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Master Baptiste Yoga teacher Leah Cullis, who leads YJ’s online course Pillars of Power Yoga (sign up here), demonstrates 9 family-friendly backyard yoga poses inspired by the White House’s annual Yoga Garden.
For the eighth year in a row, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll will include a Yoga Garden on Monday, March 28th. The White House has invited yogis to teach mini-classes to kids and parents on the White House lawn every year since first lady Michelle Obama introduced the Yoga Garden in 2009, and I’ve had the honor of leading the team of teachers each year. Here are 9 playful poses culled from this year’s and previous years’ Yoga Garden events that you can do with your family in your own backyard.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Come onto your hands and knees and tuck your toes under. Lift your hips up into the air and straighten your legs to create an inverted “V” shape. Wag your tail, take your dog for a walk, or even bark like your favorite pup.
From Downward-Facing Dog, step one foot up to your hands, and set your back knee on the floor. Lift your chest up and your arms overhead. Smile and wave at your family and friends! Plant your hands back to the ground and switch sides.
Step your feet wide apart, turn your front toes forward, and bend your front knee. Spread your arms out wide like wings, then reach your front arm to the sky and your back arm to the ground. Look up!
Stand on one leg and fly the other leg back behind you. Bend your torso forward, sweep your arms back like wings, and take flight! Switch sides and repeat.
Stand on one leg and grow deep roots into the earth. Lift your other foot and press it into your standing leg. Grow your branches tall as you reach up to the sky. Switch sides and repeat.
Find a wall or tree for support. Come into Downward-Facing Dog with your heels close to the wall or tree, and plant your hands to make roots. Step one foot onto the wall at hip level and press into the wall, then lift the other foot onto the wall to create an “L” shape. Keep your arms straight and strong as you lift your hips up to the sky.
Take your seat and lift your feet and arms up high. Balance like a boat at sea and raise your sails high!
Closing mantra: OM
Sit down criss-cross applesauce in a circle with your family and friends and bring your hands to heart center. Connect your voices in celebration and sing out one OM!
Stand up, spread your arms out wide, and show your love for your friends and family by drawing them in for a big group hug.