One of the best parts about yoga is how versatile and approachable it is for any audience. There’s yoga for pregnant women, disabled yogis, competitive athletes, and everyone in between—and by everyone, we mean your kids, too!
Yoga is great for kids in many of the ways it’s beneficial for adults. It can help calm them, practice mindfulness, stretch, and build physical strength. Next time you set out for a solo class, consider taking your little one along for some time in down-dog together! Or, you can try rolling out a few mats at home and practicing these five great yoga postures for kids.
1. Downward-facing dog. Great for stretching out the backs of little legs, downward-facing dog is also a good shoulder strengthener for kids. While in this pose, they’ll love being told to shake their head “no” and nod “yes,” because they’ll not only understand the motion, but also relieve any neck tension.
2. Happy laughing baby. Kids love this pose for more than just the silly name. It’s playful, easy, and offers a great lower back stretch. Just make sure to tell them to keep their lower back on the floor to avoid rolling all over.
3. Tree pose. This posture is great for kids because it gets them to imagine the shape of their own tree. Tell them to grow their tree, using their arms as branches. For a fun bonus challenge, they can try to balance with their eyes closed.
4. Airplane pose. This is the easiest airplane travel you’ve ever done with kids! No luggage, no delays, just both arms out and one leg up. You can tell your little ones to blast off with one foot on the mat and to reach their arms out like airplane wings. Of course, you’ll have to make the descent just as fun…
5. Lotus pose. Lying flat on their bellies, tell your kids to clasp their hands together behind their backs. This may be a new feeling and motion for them, considering we don’t spend much of the day on our stomachs, facing the ground. This pose is a great heart opener, as well as a mini backbend.
Have fun with it—if you make your child’s first experience with yoga a positive one, he or she will not only reap the benefits of practice, but you’ll probably score a little yogi sidekick as well!