Yoga encourages deep breathing and relaxation. It is also helpful for little ones who are still learning to control their emotional and physical well being. Children have active imaginations and open minds, ready to try new things without hesitation. Implement yoga games in your home, classroom or daycare center to get everyone moving and stretching.
Yoga games have physical and mental advantages for children. As you move from pose to pose, kids are encouraged to use their imaginations. It’s like stepping into a book or story for themselves. It is even more interactive than video games. In the meantime, they are learning to breathe deeply to calm themselves and to be aware of their bodies as they try new things and feel new stretches.
What To Do
Learn a series of simple poses, such as the tree pose, or Vrksasana, that lifts one foot’s instep to one leg while you reach your hands to the sky or the cat pose, or Marjaryasana, on a back stretch while you are on your hands and knees. Put together a story about the items and animals in your poses. As you tell your stories, move through each pose. During certain parts of the story, ask your kids what they think happens next. Have them show you what the character looks like or does.
This game is great for all your kids, of every age. Encourage your older kids to come up with new poses or to tell part of the story next time. Teach them to respect the abilities of the younger ones. Mention specific abilities of each of your kids and help them all to achieve their personal goals. In doing so, you will teach your kids to respect one another.
The joy of yoga is the personal journey it creates for each person. As you develop the game for your kids and help them get involved, note that there is no clear winner. You may choose a child to participate in developing the story, even making it a reward for those who worked particularly hard. To make it fair, you can have multiple winners throughout the game, such as the best Vrksasana or the best Marjaryasana. However, the children should not feel pressured to be better than one another, just to appreciate their own bodies.
You can participate in yoga games anywhere, from your home, a hotel room, a park or any open space. Give each child a yoga mat or towel to work on. This also defines each child’s space, without creeping into another child’s area. Spread each mat at least an arm’s reach apart.
- yoga image by Jiang Bin Ping from Fotolia.com