So, as a follow on to my post on the benefits of yoga for kids, here are 10 easy poses (asanas) to do with your little one. Say “Ohm….”
In yoga, we move as we breathe. For example, we stretch on the inhale and relax on the exhale. The Sunrise/Sunset pose is a good all-over warm-up for any activity. 1. Stand up tall. Take three to five deep breaths. 2. On the next inhale, lift your arms above your head. Press your legs and feet down toward the ground and stretch your spine and waist toward the sky. 3. As you exhale, bend the upper half of your body at your waist down toward your legs, as if you were diving into a pool. Bend your knees a little at first, to avoid straining your back. Bend as far as you comfortably can. As you inhale again, open your arms wide and stand up slowly, stretching your arms to the sky. 4. Repeat this six to 10 times. As you inhale and stretch, think of the glowing, rising sun. As you exhale and fold, think of the setting sun. These two work together to mark the passing of the day.
1. Stand up straight and tall. Breathe in and out and feel your legs reaching toward the ground and your head reaching toward the sky. Look at one spot in front of you to keep your eyes steady. 2. Now lift your right leg by bending your knee. Breathe evenly, looking at one spot in front of you. Place your right leg on your left leg, above the knee (or below the knee if that’s more comfortable). Imagine roots growing from your left foot into the ground. Let your left leg be strong like the trunk of the tree. Now stretch your arms up like branches. Don’t worry if you start to fall; just smile and start again from the beginning. 3. Breathe in and out while in the Tree pose. When you are ready to come down, lower your arms, place your right leg on the ground, and stand in the Mountain pose. Then try the Tree pose on the other side.
Ideas: Teach the Tree pose to some friends. You can all stand together in the Tree pose and make a forest. What would a tree in the wind look like? Can you make your roots and trunk steady while the branches are blowing? Try cutting a tree shape out of a paper. Glue it onto another piece of colored paper. You can cut leaves out of newspaper.
1. Sit on the floor and place the soles of your feet together. Hold on to your feet or ankles, and let your knees drop toward the floor. Sit up with a tall spine. 2. Imagine that you are a butterfly with beautiful wings stretching out from your spine and with long antennae reaching out from your head.
Ideas: Make a butterfly painting. Fold a piece of paper in half and then draw the same design on both sides, for the wings. Color or paint the designs and cut out the butterfly. Put a string on it and hang it from the ceiling, and watch the butterfly move in the breeze.
4. Side stretch
1. Stand with your legs wide apart. Take a big breath in and stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Breathe out and relax your arms and shoulders, but keep your arms at shoulder height. 2. Now turn your feet toward the right side. Breathe in and bend your right knee as you breathe out. Put your right hand on the floor next to your foot and reach the left arm by your ear as if you were raising your hand in class. 3. Feel a long stretch from your left foot all the way to the tips of your left hand. Breathe in and out softly and try to feel your body stretch a little bit more with each breath. 4. Breathe in to come all the way back up to standing. Now try the Side Stretch pose on the other side.
Ideas: Imagine that you are filling up with your favorite color as you breathe in and out in the Side Stretch pose. You can imagine that you are painting one side of your body at a time as you stretch.
1. Lie down on your back with your hands on your belly. Take a breath in and breathe out slowly. Point your toes and squeeze your legs together. 2. Now prop yourself up on your elbows with your palms flat on the floor. Lift your belly and chest and let your head rest lightly on the floor. 3. Lift your chest up as if you were a fish with a colorful fin jumping up out of the water. Breathe in and out slowly. 4. Come down carefully on an exhalation. Rest on your back.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with your friends, and check out the rest of my website here (brightnbrainy.com)