Monday, September 5, 2011

Kids Top Five Yoga Exercises

5 Sure-Fire Kids Yoga Exercises

Washing Machine: This is a great Kundalini Yoga warm-up that kids love because it is active and fun! In easy pose put your hands on your shoulders (fingers in front, thumbs in back). Then twist left and right like a washing machine. You can do breathing – inhaling as you go left and exhaling as you go right, but it’s also fun to say “swish, swish” as you go to each side. (Bonus Pose: Follow this one up with Dryer Pose where you rotate your hands around each other in front of your chest – said to be great for co-ordination and the brain)

Bicycle: In yoga we do bicycle lying on the back and pedaling our legs in the air (see picture). Finish by pedalling up a hill then going down the hill holding your legs stretched wide by your head and shout, “weeeeeeeeee!” (you don’t need to peddle down a hill!)  
Tricky Tree: A favorite in the partner yoga genre. In tree pose, both partners face forward and balance on one foot. Instead of putting your foot on your own leg, stretch it towards your partner and let them hold it up for you. One person holds a foot in front and the other person holds the foot behind their leg. You kind of look like a capital “H” when you do it. It is very tricky for pre-schoolers so you may need to help them balance in this one.  
Human Teacher Puppet: Want to get everyone’s attention in a class? Let one child sit on your lap and pretend they are teaching the class. Gently hold their wrists and move their arms around for them in a very animated way as you describe the next pose. Use different voices and accents, try hand gestures like using their hand to scratch their head or blow kisses. This is so popular the kids may start to jump on your lap the moment you sit down – so develop some kind of system to keep track of which kids have had a turn.

The Worry Tree: This is a beautiful image we use for relaxing. We have an imagination session for relaxation and go to different places in our imagination. At the beginning of the session we put all our worries on a big tree we call The Worry Tree. You put all the worries you can think of on there and when you are done then you start your imagination session. This is another one kids will ask for at the beginning of the class.
Aruna Humphrys

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