Luckily, the little ones are very receptive to yoga, and they love to practice with us. But then again, a children's yoga class is nothing like an adult class. You will have to adapt your practice a little bit. It's perfect for your parent-child session at home, you'll find lots of laughter, play and freedom! Need some inspiration to conduct your first children's yoga class at home? To help you, I am sharing with you today dozens of ideas for easy-to-practice children's yoga postures.
Yoga posture for children: a few tips before getting on the mat
Our children are active all the time. Between school, homework, daycare or family activities, their week's agenda is often very full. As a result, they often have little room left for quiet moments. Yoga therefore offers an exceptional interlude in their daily life. Indeed, the practice of yoga consists above all in refocusing and relaxing. Done as a family, yoga sessions for children also bring a real moment of laughter and complicity. In yoga, we are not looking for performance and even less to follow precise rules. Therefore, all the content of this article is a simple guide to help you create your children's yoga sessions. Let your child take a different path from what you have planned, and let your own creativity guide you as well.
Children's yoga needs to be fun. Children love the names of animals and are happy to replicate the positions you show them. They like to be told stories, to think of themselves as fabulous characters, or to do exercises with their partner. As you will see, the children's yoga postures that I am sharing with you today are described in a fun and playful way, because they will serve above all as guidelines for your child. My goal today is above all to pass on metaphors that will please your children!
Children's yoga postures to gently wake up the body
To start a yoga session with your child, the body needs to wake up a little. The muscles need to warm up so that they don't hurt themselves in the different postures. Also, we are always caught up in worries and things to do and our children are no exception either. Their minds are just as busy as yours. This beginning of the session allows you to take a moment to release your tensions and refocus.
You can start your session with a few warm-ups:
- The great cold (winter): You can imagine a freezing wind pointing at the end of your nose. It is very very cold in the room. We shake with all our body. We shake, our arms tremble. And then, we tighten all the muscles of the body in big bursts. Slowly, we exhale, we blow to relax the whole body, we roll our shoulders backwards and we relax completely. Phew, the cold is gone. And then, one starts again...
- The fruit juice (summer): We imagine that we shake ourselves in all directions as if to shake the pulp of the fruit juice. Here again we shake the muscles briskly, we contract them for a few seconds and suddenly, we blow, to relax the body, and make the juice flow to the tips of our fingers. The two arms slacken on each side of the bust, one is motionless in Tadasana. We can start again a few times.
Dynamic movements to awaken the body
- The heat stroke: We rub our hands together to create warmth. Then, we place our hands on the top of our head and press gently with our fingers as if we were washing our hair. And then we place our hands on the cheeks and we press or rub different areas of our face gently as if we were washing our hair. One massages the ears quietly with the fingertips, the end of the nose with the palm of the hand, the nape of the neck and the shoulders. One feels well, one breathes. And then, one still heats his hands very strongly one against the other, and one puts them on the belly a few moments. We can make circles on the belly with the palm of the hand as when we have eaten well. We take advantage of the heat for a few moments, we can close our eyes.
- Wake up of the body: One massages gently the face, the shoulders, the nape of the neck. Then, we tap gently with the flat of the hand on the arms to awaken the energy inside, on the left then on the right. One taps as if one wanted to sprinkle them with millions of sequins. Here, we gently massage the belly, the hips and the thighs, we tap the legs and zoo to the feet! One goes up slowly by small massages of the legs again and one massages with the end of his fingers all his back to slacken completely the tensions of the back.
Ideal yoga postures for children to begin yoga and to relax.
After awakening the body, one can choose to pick from these few postures, inspired by classical Hatha-Yoga. In any case, one is not obliged to do all these postures in one session or to perform them perfectly. Stay open to your child's desires and what feels most natural to you.
• The standing clamp: you take a deep breath "Aaah!". your arms go up and you exhale "Oooh" your arms go to the ground.
• The cat: on all fours, the cat digs the back saying Meow, the belly stretches and it rounds the back while exhaling. Start again.
• The butterfly: seated, the feet are glued together, the thighs open on each side like the wings of a butterfly. We shake our legs gently like a butterfly taking flight.
