How to Teach Kids Yoga
Simple Yoga Poses for Children
This comprehensive guide for kids yoga combines the Yoga for Kids Part 1 and Part 2 articles into one article for easy reference, linking and bookmarking. Also, if you are keen on becoming a certified yoga instructor I invite you to join my affordable and popular Online Yoga Teacher Training and Certification Program.
In the articles Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos and How to Raise Enlightened Children, I provided some nice easy meditation techniques for children and also, we discussed how to approach raising exceptional children. Now I would like to give you another awesome tool for helping raise your children so that they can achieve their maximum potential in this life, and the tool is of course none other than Kids Yoga.
Before jumping in, I would like to thank my teacher under whom I studied and was certified for teaching Kids Yoga: Shakta Kaur Khalsa.
Since there are a lot of kids yoga poses I want to share with you, I have broken this topic down into a series of articles. Here in part 1 of this series, I will present some standing kids yoga poses and also go over the guidelines and benefits of kids yoga.
It is a good idea to be familiar with the general guidelines for yoga and kundalini yoga practice and you can get those details is the following 2 articles:
Guidelines for Kids Yoga:
I have gone over the guidelines and benefits of kids yoga in the article, Yoga for Kids Guidelines and Benefits, but am going to include this information in this article as well, so you can access it all in one place.
- Children under 6 you can do up to 1 minute / exercise. The total time for the kids yoga session can be up to 15 minutes.
- Children 6 and above can do up to 1 1/2 minutes / exercise and the kids yoga session can last up to 25 minutes.
- Encourage the child to do the pose correctly, along with the breathing, but don’t force perfection. Use lots of positive reinforcement to help the child learn and improve.
- Take frequent little breaks in between, during which encourage meditation and being still. Breaks after strenuous exercises is a must.
- Always demonstrate the posture or exercise, rather than try to just explain it. Use this technique even when trying to correct their poses.
- Encourage the children to practice with their eyes closed when so indicated by the exercise. This will teach them the profound art of looking and feeling what is happening within them.
- Remember even kids need to warm-up before doing vigorous yoga.
- Kids tummies should also not be full when doing yoga.
- Never compare the children with each other.
- Start them off with joining you towards the end of your yoga practice. This is one of the best ways to inspire kids to start yoga.
Benefits of Childrens Yoga:
- Builds their confidence and self-esteem.
- Improves their powers of concentration and focus.
- Develops their brain and intellect.
- Excellent for their bodies and health. Promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and strength.
- Helps them cope with stress and difficult emotions.
- Develops their creativity and imagination.
- Sharpens and expands their awareness.
- Helps them develop calmness.
Tips to Help Teach Children Yoga:
The most important things to remember with kids yoga is to keep it fun, keep it open and keep it simple. Below you will find a collection of kids yoga poses, demonstrated by my son Shivum when he was about four and a half. The poses are for you to use in designing your yoga sets for the children.
There are many fun ways to encourage the children to learn and do yoga and here a few ideas for doing this. Let your creative juices flow, I am certain many more good ideas will come to you as well.
- Imaginative stories are some of the best ways to teach yoga to kids. A trip through the jungle, etc, are a perfect way to incorporate doing the poses as you journey onwards. Do cobra, bear, tree mountain, etc, as you come across these in your story.
- Follow the leader is another great way to get kids to be creative and do the yoga poses. You can lead and do your favorite poses, and then the kids can lead turn by turn doing theirs.
- Yoga shows are great too and kids love nothing more than having your attention as they can put on a show of all the yoga they have learned.
Kids Yoga Poses:
Standing Kids Yoga Poses:
Kids Yoga Pose #1:
Yoga Archer’s Pose:
Good for mental focus, confidence and energy. Also, good when the prince has to hit the target to free the princess . Get more details of this excellent pose here: Kundalini Yoga Archer’s Pose.
Kids Yoga Pose #2:
Yoga Mountain Pose:
Stand up nice and tall and reach up high in the sky with your palms together. Journey to the Himalayas anyone? Good for stretching the whole body and expanding one’s energies.
Kids Yoga Pose #3:
Yoga Tree Pose:
Here is an article with gives all the details you need for this great pose: Yoga Tree Pose for Balance. Good for building balance and agility. Also good for the brain development and concentration.
Kids Yoga Pose #4:
Sri Rama Pose:
Well here is Shivum doing a pose that he wanted to do, even though it is not part of the traditional schools of hatha or kundalini yoga. It is the pose that Sri Rama takes when he is giving his blessings to others. Never to early to learn about giving and devotion.
Kids Yoga Pose #5:
Yoga Jumping Jacks:
Jumping Jacks are great for kids in many ways. They not only help develop coordination and strength, but they also help develop the brain and concentration. Start in mountain pose and then jump to the pose shown below and then jump and return to mountain pose.
(originally part 2 of the kids yoga series, is appended below with minimum modifications)
Yoga for Kids
Children’s Yoga Exercises
Below, I am going to give you tons more kids yoga poses, along with their overall benefits, which you can use to design your own yoga sets for children. Also, please note that all these kids yoga poses are great for adults too , and give the same benefits to you as they do for the little ones. So feel free to include them into your daily yoga practice as well.
