5 Yoga Exercises For Children

Yoga Tree Pose

Yoga is an effective alternative to aerobic exercises, work-outs, and other new-age physical fitness regime. There are various yoga ‘asanas’ (poses) which benefits us physically as well as mentally. Yoga was, earlier, practiced mainly by grownups. However, the latest scientific studies have indicated that yoga also benefits children who practice it regularly. These children not only perform better in academics but are also able to cope with stress and negative emotions, more successfully. In fact, the yoga poses help your child to develop self-confidence, strong physique, sharp mind, positive thoughts, and self-control over his or her emotions.

If you aren’t familiar with any yoga poses, then read on to learn about and teach these 5 kid-friendly powerful yoga exercises to your child.

ven you can perform these simple asanas and experience their positive effects.

1. Tree Pose Or Vrksasana

Yoga Tree Pose

Photo by TownePost Network, CC BY 2.0

This balancing pose increases the concentration power, improves body balance, stretches both the arms, and strengthens the legs. Avoid this yoga exercise if you have a headache or a low blood pressure.

  • Stand straight on the floor. Move your right foot off the floor and rest it above the knee of your left leg.
  • Take a deep breath, extend your arms straight like tree branches and raise them above your head to join both the palms.
  • Keep balancing your body on the standing right leg.
  • Now breathe out slowly and lower your arms back to their previous posture.
  • Gently bring down your right leg and repeat the above steps with your left foot off the floor.

2. Cobra Pose Or Bhujangasana

Cobra Pose Yoga

Photo by Kennguru, CC BY 3.0

This stretching pose helps to strengthen your kid’s torso, spine, and limbs. It, also, helps in proper digestion of food and improves blood circulation. This pose is highly recommended for kids suffering from respiratory disorders. However, children with wrist, back, and stomach injuries should avoid doing this.

  • Get down on your knees and lie flat on the floor and keep your forehead touched to the floor.
  • Bring your legs together and keep both your feet close to each other.
  • Position your hands under the shoulder while your palms face downwards. Also keep your elbows parallel and adjacent to your body.
  • Breathe in deeply, and lift your upper body off the floor using your palms slowly.
  • Keep your navel touched to the floor and try to straighten your arms as you arch backwards.
  • After stretching your body as much as you can, now lower your torso back to previous position and breathe out at the same time.

3. Child’s Pose Or Balasana

Child Pose Yoga

Photo by Anne Wu, CC BY-SA 2.0

This yoga posture lets you stretch your back, hips and legs. It prevents constipation and calms down your central nervous system. In case of serious back or knee injuries, it is better to avoid this yoga exercise.

  • Go down on your knees and sit back on your heels.
  • Bend your chest forward to rest it on your thighs and place your forehead on the floor.
  • You can either move your arms in front of you with the palms facing downwards or keep them adjacent to your body with your palms facing upwards.
  • Take few deep breathes and go back to earlier posture.

4. Downward Facing Dog Or Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Facing Dog

Photo by Army Medicine, CC BY 2.0

This bending-cum-stretching pose makes your spine flexible, tones body muscles, and keeps your brain active. Avoid this asana if you suffer from injuries to eyes, wrists, and shoulder.

  • Bend down and position your palms flat on the floor.
  • Move your legs backwards to form an inverted ‘V’ shape.
  • Inhale and exhale deeply while you continue to stretch your body.
  • Try to keep your elbows and knees straight.
  • Return to the previous posture, stand up straight, and relax.

5. Relaxation Pose or Savasana

This sleeping pose helps to relax body and de-stress mind. This is the easiest and obviously the most favorite yoga exercise for all children.

  • Lie on your back, face upwards, and keep your body straight.
  • Sprawl your legs and arms comfortably and stay still.
  • Take few deep breathes and try not to fall asleep!

Apart from these easy asanas, there are other yoga postures that are worth a try, such as, Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana), and Lion Pose (Simhasana). In fact, you are free to add or drop a yoga asana as per your child’s health condition and energy levels.

Try to demonstrate rather than explain all yoga poses while teaching your child. You can include these yoga poses in your child’s daily play time to make fitness fun for them.