child doing yoga

Yoga for Kids

yoga for kids
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Yoga is not about imposing your preferred poses or ways on your kids. All you need to do is introduce this spiritual practice to your children at an early age, and wait for it to gradually become a way of their life. Although there are no special yoga-skills required for kids to start practicing it, it’s best to let them start with basic poses and progress from there. Kid-friendly yoga poses can help you get your family routine started and set the foundation for a better, fitter future.

Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Along with keeping your children active, balancing their soul, mind and body, and helping them focus more on their life there are innumerable other benefits of yoga. Yoga may:

  • Be effective in reducing fatigue, anxiety, stress, and chronic pain such as in muscles
  • Improve aerobic capacity, body strength and balance
  • Help improve the quality of sleep
  • Help in increasing focus and improve a child’s academic performance and classroom behavior
  • Provide emotional and physical balance
  • Help improve mood, resilience and self-regulation skills
  • Help maintain ideal weight, and improve memory and endocrine functions

Yoga doesn’t require elaborate equipment or a huge space; it can be performed at home, in the garden, at school, or simply in any peaceful room with a yoga mat. Here is a mini-guide to yoga for kids and some quick, safe, and easy poses for everyday practice.

8 Limbs of Yoga for Kids

Little Girl, Freedom, Angel, Yoga, Praying, People

The practice of yoga can simply be broken down into and defined by eight limbs. This detailed classification can help any practitioner understand the potentiality, beauty, and intricacies of this discipline. Here are the 8 limbs of yoga simplified for you to introduce it to your young yogis in a better manner:

Yamas (Moral and Ethical Codes)

The first limb, Yama, teaches you to take a look around you and encourages you to be kind and caring towards one another. Think of yourself as a spotlight and think about your purpose in life; you need to shine your light into the world. Be committed to truthfulness, be compassionate to people’s feelings, do not steal, and use your energy wisely. Lastly, help your neighbor roll up their mat and offer up a smile to at least one person a day.

Niyamas (Inner Observances)

Niyamas includes the duties that are directed towards your own growth and self-care. You need to keep your mind and body pure, find contentment in everything that you already have, use your energy in a disciplined manner, work towards becoming self-aware, and take time to find peace within yourself. Taking care of yourself in numerous ways other than just in a physical manner plays a huge role in your yogic path.

Asana (Yoga Postures)

The most common of all limbs, asana, is all about finding acceptance and it the easiest one to teach. Originally asana was just a sitting pose used for meditation. As Hatha and modern yoga progressed, variations such as reclining, twisting, standing, and balancing poses were introduced in the practice. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you but the practice of physical postures is what actually makes yoga, yoga! These physical postures help in the alignment of your mind, body, soul, breath, and heart, and allow you to dive into your inner-self.


The Sanskrit word Prana means life force and ayama means stretching or extending. Taking deep breaths is known as the most common and simple way to calm down the mind. The energy (prana) that keeps your crazy monkey minds running is your breath. This fourth limb is closely connected to asana and teaches you to keep balance in your lives. When you focus on the movement of your breath, the flow of essential forces in your body is controlled.

Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the Senses)

The fifth limb, pratyahara teaches you to control your senses. This concept is a bit difficult to teach as one needs to allow their senses to become stronger by withdrawing them. It is not about shutting out the exterior world, instead it’s about refocusing your attention towards your inner-self, becoming less fragmented, and clearing up your perspectives. A brief introduction to the five senses can help children understand this limb in a better manner.

Dharana (Mind Concentration)

Dharana refers to concentration and focus of the mind. You need to take your attention and focus it in on a single object; you can even focus on your breath. Practice staying connected to a single point of your choice. Use that object as a tool to go deeper into another world. The main purpose is to make your wandering mind steady and focused. To practice this limb, you can place an object on your head and walk with it, while trying to keep it from falling off by directing all your attention towards it.

Dhyana (Meditation)

Unlike dharana, dhyana is all about letting go of the focus. By using the help of a meditation technique of your choice, you need to become entirely immersed and absorbed in the present activity you are performing. 

Samadhi (Enlightenment and Meditative Consciousness)

Samadhi is the state of your body, mind, and senses when they are completely at peace. It is a combination of all the limbs and can neither be a plan nor a goal that you set to achieve, it either happens spontaneously or as a result of practice. The simplest way to teach this abstract concept is by introducing relaxation or Savasana to your kids.

These 8 limbs are the pillars of yoga and it’s best to introduce these concepts to children at a young age. If your kids find it difficult to grasp longer explanations, you can use visuals to help them get familiarized with the practice in an easy manner.

Fun Yoga Classes for Kids

When it comes to yoga for kids, you need to find something that not only integrates well into their busy schedules, but is also fun and exciting. When putting together a yoga class for your children, you need to:

  • Focus on engaging with and inspiring your kids
  • Have fun with the movement; don’t focus all your attention towards aligning your poses perfectly
  • Keep their interests and passions in mind
  • Consider their different learning styles and energy levels
  • Create meaningful, memorable, and authentic experiences for them
  • Make yoga fun and exciting, but while keeping the safety of you and your child your utmost priority
  • Make them practice barefoot and wear comfortable clothes
  • Be as creative as you can

Here are some ideas that are sure to build up your child’s interest in the practice:

Dance for the Sun Yoga: Songs for Kids

Available as an MP3 music file and an audio CD on Amazon, Dance for the Sun Yoga: Songs for Kids is Kira Willey’s first album. Kira is a nationally recognized children’s yoga teacher and a kindie artist. The album includes songs like Colors, Big Brown Bear, Welcome to Fireflies, and many more that you and your kids can get instantly hooked to.

