Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yoga for Kids

I picked up this book, "I Love Yoga" at the library last week as I just started teaching a yoga class for kids and was looking for some new ideas.

There are numerous benefits to introducing yoga to your children, including:
  • Improved concentration
  • Better flexibility
  • Improved performance in other activities
  • It's fun!

I know that yoga and kids may seem like an oxymoron, as many kids (possibly your kids :) do not have the attention span to hold poses, be peaceful and meditate. 

But I assure you, it is very possible to get kids involved and interested in yoga, you just have think outside the box and be a little creative.

Here are a few ideas for some yoga activities my students really enjoy.


Breathing Balloons
To teach them about deep, abdominal breathing, I use balloons.  Each child can choose their balloon and they have to see how big they can get the balloon in just one breath.

We talk about how we want to fill our bellies up with air, just like the balloon, when we inhale and deflate the balloon when we exhale.  Then all the kids lets their balloons go!

Animal Games
Many yoga poses are named after animals (like the Cat :).  The children choose their favourite animal and move around the room to music as that animal.  When the music stops, they have to freeze in the yoga pose that their animal represents.  The kids can even invent their own poses.

Visual Relaxation
Believe it or not, this is the favourite part of the class for many of my students.  There are many different ways to introduce relaxation.  I like to get them to draw some things that make them feel calm and happy. Then, they can lay down, close their eyes and think of the images that they drew.

Have you done yoga with kids?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Stay Healthy,

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