5 Yoga Poses for Kids
Who says adults are the only ones that can benefit from a little time on the yoga mat? Susan Verde, author of I Am Yoga ($8, amazon.com), shares five kid-friendly poses, along with whimsical illustrations excerpted from her book. The moves, which include downward dog and the aptly-named child's pose, are targeted for children between the ages of four and 10.
Before getting into this pose, find an unmoving spot on the floor or something directly in front of you to stare at to help you balance. Begin in Mountain pose. From your mountain, lift your arms and reach out to either side, like the branches of a tree, to help you balance. Lift one foot, turning your knee out to the side, and place your foot either below the knee of the standing leg or above it. Breathing slowly in and out, bring your arms up over your head and imagine yourself growing like a tree. Slowly lower your hands to your chest, place your foot down, and repeat on the other side.
Start in Mountain pose. Bend forward and place your right hand on the ground about a hand’s length away from and slightly to the outside of your right foot. Lift your left leg behind you. Once you feel balanced, lift your left arm and reach for the sky. Breathe deeply. Look straight ahead or up at your hand. Open your body, imagining you are leaning back against a wall and expanding your chest. Put everything back on the ground on repeat on the other side.
Start on your hands and knees, with your toes curled under. Breathe in, and, as you breathe out, lift your hips in the air, straightening your legs and pressing your heels toward the floor. Push your palms into the floor, with your fingertips facing forward. Look between your knees. Wag your tail, bark, lift one leg or the other. Be playful!
Start flat on your belly, with your hands alongside your body, palms facing up. Bend your knees and reach each arm back, taking hold of the outside of each ankle. Breathe in and reach your heels toward the sky, lifting your heart and your thighs off the floor. Breathe in and out while holding this position and looking straight ahead. You may find yourself rocking back and forth as you breathe. What’s in your basket? When you are ready, release your body gently to the floor.
Start by kneeling on the floor, with the tops of your feet resting on the ground, big toes touching. Sit back on your heels, either keeping your knees together or separating them the width of your hip. Bring your head down gently to the floor in front of you. Your hands can stay by your side or your can reach them out in front of you. Breathe in and out and hold the pose as long as it is comfortable. Use this pose as a chance to relax and rest.
Reprinted with permission from I Am Yoga © 2015 Susan Verde, Abrams Books for Young Readers, a member of Abrams Books
Illustrations provided by Peter H. Reynolds