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Kids, almost inevitably, can get in the way of a parent’s yoga practice—in our case, quite literally. Since yoga is such a significant part of our lives, and we both generally practice at home, it was only natural for us to invite our children on the mat. It wasn’t a hard sell—our kids wanted to be a part of our yoga, which was great and very welcome.
If our kids are any indication, we at Two Fit Moms think it’s likely that your kids would love to practice yoga with you. So this week, in honor of Mother’s Day, we are offering 6 tips for doing yoga with your kids.
1. Focus on the basics.
Tree Pose is a great single-leg balance to practice with your children. Hold hands to link your trees together and create a forest. This is a fun way to help your kids balance while building their confidence in their abilities.
2. Let them surprise you.
Teach them what they should be doing, and don’t fret if their poses aren’t perfect. Your kids may surprise you. This AcroYoga pose with my daughter did exactly that—I never expected her to get into this posture, and I don’t think she expected to either!
Yoga with my daughter is all about having fun. But in between the giggles, I see glimmers of her own practice taking shape, which is very exciting for me to watch.
3. Play with animal poses.
Consider focusing on the animal-named poses like Camel, Butterfly (Bound Angle Pose), Cobra, Cat/Cow, etc. These postures will resonate with them and are ones that will allow them to be more playful and silly.
Camel Pose is a challenging backbend, but the good news is that it can be modified for kids in the same way that it can be modified for adults. Begin in a kneeling position with the thighs perpendicular to the floor, place your hands onto your lower back, fingers pointed down. Lift your chest and create an even backbend, avoiding collapsing into the lower back. If your children would like to attempt the full expression of the pose, encourage them to first try the pose with their toes tucked and heels lifted. Slowly reach one hand back at a time to hold each heel. If that goes well, they can try the version with toes untucked. Whichever version they attempt, just make sure that they are safe and having a good time.
4. Add modifications to make it extra fun.
Kids are naturally flexible so they love Cobra Pose—especially if you ask them to try to touch their toes to their head! Partnering with mom makes it extra fun.
5. Don’t expect them to do a full practice.
We know this sounds obvious, but when our kids started to join us, we thought they would just fall in love with yoga and practice for a full 30–45 minutes. WRONG. Children under the age of 10 do not typically have the attention span, but they can manage 5–10 minutes on the mat. So, start with small intervals of time.
6. Get them their own yoga gear.
We don’t know about your kids, but ours love to have their own space and their own stuff. These fun yoga mats for kids from Gaiam will make your little ones feel grown up—and you won’t have to share your mat!