By Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan
As I wrote about in my last post, yoga can help kids develop flexibility, strength, agility, balance, and body awareness. When teaching little yogis, it’s important not to worry too much about proper poses or "doing it right.” It’s more about exposing them to basic forms and muscle memory, and having fun. They will gradually learn the nuances. Here are five great starter poses for building well-balanced kids. They can be done individually as you need them, or together as a sequence.
Summer brings a lot of unstructured time, which is great for free-flow play. But it can be challenging to get your kid to shift from hunting salamanders to, say, prepping for a swimming lesson. Tree pose can help teach the value of a smooth and strong transition. Invite the child to bring their foot above or below the knee and press it into the leg while they press their rooted foot into the ground. To begin, their hands can remain pressed against each other in front of their heart (if they’re toppling over, suggest they place one hand on a wall or actual tree for stability). As their balance improves, they can move their arms toward the sky like branches of a tree. Repeat pose, switching feet for symmetry and strength.
Liam demonstrates the Tree post. Photo: Devin Joesting