How To Do Yoga With Your Kids

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I have been wanting to teach little kids yoga for years. Yesterday, I had my very first four-year-old yoga client and now I have a few more of them in the coming week.

Yoga is great for kids to do!  It helps build body awareness, relaxation and calmness, enhances flexibility and strength, helps with circulation and overall well-being. 

I had so much fun teaching this little guy. It was especially perfect because right after teaching him, I taught my transformational weekly healing yoga class for adults and the theme was “Inner Child.”

Children are so open, curious, dreamy and magical at that age. As life goes on, without these qualities being properly nurtured, we can lose this part of ourself and our inner child gets left behind in the past.

As many of you already know, my company Rooted For Life is all about creating a healthy foundation to grow from starting pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth and after. Everything you eat, think, do and feel while pregnant goes into the developing baby. During the time period from womb through the first year of life, the root chakra is developing.

I wanted to work with the kids when they were a little older so I started writing (with my VERY talented writing partner Maeve Quinlan) a line of inspirational children’s books that plant little seeds of consciousness in kids that they can grow from. The books are in the works now and we are really excited to get them out there.

So at this time I also thought it would be awesome to teach my transformational healing yoga for kids. Being that I had taught prenatal yin and restorative yoga and breath work to their mommies throughout  their pregnancy, I figured it would be an easy transition.

How to Teach Your Kids Yoga

Meditation

I start off having them sit in a cross-legged seated position and placing their hands in a Mudra where their thumb and index finger are touching in a circle. Then I have them close their eyes and count by moving their thumb – 1 is thumb to index, 2 is thumb to middle finger, 3 is thumb to ring finger and 4 is thumb to baby finger. Then I have them start over again and do it a few more times.

Poses

I use yoga cards for kids. My favorites are yoga cards for kids are “Yoga Pretzels” by Tara Guber or “The Kids’ Yoga Deck” by Annie Buckley. You can either pick 10 or so cards or let them pick them (this takes longer) and lay them out . On the card,  it tells you how to have them get in the pose and explains what it does for them and also gives you some questions to ask before of after the doing the pose.

Make sure they do their 4 count breath in through the nose and out through the nose. Some of the names are tree, butterfly, airplane, flower… and so on.Let your inner child and imagination come out and play by making up a story about the pose. It is a great way to keep them engaged as at this age they can’t hold the pose for very long.

Tips:

1. If they don’t know their left or right you can get stickers for each left and right hand and foot. Lucas is into super heroes so I got him Superman and Batman stickers. You can say left Batman foot forward; it teaches them left and right.


2. Come up with a theme – I used themes from my children’s book such as “Turn your heart light on” (about being kind, loving and compassionate); “Gratitude” (the art of being thankful); “Put on your magic shoes”(teaching them about empathy), or “Be a mermaid” (learn to go with the flow). Yesterday when I taught Lucas it was “Namaste / The divine light (sunshine and sparkle within).”
3. Kids are VERY impressionable so be prepared to have all the answers ! My little namaste talk about the light ended up being an hour long Q and A! I started off talking about what namaste means – ” I bow to you and acknowledge your light with in.” I told him we all have an inner light thats like sparkling sunshine, you have it, your mommy has it – even your dog Lulu Flynn has it.
The conversation  went like this:

Lucas: Does so and so have it?

Me: Yes, everyone has the light within .

Lucas: Does this boy that is mean to me have it? 

Me: Yes even him, the same light is in us all.

Lucas: Is it God ?

Me: Yes God, spirit, light – it’s in us all.

Lucas: How can I make my light bigger?

Me: I think it’s pretty big already but being a kind and loving person really helps.

Lucas: Lori, kind and loving are the same things.

Me:  Busted by a 4 year old.

Lucas: What if I eat my vegetables will that grow my light?

Me: YES huge!!!

Lucas: What about exercise?

Me: Also amazing for the light…

This went on forever. This morning, his mom called me saying he woke up doing his yoga poses, breathing and ate a healthy breakfast “to feed his light,” then went to school and namasted the teacher and said,” I see your light” and then told her all about the light with in.

Ok soooooooooooooooooooo  cute I can’t even stand it !!!!!

  

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