Hi, I'm Kristin McGee! I've been teaching yoga to parents and their children for over 20 years. I hope you and your children will enjoy learning and practicing yoga with The Moodsters!
The word yoga means "to join together." When we practice yoga, we unite our mind and our body through our breath
Did you know you can control your breath to help you feel better, calm down, get more energy, fall asleep and focus? There are so many benefits to making yoga a part of your child's life:
- Yoga helps us connect with and manage our emotions.
- Yoga helps us become strong, flexible, and more balanced.
- Yoga helps us stay focused.
- Yoga helps us at school and at home.
- Yoga helps us feel better.
- Yoga gives us confidence.
Choose your time
Start with an amount of time that feels right for the age and attention span of your child-this can be as little as 5 minutes. Then build up to 20 to 30 minutes. Older children may enjoy doing yoga for 45 minutes to an hour.
Choose your poses
Older children may want to do any or all of the more challenging poses like tree or plank. Little ones may prefer poses that don't require balancing on one leg: Cow Pose, Warrior Pose, Boat Pose, Triangle Pose, and Butterfly Pose are all great.
Encourage your children
Children love to impress their parents with what they've learned. Encourage your children in even their smallest accomplishments.
Roll out your own mat
Start by rolling out your own mat. Kids want to do what they see their parents doing.
Start in criss-cross-applesauce position. Explain how to breathe properly: Imagine you're blowing out candles on a cake to see how much breath you have. Then imagine your body is a balloon, inflating on the inhale and deflating on the exhale. Try breathing with your mouth closed and listening to the sound-hear the ocean waves?
Now you can move through other poses keeping in mind that yoga can help your child connect with and manage emotions:
- If your child is sad, try some happy poses like Happy Baby pose or Dancer.
- If your child is upset or angry, have them do some Lion's roars to let out steam, or squeeze everything up tight like an Eagle pose then open it up and let it go.
- If your child is scared, show them some confidence building Warrior poses.
- If your child is in a loving mood, do some partner poses, like Boat Pose.
- If your child is happy, have them do some Sun Salutations to celebrate!
10 Poses That Make You Strong - Inside and Out!
Stand with your legs wide open. Turn your right foot forward and your back foot slightly in. Bend your front knee so that it is above your ankle. Stretch your arms out wide—your right arm over your right (front) foot, and your left arm out in back. Look toward your front hand and breathe. Hold for 30–60 seconds, then straighten your front leg. Turn and repeat on the other side. Any time you’re struggling or feel insecure, be a proud and brave warrior!
Stand sideways with your legs wide apart. Turn your right foot so that it is facing right; turn your left foot so that it is facing slightly in. Lean toward your right leg and place your right hand above or below your knee. Extend your left arm toward the sky. Look up to your left hand and hold for 30–60 seconds. Then switch sides. Its fun to sing “I’m a little teapot” while doing the Triangle Pose—“tip over” to the side when you sing “Pour me out”! This is great for making your feet and legs strong.
Stand tall, bend one knee and “catch” the top of the foot with the same hand. Still holding on to your foot, extend your leg behind you as you extend the opposite arm in front of you. Lift your chest. Hold for 30–60 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
Sit tall and bring the soles of your feet together as you let your legs fall open to the sides. Stretch open the inner thighs—flap your “wings” (your legs) like a butterfly. Hold the pose with your legs still for 30–60 seconds.
Stand tall and bring the sole of your right foot up to the inner thigh of your left leg, turning your right knee out to the side. Press your palms together. Imagine the standing leg is a tree trunk supporting you, and that your arms are branches. Hold this pose for 30–60 seconds. It can sometimes help you balance if you look at a spot on the floor in front of you. This will help you find solid ground to stand if things feel shaky—but you’ll also learn to be flexible when strong winds blow!
Sit tall with your legs together, stretched out in front of you. Lean your body back and use your stomach muscles as you lift your legs up and create a boat shape with your body. Hold for 30–60 seconds while you sing, “Row, row, row your boat.” You can also create partner boats by placing your feet against a friends’ feet, holding hands, then extending your legs up together. Boat Pose is terrific for navigating difficult feelings—you’ll also build core strength and develop inner confidence.
Stand tall and stretch your arms open to your sides. Lift one leg up behind you while you bend forward to bring your torso parallel to the floor. (When you get really good at this, your back leg is as high as your torso and your back is straight like an airplane.) Imagine yourself flying, using your “wings” to balance you. Hold for 30–60 seconds if you can—but don’t be upset if you can’t! It’s tough! Switch sides. You may find this is easier on one side than the other.
Set one foot out in front of you and bend at the knee. Meanwhile, lower your other knee to the floor. Lift your arms up high on either side of your head, with your palms open. Hold for 30–60 seconds, then switch sides. Think of yourself as strong and brave, with fire in your belly. You’ll also feel this pose heat up your muscles!
Get down on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, pointing forward, and your knees under your hips. Lift your head and chest up, and lift your hips at the same time. You can even say “Moo” like a cow. Try repeating this pose 3–5 times, inhaling as you lift up to cow pose and exhaling as you relax back down. This is great for stretching your spine—and making silly noises!
Stand with your feet wide apart and your toes turned out. Bend your knees into a squat. Open your arms to the side with your palms open. Imagine you’re a cloud floating in the sky. Hold for 30–60 seconds. Cloud Pose is great for building strength in the legs, and for helping us dream and use our imaginations.
Try these Moodster Yoga Poses for when you're feeling happy, sad, afraid, angry or loving:
Coz's Super-Duper Happy Flow:
Lets you laugh and feel great!
Start by lying on your belly. Bend your knees as if you're trying to touch your head with your feet, then reach around and grab your feet with your hands. Press your feet back into your hands to lift yourself up in a bow. Rock back and forth on you belling-and giggle and laugh!
Happy flow: while in bow position, roll on to your right side, then back on to your belling, then over to your left side and back to center-it's super fun!
Snorf's Beat the Blue Flow:
Helps you get out of a slump.
Start in kneeling position. Lean back and lift your chest up so your heart faces the sky. Reach back to hold your heels with your hands-now you have a rounded hump like a camel! Hold 30 to 60 seconds and come back up to starting position. Rest on your shins for a breath or two, then try another camel. Every time you open up your heart, you beat away the blues.
Razzy's Roaring Lion Flow:
Helps us get out anger and frustration.
Start on your knees with your bottom resting on your heels. Make fists with your hands and squeeze your muscle tight while you lift your hips up off of your heels. Stretch your arms wide to the sides, stick out your tongue, and let out a mighty lion roar! Repeat this 3 to 5 times for a roaring flow.
Quigly's Be Brave Flow:
Helps build confidence so you can be brave!
Lie on your belly with your legs straight out behind you. Place your palms on the ground near your chest, about shoulder width apart. Press down on your hands and lift your chest up into a cobra position. Pretend you're a brave snake! You can flick your tongue in and out or sway side to side. Repeat to yourself, "Be brave, be brave, be brave." Hold for 30 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat 3 to 5 more times.
Lolly's Loving Heart Flow:
Helps us think about all the things we love about ourselves and others.
Sit in criss-cross applesauce position, then try to place each foot on the opposite thigh. Bring your hands together in a prayer position in front of your heart. Think of all the reasons why you love yourself. Now switch your legs so the other one is on top, and think of all of the people you love.