The ancient art of yoga is a great for the mind and body, for adults as well as kids. In fact, it is awesome for kids as it promotes neuromuscular development, improves body awareness, and offers basic stretching advantages.
In addition, it helps maintain flexibility, strengthens a growing body, enhances concentration, cultivates a relaxed state of body and mind, helps with stress management, sparks creativity in young minds, and teaches discipline and responsibility.
As a parent, if you plan to teach yoga to your kids, don’t worry about practicing it perfectly. Focus more on helping them practice gentle movements that feel comfortable to help them increase their body awareness.
Also, teach your children that yoga is not a destination; rather it is a lifetime journey that can help them lead a healthy life in coming years.
Here are the top 10 yoga poses for children.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This is a simple yet powerful yoga pose for good posture and increased height. It even strengthens the core and leg muscles as well as reduces flat feet.
This basic standing pose is a great foundation for other yoga poses.
- Stand up straight, with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart.
- Lift your toes and gently sway back and forth.
- Gradually bring the swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on your feet.
- Tighten your thigh muscles, lift your knees and pull in your belly.
- Press your shoulder blades back, widen them across and release them down your back.
- Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing deeply.
2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Chair Pose is another easy one for children to learn. When done properly and consistently, Chair Pose strengthens muscles, develops core strength, protects the knee joints from injury, improves breathing, and stretches the shoulders and chest. It is also beneficial for those with a flat feet.
- Stand in Mountain Pose with your feet slightly apart.
- Exhale and bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Extend your arms above your head, with your palms facing each other.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
- Inhale, straighten your legs and stand up straight.
- Exhale and lower your arms to your sides.
- Repeat 10 times, once daily.
In the beginning, you can have your child do this pose against a wall or lift their arms parallel to the floor instead of above their head.
3. Rag Doll Pose (Uttanasana)
This is a fantastic pose for preventing injury and your child will enjoy it just because of its name. It helps release tension in the neck and shoulders, stretches leg muscles and relieves stress. It also calms the mind and makes the child feel refreshed.
- Stand up straight, with your arms extended above your head.
- Exhale, bend your body forward and allow your arms to fall toward the floor.
- Let your knees bend slightly and gently sway your head and arms from side to side.
- Take deep breaths, allowing your arms to sink closer to the floor.
- After a few minutes, slowly roll back up to standing position.
4. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
When it comes to the best yoga poses for children, you simply cannot ignore the Child’s Pose. This is a restorative pose that helps release stress.
It also stretches the muscles of the lower back, hips and thighs. In addition, this pose has a calming effect on the central nervous system.
- Kneel down on the floor with your big toes touching together.
- Sit back on your heels, and keep your knees hip-width apart.
- Exhale and bring your chest to rest on top of your thighs.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you or tuck them in by your sides.
- Relax and breathe deeply, holding this pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
This standing balance pose requires stillness and concentration that helps calm a frustrated mind. This pose improves balance, develops concentration, stretches leg and chest muscles, and makes the thighs, calves and ankles strong to prevent injury.
- Stand up straight and tall, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right foot with both your hands.
- Place your right foot above or below your left knee (depending on your comfort level).
- Bring your hands together in salutation seal near your heart.
- Hold this pose for 5 to 8 breaths, then slowly raise your arms over your head and look up toward your hands.
- Take a few deep breaths, then return your hands to your heart and lower your right leg.
- Next, do the Tree Pose on the other leg.
Note: You can support yourself against a wall in the beginning to learn this pose.
6. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose stretches the shoulders, legs and spine while building strength throughout the body. It also relieves fatigue, rejuvenates the body, boosts immunity, aids digestion and improves circulation.
- Get on the floor on your hands and knees.
- Keep your palms flat on the floor with fingers spread out in front of you.
- Exhale, lift your knees away from the floor and lift your hips to form an upside-down V pose.
- Take deep breaths and relax your head and back of the neck.
- Hold this pose for a few minutes.
- To release, exhale and bring your knees to the floor.
- Relax in Child’s Pose for a minute, then stand up slowly.