Yoga is becoming more and more common in schools, and for good reason: the physical and mental benefits are endless! Having had the International Day of Yoga on June 21, what better time to share the best child-friendly moves for mini yogis?
UPWARD FACING DOG
This isn’t just a great stretch for your tummy, arms and back – upward facing dog also strengthens your spine, arms and wrists, assists with organ function, improves posture and can even help to relieve depression and fatigue. To do upward facing dog, have your child lay flat on their stomachs, place their hands directly below their shoulders and press their arms up straight with their chests out.
This modification of mermaid pose is perfect for children – especially if they’re mermaid-obsessed! Have them sit on the floor with their right leg bent in front of them and their left leg bent behind them. Have them lift their right hand up to the sky, rest their other hand on their left leg and look up to the sky while taking some deep breathes before switching legs.
This active and energising pose lengthens muscles and helps improve circulation, balance and posture. Think of this one like a frozen star jump – all they need to do is stand with feet apart and stretch their arms out straight. To master star pose, have your child keep their toes pointed and their weight even in both their feet, lengthen their spine and breathe deeply.
This might just be one of our favourite yoga moves – it’s so great for stretching! All your child needs to do for ragdoll pose is stand with their feet underneath their hips then bend forward at the hips, keeping their legs straight. Encourage them to relax their necks, let their arms dangle (like a ragdoll!) and take long, deep breaths. This offers a great stretch through the hamstrings, upper back, shoulders and neck.
For a great hip stretch, you can’t go past frog pose. Have your child stand with their feet slightly apart, then bend their knees and place their hands on the floor between their feet. To take this pose to the next level, your child could straighten their legs, keeping their hands on the floor, and bend them again – and repeat!