For kids, practicing yoga can feel pure and refreshing, because their focus is more on fun than on slimming down or relieving pain. Kids especially love the yoga poses that are named after animals, including downward facing dog and cobra pose.
Downward facing dog
- Start on all fours, with hands directly underneath your shoulders and knees directly underneath your hips.
- Inhale to get ready. Then exhale, flip your toes to bring the balls of your feet into contact with the mat, and push back with your hands in order to drive your rump up to the sky.
- While in the position, feel free to add small movement to explore the pose, such as alternately pedaling the heels toward the ground.
- After exploring with small movement, come to a more stationary version of the pose, and breathe in and out fully for a few cycles. Imagine growing your spine taller toward the ceiling.
- To exit the pose, exhale and slowly bend into the knees to come to a kneeling position on the mat.
A kid-friendly bonus to cobra pose is that, if you like, you can turn your exhales into hisses.
- Begin by lying down on your belly with your forearms supporting your chest with elbows directly under your shoulders and hands out in front.
- Slowly bring your head and chest down to the mat.
- Inhale and press your hands into the mat to lift your chest and head back up. Reach up and forward with your chest.
- Take a deep breath, and hiss like a cobra to exhale.
- To exit the pose, push into the floor with your hands, walk your knees under your hips and sit back into a kneeling position.
Most kids have plenty of flexibility and energy. Sharing a few yoga poses with them is one way to use those qualities in a fun and healthy way.