More and more people are seeing first-hand how yoga benefits children. It thrills me that education centres and schools are recommending this self-care practise and the most amazing thing is, our kids and youth absolutely love it! There is no expensive equipment and you can take your practice anywhere.
Although teaching kids’ yoga is a little different to teaching adults the outcome remains the same – moving our bodies while connecting to our breath to find our calm. Being a yoga therapist, specialising in children and youth mind-body health, most mornings I have the privilege of guiding children into fun & active classrooms of calm with hrt kids’ yoga & Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – tapping) school programs.
If yoga is not available at your school or nearby, it is quite simple to bring this self-care practise into your child’s life at home. Most story books can be turned into a great yoga adventure. Animal figurines can be used as props, as most yoga poses are based on animals or shapes. To bring breath work into these poses and props, encourage your kids to make the animal sounds with inhalations and exhalations of breath. You will soon find yourself on the floor roaring like a lion, hissing like a snake on your belly, feeling your own stresses melt away with the fun and benefits of letting go of your ego.
The movements or poses in yoga are so much more than just stretching, When we turn our bodies into balancing bears, downward puppy dogs, and cranky cats through a kids yoga sequence, this helps our kids regulate their breathing and stimulate their immune and circulatory systems, which in turn helps our kids balance emotion and learn to navigate their mind-body connection.
Over the last 10 years there has been a massive shift in society’s perception of mindfulness. Nowadays, it’s not only education centres and schools inviting yoga, meditation and mindfulness into the classrooms, health care professionals are recommending these practices as kind and positive activities for our children to benefit from appreciating the impact of these therapies on our kids and social future.
I absolutely love watching all kids gain confidence in their poses. The shy kids are soon opening and participating freely, and the louder kids are finding their calm through breath and relaxation.
Yoga is a non-competitive activity that brings smiles on faces and kids together.
I have been teaching kids yoga on the Gold Coast QLD Australia for some years now in many education centres, yoga festivals and meditation workshops. I have taught well over 1000 kids about the magical world of yoga and its therapies with “hrt your space and hrt kids yoga” in school yoga + EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) programs.
Here is a little snippet of a child friendly daily ritual that you can facilitate with your tribe at home or wherever you may be…
Start your day with rainbow breathing by letting your arms arch up and down over head like a rainbow. Now, breathing in and out as our arms rise and fall, let you and your child’s imagination run wild on a magic yoga mat ride. It all starts with a hello sun & friends sun salutation!
So, pop on your favourite song stamp your feet to ground yourself,
- Stretch up high and say hello to the new day, (mountain pose (sanskrit) “Tadasana”)
- Fold down and tickle your toes and thank your yesterday, (forward bend “Uttanasana”)
- Squat down like a frog on a log and open those hips, (squatting pose “Malasana”)
Kick your feet back to a plank and feel strong, (plank pose “Phalaskasana”)
Pop your belly on the ground like a snake, (Cobra pose “Bhujangasana”)
Lift your upper body and head up and see the beauty of possibility in this new day and new sun rise
Now stretch up into downward puppy dog and “woof woof!!” (Downward facing dog pose “Adho mukha svanasana”)
It is time to let go and wag that booty tail because you just started your day to a kid friendly and fun salute to the sun or sun salutation (“Surya Namaskar”)
Slowly walk your feet to the top of your mat and gently roll on up to standing with your feet firmly on the ground and your head the last to reach the air in mountain pose (standing pose).
I am sure now your face is smiling, and your body is shining ready to start your day – repeat as necessary or until your chosen song comes to an end…
There are so many layers to what yoga is about, we are the universe and the universe is in us, yoga brings connection to everything and all living things, it is the beaker of light and life force, it’s a self-care practise that lets everybody shine in unison. There is reason why it works so well for both adults and children alike. It is a pure universal superpower of compassion, love, peace and it sparkles kindness in all it touches.
I am Peace – I am Love – I am Kindness
Namaste Miss Yogi Hayley
Hayley is the owner and facilitator of hrt. your space & hrt. kids yoga “The Loveliest Little Clinic of Calm” located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Hayley is a Certified 370hr Yoga & Meditation Teacher – Yin Therapy, an Ayurveda Specialist, as well as an Eft (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Reiki Practitioner. She also specialises in Applied Kinesiology and is a student in Mental Health.
Wonderful article and information. My daughter is 3 but since the age of 1 she’s been doing yoga poses with my sister and I. I ordered her the kids yoga mat & can’t wait for it to arrive she’s going to be over the moon.
💕Loved reading this post by beautiful Hayley. Great info, not just for the little kids but for us BIG kids as well 💕