• Rocking the baby: Feet at the width of the hips, we plunge down releasing all the tensions of the back. We catch the elbows in the hands and we rock our baby from right to left singing a little song ("Fais dodo...").
• The pink flamingo: we put ourselves on one leg, we put the right foot inside the knee or thigh. The hands are stretched out above the head. Like a pink flamingo, one listens and one remains on the lookout (of its breathing for example, of the calm which surrounds us...).
• The snake: we lie down on the belly like snakes and we put our arms flat in front of us. The elbows are parallel to the shoulders. We straighten up like a snake by raising the bust. Hop, we pull the tongue, we breathe deeply and we lie down again on the belly. Here, we can take a moment to breathe, to relax.
Salutation to the sun - Children's Yoga Version
At the front of the carpet, one stretches the arms towards the sky and joins the hands above the head, to catch a butterfly. We take our butterfly delicately in our tightened hands, and we are going to put it on our feet by diving forwards. We release the back towards the front.
The hands separate, the butterfly flies away and we put the hands flat in front of our feet. We look between the knees to see if we find our butterfly. And then, we look straight ahead, back straight with our hands on our knees to look for our precious butterfly.
Then, we sit down like a frog, the legs are slightly apart, the buttocks do not touch the ground. "Frog! "We take a leap. The frog jumps forward with the help of his hands. Then we open our left arm to the side to go and greet the butterfly. We open our torso, the right hand is still glued on the carpet, flat in front of our feet. And we open the right arm on the side, to go say hello to the butterfly. The left hand is again in front of the feet.
We put both hands in front and we will turn into a dog by raising our buttocks (posture of the dog upside down). The legs are stretched out, the feet planted in the ground, we look at the navel. And hop, we become a little frog again. We look between our hands, and we jump with our hands and feet together. "Frog! ». We put both feet on the ground, and we get up by raising our arms on each side of the bust up to the sky. We join our hands above our head, we catch our butterfly again, and we come to put it against our heart, our hands joined against our chest.
Your child's attention during yoga postures: a challenge to put into perspective
Your child's attention span will certainly be quite short during a yoga session. But don't worry, he doesn't need to do all the postures in order to receive the benefits of this practice. Yoga is a friendly moment, which should be done with joy and pleasure. It is also a moment where the child is free. Indeed, many rules are imposed in your child's life. His bedtime and wake-up time, his program of the day for example...
Children's yoga is therefore often a small parenthesis of freedom. A moment when he can be and do what he wants (without putting himself in danger of course). Also, he may want to change his posture regularly, to touch you, to stop, to change mats... All this is completely normal. Don't necessarily reframe him, but on the contrary, let him explore his desires, his feelings and his creativity.
In the same way, it is often he who will determine the duration of the session according to his attention. Your child is always trying to do the best he or she can. Sharing a friendly moment with you is something that is very important to him. So, take these moments very lightly and don't cultivate too many expectations towards him in your yoga moments. "There is nothing to do, no one to please, just to be. »
Relaxation: the most important moment in children's yoga postures
At the end of the session, once a few children's yoga postures have been completed, it is important to take a moment to relax. Relaxation is never ignored during adult yoga sessions. What do we do during relaxation? Well, you lie on your back, you concentrate on your breathing, sometimes you stretch, you become aware of your body... It's up to you to invent a ritual that you'll like or simply do nothing at all, lying on your back with your child, just take a moment here to relax. This relaxation can end with a big group hug!
Just before this moment, you can also set up small breathing exercises with your child. For example, lying on your back, put a tennis ball (or other) on your child's stomach. On inhalation, you should make the ball go up, and on exhalation, the ball goes down slowly. "You inhale, you inflate the stomach, the ball goes up. This allows you to learn abdominal breathing, which is ideal for sleep and relaxation.
Children's yoga is an ideal practice to do as a family, at any age. With this guide, you now have everything you need to create a session with adapted children's yoga postures. Soon, your child will be able to feel all the benefits and I'm sure you will too. These parent-child yoga moments will soon be your favorite ritual once you get out of work.