Playing around with yoga poses named after some familiar animals can be a fun way to introduce yoga to the children in your life. Get started with these basic poses that can help encourage strength, flexibility, and calmness in little ones.
1. Butterfly pose. Start sitting on your mat or the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Exhale and bend the legs as if you were to sit cross- legged, but instead, bring the soles of the feet together in front of you. Push the outer edges of your feet firmly into the floor and wrap your hands around your feet or ankles. Let the knees fall naturally; do not push them down.1
2. Camel pose. Begin by kneeling at the top of your mat. Separate your knees so they are hip width apart (about two fists). Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor, your shins in line with your knees, and your toes tucked into the mat with the soles of your feet facing away from the rest of your body. Place your hands, with your fingers pointing down, on your lower back. Begin leaning back without dropping your head, while keeping your chin in close to your sternum. Keep your hands on your lower back. Hold the pose for up to 60 seconds.2 encourage the kids to let out their best lion’s roar. They’re sure to have fun with this one.4
4. Cat-cow pose. Start on your hands and knees with your back in a straight/ neutral position, your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees directly in line with your hips. To move into cow pose, inhale as you drop your belly toward the floor while lifting your chin and gazing at the ceiling. Move into cat pose, curve your spine, and draw your belly in toward your spine as you exhale all the air from your lungs. Repeat as many times as desired.3