How to Do Yoga With Your Kids — and Why You Should

Physical, emotional and mental benefits

How to Do Yoga With Your Kids — and Why You Should

Are you looking for a new way to stay connected with your children? Consider sharing a yoga class together.

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It can help you shut out the noise and make time for quiet and relaxation together. Whether you’re an accomplished yogi or a newbie yourself, yoga is a healthy and playful bonding experience for everyone.

Why yoga is good for your kids

Introducing yoga to your children helps establish healthy habits at an early age.

Yoga can enhance your child’s strength, coordination and flexibility, while encouraging body awareness and self-esteem. It can reduce your child’s anxiety and stress and promote a sense of calmness.

If they continue yoga as they grow older, your children will continue to reap the benefits, including improved:

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Self-esteem
  • Academic performance

How yoga helps your family connect

Sharing a yoga class with your child can also help deepen your connection with your children. You’re connecting movement with each breath you take, connecting with your inner self, and connecting with others — in this case, with your child.

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There are two varieties of kid-friendly yoga poses you can try at home. The first promotes stillness and grounding. Here are a few examples:

Happy baby pose: Lie on your back. Bend your knees into your belly and exhale. As you inhale, grab the outsides of your feet. Open your knees and bring them up toward your armpits.

Mountain pose: Stand tall with feet parallel and relax your tailbone down for a neutral pelvis. Lift up through the spine. Tuck chin in slightly, and keep head balanced over your shoulders.

The other variety of poses promotes balance. Here are a couple of examples:

Tree pose: Stand tall on one foot and turn the opposite knee out. Then place the sole of the opposite foot onto your ankle, calf or thigh. (Avoid placing your sole on the inside of your knee.) Put your palms together in front of your heart or face them with palms up.

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Warrior: Stand in mountain pose. Step back with one foot, angle it out while bending your front knee. Then bring your arms straight up and look up.

Practice these poses through a game of mirroring. Children are curious and imitate what others do. Invite them to try a pose and don’t worry if it’s right or wrong, just as long as it’s safe.

Partner poses for older children

As you practice partner poses with an older child, you learn to support and balance each other, establishing trust at the same time. Watch this video for a routine you can do at home.

Yoga allows you to simply relax while spending time together and learning together. It cultivates this sense of open-minded acceptance between you and your child.

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Judi Bar, E-RYT 500

Judi Bar, E-RYT 500, is Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic. Her inclusive style of yoga has brought the ease, benefits and simplicity of yoga to patients, families and caregivers. She also has established one of the first Yoga Alliance-accredited yoga teacher training schools at a major medical institution.
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