By Gabrielle Rosetti
Children are natural masters of yoga. They’re flexible, creative, open to trying new things without fear of failing, and they adore movement. They also have a sharp memory and love music. Here are five ways you can start incorporating yoga into your child’s day:
Good morning routine: Here’s a mini sun salutation for you to do with your child in the morning. Reach up the sky both arms and say, “Hi, sun!” Reach down to the ground and say, “Hi, earth!” Stretch out into high plank pose and say, “Hi, plank.” Walk your feet closer to your hands to come into downward dog pose (your body will look like an upside down “v”) and say, “Downward dog! Woof woof!” Walk your feet all the way to your hands and slide your arms up to the sky. You can repeat this and take turns leading if there’s more than one child in your family.
Shimmy, Shimmy before breakfast: Kira Wiley’s “The Shimmy” is a proven favorite. Your child can dance to the music and follow the yoga movements that Kira sings in the song. Press play in the kitchen and let your child dance while you get breakfast ready. Join in for your own burst of positive vibes.
Storytime: Do you read a book before bedtime? Choose books with animals and nature (think mountains, sunshine, waterfalls) and teach your child the poses as you read. Ask him or her to create a pose for one of the story characters. Here’s a great resource that outlines animal and nature yoga poses for kids!
Bedtime: Relaxation pose (savasana) is an awesome pose for children to start to calm their bodies right before bed, and is the beginning stage of meditating.
Yoga flash cards: We have flashcards for math facts, so why not use them for yoga poses, too? You can buy yoga flashcards or make your own. I bought a yoga cat calendar and laminated both sides to make yoga cat flashcards. Get creative! Keep the cards handy and pull them out before or after dinner, during snack time, or even while you wait at the bus stop.
Story courtesy of susancabana.com.