Yoga is a wonderful activity for young children. They are naturally flexible and you often see them in poses a yoga follower would recognise from their practice. The picture above shows a position my daughter adopts frequently. Any yoga fans would recognise it as a Downward Dog but to my daughter it’s just a natural way to move her body.
Practising yoga with children should be like any play with them – with the emphasis on having fun. Little Lotus Yoga had a photo album of poses on their facebook page which you could try out, as we did today. We put on some music to create a peaceful environment and then simply had a try. My daughter loved it – she was giggling throughout!
We also have a favourite book called ‘My Daddy is a Pretzel’ which introduces different poses to children through a story where a group of children talk about what jobs their parents do.
From the yoga classes I’ve attended I’ve learned that anyone can do yoga – it’s about trying the poses and seeing how your body responds, not about comparing yourself with anyone else or having any specific expectations of what you ‘should’ be able to do. Yoga with children can help maintain their flexibility, and it can also help develop physical strength. It can help to calm children too, so could make a lovely addition to a bedtime routine. Why not give it a try?
A quick and simple game to play to boost your child’s language and get them moving.
Ask you child if they can tell you an animal which flutters? And can they move like one too?
What about an animal that wiggles…swims…flies…dives…stomps…jumps…shuffles…bounces…slithers…stalks…pounces…gallops?
After you’ve played the game a few times and your child has been using the new words you can extend the game by getting them to ask you the questions.
Do you remember playing ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ when you were a child? Great fun and a nice way to incorporate counting into a game. Best played outside where there is lots of space to run.
One person – Mr. Wolf – is ‘on’ and stands facing a wall or tree. The other players stand a few metres away and shout ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ If Mr. Wolf answers ‘Three o’clock’ the children have to take 3 steps towards Mr. Wolf – counting each step out loud. Repeat the questions and counting, with Mr. Wolf saying different times and the children getting closer and dangerously closer to Mr. Wolf each time. But watch out – when the children are very near and ask ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ he shouts ‘Dinner time!’ All the children run away (with much shrieking!) and Mr. Wolf tries to catch someone. Whoever is caught becomes Mr.Wolf and the game is repeated.