A great way for to encourage kids to do yoga and meditation, is by showing them other children enjoying and doing that practice. That is the primary reason for having Shivum demonstrate the kids yoga poses for this series. You can find his demonstrations of kids meditations in the following article: 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos.
Kids Yoga Poses:
Floor Children’s Yoga Poses
Kids Yoga Exercise #6:
Yoga rock-n-roll is a great way to warm-up. It can also be used in between exercises, to go from positions done on one’s back to other positions which require one to sit or stand. Good for the back, spine and distribution of blood and energy throughout the system. Very good for adults too. This exercise almost always finds a way into my personal sets.
Kids Yoga Pose #7:
Yoga Bowing Pose:
Want to fee humble? Want to feel devotional? Want to show respect? Bow. Bowing is an integral part of Zen Buddhism and of course, all other traditions as well. It just shows adoration, love and respect for the higher powers in life. Yoga Bowing Pose below, perfectly encompasses this attitude. Also, useful when the Knight meets the King .
Kids Yoga Pose #8:
Yoga Baby Pose:
The pose to rest and relax in. Anytime you feel you have overdone it and need a break, assume baby pose and relax. It calms the mind and soothes the nervous system.
Kids Yoga Technique #9:
Yoga Shoulder Shrugs:
Great way to warm-up and get started is by doing yoga shoulder shrugs. It is also a great way to release stress. You can encourage kids to use this exercise anytime they feel overwhelmed by too much stress or tension. Inhale up and exhale powerfully as you lower your shoulders. The starting position and ending position of this exercise are illustrated below.
Kids Yoga Exercise #10:
Yoga Bear Walking:
This is a great kundalini yoga exercise. It will strengthen the child’s arms, shoulders, chest and legs. It will also release the hips and promote flexibility in the hip joint, which is most important to avoid injuries. The kids, of course, love crawling around like a bear. Two illustrations are below for this exercise.
Kids Yoga Pose #11:
Yoga Bridge Pose:
Yoga bridge pose if a part of the very popular Kundalini Yoga Morning Wake-up Series, which is part of the Free Online Introduction to Yoga & Meditation course here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. Bridge pose is excellent for the immune system and also, builds leg, arm, shoulder, and back strength.
Kids Yoga Position #12:
Yoga Cobra Pose:
Cobra is an excellent yoga pose which is part of all schools of yoga. It is very good for flexibility and your back. You can get lots more details about this pose from the following chapter of the Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses E-book: Cobra Pose for Healthy Back and More.
Kids Yoga Exercise #13:
Yoga Leg Lifts:
This kundalini and hatha yoga exercise is an integral part of many abdominal yoga sets. You will find it in the following set Excellent Ab Yoga Set for Shaping Stomach. It is great for building core strength and good for their little digestive systems as well.
Kids Yoga Pose #14:
Yoga Lion Pose:
Well you can just imagine the fun kids have in doing these two poses below. Adults ought to do them to. It will help you break free of your inhibitions and is a great way to detox as well. In the second pose below, have them roar like a lion. In the first pose, have them stick their tongue out as far as they can.
Kids Yoga Pose #16:
Yoga Plank Pose:
Here is Shivum doing a variation of plank pose, also sometimes considered a variation of bridge pose. It has similar benefits to forward plank pose, which I demonstrated in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book, in the following chapter Yoga Plank Pose.
Kids Yoga Exercise #17:
Kundalini Yoga Punches:
Here is another kundalini yoga exercise that the kids absolutely love to do. Punch, punch punch. Encourage them to use this exercise to break through and conquer their fears. Have them breath out forcefully as they punch out with alternating hands.
Kids Yoga Pose #18:
Yoga Spiderman Pose!!:
Sure why not? Like I mentioned, yoga with kids should be open and fun, so allow them to incorporate things they love into their practice. Here shivum is doing Spiderman, which is actually a pretty hard pose to do, and is great for opening up the groin and promoting flexibility. If they want to incorporate Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Train or Lightening McQueen into their practice, find creative ways to do so. It will help your creativity and make doing yoga more fun for them.
Kids Yoga Pose #19:
Yoga in Sink Pose:
That is just the little yogi of the family, Taran, taking a self made bath, after a tough yoga practice. .
Summary of Yoga for Kids:
This comprehensive guide should give you plenty of information as well as poses to teach your children the wonderful art of yoga. In the future, I will continue to provide more information, as well as more yoga and meditation techniques to help you raise exceptional children.
Article Series - Kids Yoga & Meditation
- 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos
- Yoga for Kids Guidelines & Benefits
- Yoga for Kids | Kids Yoga Poses - Part 1
- Yoga for Kids | 12 Excellent Children's Yoga Exercises - Part 2
- Yoga for Kids - A Comprehensive Guide to Teach Children Yoga
- Kids Yoga Benefits Making the News