Photo credit: Marjorie Bertrand, Unsplash.com
There’s just something cute about kids doing yoga. Not only is it fun to see them learn how to become mindful — they just look cute in downward facing dog, lotus, and tree pose.
Want to introduce yoga to the little ones in your life in a whole new way?
Show them these poses named after real-life animals.
In Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids, author Kristen Fischer, integrates 10 animal poses into a rhyming picture book about a girl who learns yoga from creatures at the zoo. The book offers basic instruction and colorful illustrations to get the children moving. But you don’t need a story time or a zoo to engage children in yoga.
Here are five poses that will capture and keep their attention — and hopefully turn them into devoted young yogis.
- Simhasana (Lion Pose)
It’s not difficult for all ages to get on their hands and knees, but the fun of sticking out their tongues and bellowing a roar is what gives lion pose so much appeal for a young audience.
- Merudandasana (Bear Pose)
Who can resist a good balancing pose? Go beyond the standard Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and guide children to balance on their behinds with legs extended. If another roar slips out, so be it.
- Padahastasana (Gorilla Pose)
This pose may look like they are simply bending over, but teaching it properly instructs children how to fold, which is useful for so many other poses. Kids will enjoy either stepping on the insides of their hands or gripping their toes and sticking out their elbows — both grips offer fun variations on a basic posture that they can have fun playing with.
- Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
Kids are naturally flexible, which makes it perfectly okay to introduce poses that probably require the rest of us to partake in a few stretch-out sessions. This funky looking lunge helps children learn right from left while stretching the hip area.
- Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
Frog pose may not be ideal for all adults because it’s an intense stretch, but most children will find it to be a piece of cake. Their naturally flexible legs may seem to fall easily into this pose, but they won’t be able to hop off the mat.
Kids Yoga on the Rise
There are already about 1.7 million American children practicing yoga, according to some estimates — and a boom in yoga classes and studios created solely for children is sure to help that number rise. In fact, more than 115,000 children participated in the first Kids Yoga Day event this past April.
Here’s to striking a pose this summer with your little ones. Namaste.
Kristen Fischer is a copywriter, journalist, and author living at the Jersey Shore. Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids (Sounds True, 2017), is her first children’s book. Connect with her at www.kristenfischer.com.
Also published on Medium.