Has your child become curious about yoga after watching you stretch and bend on your mat? Or are you looking for something to help your child relax and unwind after staying indoors all day during Circuit Breaker?
We know it can be hard to introduce kids to yoga in a safe, simple and enjoyable way, so we have asked yoga teachers in Singapore what are the best moves you can teach your child.
Why: An excellent pose for the mind and the body. Known to work many of the major joints, it also requires strength, balance and concentration.
How: From a grounded mountain pose, stretch arms overhead and swing the right arm under the left, bending at the elbows and trying to touch your palms together. Bend at the knees, sit the hips back, and take the right leg over the left, tapping toes to the ground for balance. Lift the chest and move elbows away from the body. Focus on drawing into the midline as you sit lower. Take a few deep breaths before returning to mountain pose and repeating on the left side.
Due to the focus of crossing limbs at the midline, it is also an excellent way to create sensory integration and prepare children for complex tasks and learning.- Jessica Davis, Pure Yoga Teacher
Why: This pose is the base of any good yoga class, and it’s manageable for even the smallest yogis.
How: Begin on all fours in tabletop position and tuck the toes under, press into little hands and lift the hips towards the sky.
Allow kids to wiggle it out and “walk their dog” by alternately straightening and bending each leg at the knee and pressing opposite heels towards the earth. - Jessica Davis, Pure Yoga Teacher
This position is particular good for children for are easily restless as it calms their thoughts and helps release stress. - Platinum Yoga
Why: It allows children to go a little wild while still fully under control, and they love pretending to be animals.
How: Open up the face and mouth and start roaring like a lion with its tongue out!
It relieves tension from the chest, wakes up your face and lightens up a practice.- Crystal Li, Pure Yoga Teacher
Why: Any pose that has an animal name is wonderful because it conjures playful, relatable imagery that helps yoga feel more like playtime.
How: While on their hands and knees, walk them through dropping their belly and looking up for Cow Pose, and then arching their back like an angry cat for Cat Pose.
Once they master this fluid motion, start to incorporate the breath. Encourage them to breathe in with each Cow, and out with each Cat. - Platinum Yoga
Why: A good upper body stretch that allows children to focus on themselves without looking around.
How: This variation of Child's Pose where the tailbone is raised high above the heels is a wonderful stretch for the back and shoulders.
While looking down at their mat and not at the other children in the room, or any other distractions around, it’s easier for kids to focus inwards and settle down.- Platinum Yoga
Why: This challenging pose keeps kids engaged as they have to engage all the muscles in their body to not fall down. Have a challenge and see who can stay balanced for the longest time!
How: Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart. Bend both knees slightly and lift one leg up. Bring the lifted leg straight facing the back. Try to keep the lifted leg parallel to the ground. Keep their hands beside their hips or reach forward.
Balancing on one leg, kicking the other behind them, and extending both arms like wings, kids can imagine they are flying high over their city, or wherever they wish to be. - Platinum Yoga
Why: Teaching Tree Pose to children is a beautiful way of showing them their own inner strength and focus.
How: Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart. Lift one foot up and place it on the upper thigh of the opposite leg with their toes facing down. They can use their hands to pull the foot up. Bring the hands together in front of the chest or reach above the head if they can balance. Focus the eyes on one point and stay for a few breaths.
As we describe the deep roots of a tree, we help kids to stand tall and proud, reminding them that they are strong, wonderful individuals. As we lead them through the balancing portion by pressing the sole of one foot into the inside of the standing leg, we show them how focus and determination bring great rewards.- Platinum Yoga
Why: A fun backbend for little yoga stars that opens up the chest, strengthens the lower back and tones the legs.
How: Start by lying face down with hands along the side of the body. Bend the knees, bringing their heels close to their bum, and hold the ankles with their hands from the outside. Kick the feet up and pull the chest away from the ground.
Try to keep the pose for a few steady breaths and gently release.- Jessica Davis, Pure Yoga Teacher
Why: With a number of variations, this pose is a great offering for children of all ages and levels of experience.
How: Sitting on their mat with their feet a foot or so in front of them, have your child place their hands behind them and point their toes until they barely touch the mat. Then, they can play with lifting their feet off the mat and raising their arms to reach out in front of them.
The challenge here is to keep breathing — just as we need to learn to breathe through a difficult situation.- Platinum Yoga
Why: While many kids are resistant to napping and can find it hard to lay still, especially when their friends are nearby, this pose is so important for everyone to incorporate into their yoga practice.
How: Have your child lie flat on their back with their arms and legs gently spread. Have them close their eyes and relax their muscles. Lay still and let the body rest for 3-5 minutes. They can also lie on they chest (as shown above) if they feel like it!
From this relaxing position, it is the perfect time to introduce breathing exercises to children. Just like the names of the poses themselves, there are plenty of kid-friendly breathing games that help them slow down, connect with themselves, and help them learn to listen to their bodies.- Platinum Yoga
As you can see, yoga has many wonderful benefits for your child, from strengthening their muscles, learning to stay focused, or to practice keeping calm. These exercise would help train their body and mind for real life situation that may be stressful and difficult. They younger they start yoga, the earlier they would learnt how to handle stress and the importance of keeping their bodies healthy! Keep calm and have fun!