23 Mar Meditation Techniques and Yoga Poses for Kids
Yoga and meditation are health-boosting practices that balance the body and mind. What better way to encourage growing kids to develop their fitness, co-ordination and confidence? Yoga provides a fun, non-competitive environment for little ones to enjoy movement-based physical exercise; meanwhile meditation promotes a sense of balance, peacefulness and mindfulness.
Today we’re seeing more and more professional yoga classes geared towards kids; yoga teachers who specialise in working with little ones will be able to guide your child through the process in a safe, fun way. However even if you’re not a yoga professional, you can enjoy plenty of fun stretches and simple poses at home with your little ones.
Five Fun & Easy Yoga Poses for Kids
Try these fun yoga postures with your kids:
- Sit with your legs crossed.
- As you breathe in, bring your palms together.
- Gently press hands against each other, straighten your back, and allow your eyes to close.
- Hold this position and breathe deeply.
Benefits: This salutation pose is relaxing and centering.
- Breathe in and stand up straight.
- Put your right leg forward. Both your knees should be straight and locked.
- Lean your body a little bit forward.
- Raise your arms upwards on either side to keep your balance.
- Lift your left leg straight out behind you.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Bring your leg down, stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
- Repeat with your other leg.
Benefits: Improves concentration and focus; helps to develop balance; strengthens the legs, chest and arms.
The Shining Star
- Breathe in and stand up straight.
- Slide your feet wide apart from each other.
- Stretch your arms out to either side.
- Hold the pose for several seconds. Take deep breaths while enjoying the full-body stretch.
Benefits: Improves balance; increases core stability; stretches the shoulders and chest; helps to release tension.
- Stand up straight and tall; breathe in and reach your arms up to the sky.
- Breathe out, and let your knees relax as your arms fall towards the floor.
- Nod your head “yes”, then shake your head “no”.
- Take deep breaths while you let your arms sink closer to the floor. See if you can reach your toes!
- When you are ready, slowly come back up until you are standing up straight.
Benefits: Relieves stress and tension; stretches the legs and back.
- Start kneeling down on the ground. Keep your back straight.
- Raise your left arm upwards and bend it on your right side.
- Keep your right arm downwards and don’t bend your right elbow.
- Hold the pose for several seconds.
- Repeat with the other arm.
Benefits: Stretches the arms, the abdominals and the chest; strengthens the spine; helps to relieve stress.
Tips for Teaching Your Kids about Yoga
Breathe, breathe, breathe!
Breath is the key to successful yoga and meditation. Encourage kids to notice their breathing and use it as a way to anchor their body and mind.
Make up your own fun names for the poses, and songs or stories to go along with them. This is a great opportunity for you to “play” and give your imagination some exercise.
This time should be all about creating a fun, healthy way for your kids to exercise and express themselves. There’s no “end goal”, so just relax and enjoy it.
Practice as you teach
Practice the poses and techniques along with your children, rather than simply instructing them. They’ll be encouraged to follow your examples; and you’ll get a gentle workout while enjoying fun family time.
Meditating with Kids
Meditation is a great tool that can help children to learn about relaxation, mindfulness and self-control. Here are a few key tips for introducing younger children to meditation.
Keep it Short, Keep it Simple
Keep in mind your little one’s attention span; sitting in silence for 30-40 minutes just isn’t an option! Limit meditation to shorter sessions, and focus on quality over quantity.
(A Little Bit of) Silence is Golden
Introduce the idea of quiet meditation by dedicating a little time every day to be spent in silence. Turn it into a game, and break the silence with a big hug, laughter or a favourite song.
Singing & Chanting
Whether it’s a mantra, a song or an affirmation, chanting or singing while meditating is great for kids (and grown-ups!) who struggle with silent meditation.
This is perfect for bedtime meditation. Get your little ones to lie down, close their eyes and talk them through relaxing their body one part at a time – right down to the tips of their fingers and toes. Get creative – you can ask them to imagine that fairy dust is being sprinkled on each area of their body as they relax and unwind. A great way to encourage sweet dreams.
The Magic Mat Yoga & Relaxation Set for Children
We’re so excited to introduce the beautiful Magic Mat to our online store’s yoga and meditation range. This cute star-patterned, non-slip mat comes with a book and DVD set that introduces children ages 5-12 to simple yoga poses and meditation/ relaxation techniques. This is a beautiful gift for kids and grandkids, helping them to develop physical fitness and emotional wellness.