Move, Breathe, Grow – our mission. One of our favorite ways to foster this in our children is right there in our name, Baby Yoga. Practicing yoga with your little ones has so many benefits to both their bodies and their minds.
Taking the time to practice yoga with your children, instills in them a healthy respect for their bodies. From a physical standpoint, yoga helps children maintain that flexibility that comes so naturally to them when they’re young, and as they grow, helps strengthen their developing muscles. But there is much more to yoga, then just some fancy poses.
In a world where our children are bombarded with messages, media, and distractions virtually the second they leave the womb, it’s no wonder many children struggle with concentration and focus. Yoga as an activity teaches children the benefits of unplugging for a time, and focusing on just one thing. This results in higher levels of concentration and overall, just being more in tune with their bodies. This is incredibly important as children are still developing and don’t yet have the same learned coping skills as adults. In this way, yoga can be incredibly stress relieving to our little ones.
And finally, yoga can be FUN! Kids are always in motion, and for good reason. Yoga can be a super fun way to channel that energy into fun movement. Let yoga spark that creativity, and have fun with it!! Pretend to be a puppy in Downward Dog? Sure! A fairy in Dancer’s Pose? You bet!
MOM + BABY POSES
It’s never too early to start incorporating yoga into your baby’s life. While these poses focus more on mom’s movement while baby is still little, initiating this practice further encourages bonding between you two.
Knee Plank Push-up Kisses
This pose mixes some strength training for mom, with some butterfly kisses for baby. Begin on your hands and knees with baby below you on his back. Slide your knees back a bit, and tuck your toes under until you start to feel some heat in your core and arms. Take a deep breath, and then on the exhale lower yourself, making sure to keep your elbows tucked straight back. Give that cutie a smooch, and on the inhale, push through your palms to lift yourself again. Repeat 5-10 times.
This pose is especially fun if you add some music to bop to. Begin standing with feet just wider than hip width apart, holding baby facing outwards. On an exhale, bend your knees and ride the inhale upwards, straightening your legs and transferring your weight to your left foot. Your right foot should come to a point on your tiptoes. Bend your knees as you come back to center, and repeat this motion on the other side, remembering to pay attention to your breath. To amp it up a little, extend your arms out as you rock from side to side, causing your baby to “fly” to the beat. Not only do you get a killer arm workout, but baby also gets to strengthen the muscles in their neck, shoulders, and core.
FUN POSES FOR BIGGER KIDS (2+)
Kids love to move, and thrive with the body movement yoga allows them. To make it even more fun, bring in familiar elements such as animals and nature. They will have a total blast acting out their world around them.
Puppy Pose (Downward Dog)
Downward dog is one of the first poses most adults learn when they are introduced to yoga. A pose that even with a lot of practice, can be difficult to gain the flexibility to achieve. However, kids are so flexible when they’re young that this pose comes very naturally. Have them pretend that they are puppies waking up from a nap, doing a looong stretch. Hands flat on the ground, bum in the air, legs straight, trying to make a big “V.” As they stretch into the pose, encourage them to make puppy noises for more fun.
Tall Giraffe (Extended Mountain Pose)
Another fun animal for kids to recreate is a tallll giraffe. Anytime you come across a giraffe at the zoo or in a book, have them stand as tall as they can, and reeeeach as high as they can, imitating the looong neck of the giraffe, palms together above their head. For added fun, have them clap their hands together mimicking a giraffe eating leaves high up in a tree.