Whether you are conducting a music class for your children, or you are a PE teacher who needs a CD for your students of lower elementary grades, this album allows you to introduce the practice of yoga to kids in an enjoyable and fun way.

Frozen Yoga for Kids

Since kids are easily distracted, introduce a form of yoga practice that will help them remain engaged and interested for a longer period of time. What better way to do so than using the help of Disney princess’ themed videos?

A Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure brings to you an amazing tutorial in which Join Jamie tells her story inspired by Disney’s movie Frozen, and incorporates yoga into it. The epic journey through Arendelle with Elsa and Anna allows all those jumpy kids to get the wiggles out! All your beginner yogis need to do is copy her moves and enjoy the adventure to the fullest!

Goat Yoga for Kids

Goat Yoga for Kids is an incorporation of dances, stories, and songs to get your little ones performing yoga and moving! Julie Aronis of Little Elephant Yoga conducts this hour long class at Chip-In-Farm which is followed by bonus time to cuddle, pet, and take pictures with baby goats.

All the participants need to bring is a yoga mat, water bottle. and sunscreen/bug spray and they’ll be good to go! Wearing weather-appropriate clothing is also recommended as the classes are conducted in outdoor settings. Julie teaches at Roots Yoga in Burlington, but is also available for birthday parties and private events.

Jungle Yoga for Kids

jungle yoga for kids

A jungle unit or a jungle theme can be a fun addition to yoga poses that your kids can relate too. Taking care of their safety is important but it is equally important for you to let your kids be creative with the poses. Here are some safari poses to help you get started:

Lion Pose: Sit in the position of a lion and add a roar!

Tiger Pose: Extend your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you and keep repeating side to side.

Leopard Pose: Form a cat pose and arch your back like a giant cat.

Gorilla Pose:  Stand straight with your arms resting on both sides. Bend forward with your hands hanging downwards and try to touch the floor with your fingertips. Now hold the pose and breathe deeply.

Snake Pose: Form a cobra pose and hiss the way a snake does.

Jeep Pose: Sit straight with your legs extended in front of you and lift your arms to mimic driving the steering wheel of a jeep. You can also pretend to explore jungle animals in your vehicle.

Elephant Pose: Perform a forward fold. Simply start with clasping your hands together followed by swinging your trunk side to side.

Giraffe Pose: Balance yourself on your hands and knees, and extend one arm high and hold your position for a few seconds. Repeat the same with the other arm.

Monkey Pose: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Start moving into a squat position while moving side to side. You can add monkey noises for better sound effects.

Little Flower Yoga for Kids

Little Flower Yoga for Kids is a mindfulness and yoga program to help your children gain emotional balance and improve focus. The book contains five main components which include relaxation, focus, movement, breathing, and connection. It aims at teaching children to balance their emotions, pay attention, and increase focus; all while enhancing their flexibility and building their physical strength.

The exercises present in this book can easily be incorporated into your child’s everyday routine, and it will ultimately help in improving their behavior, health, and even school progress.

Laughter Yoga for Kids

laughing yoga for kids

Laughter yoga is the perfect activity to stimulate laughter in kids. Laughter doesn’t only encourage relaxation but is also contagious and helps reduce anxiety. You can use some of the following laughter yoga exercises for kids and get the giggles rolling:

  • Pair two kids together and instruct them to look at each other and take turns to make funny faces
  • Start laughing like Santa Clause or a hyena
  • Laugh while pretending to be stuck in a hole underground or like someone is tickling you
  • Gather several kids and play a “Mimic my Laugh” game. Start with a laugh and have it copied by the next child and so on.
  • Once again, pair off kids and have them try to stifle their smiles. Whoever withholds from smiling for a longer time wins!

Spring Yoga for Kids

You can fill two needs with one deed with spring yoga for kids. Help your kids learn about spring through fun poses and movements. You can also incorporate storytelling to enhance the experience. Spring poses can be practiced at the park or even at home. All you need to do is kick off your shoes and get into action with the following simple ideas for yoga for spring:

The Sun Pose

Form a Mountain Pose, extend your arms towards the sky while looking upwards and join your palms together.

The Tree Pose

Stand tall, bend your knee, and place your right foot on your left inner thigh while balancing yourself. Repeat with the other side.

The Bird Pose

Stand tall, extend one leg behind you while bending your torso forward. Extend your arms in front of you and flap them like wings of a bird.

The Rain Pose

Stand tall in a Mountain Pose, reach for your toes while bending your upper body and hang your arms freely like rain.

The Caterpillar Pose

Lie flat on your belly and simply stretch your arms out.

The Bee Pose

Rest upright on your heels and form a hero pose. Practice a humming breath while buzzing with your arms.

The Butterfly Pose

Sit with a tall spine, bent legs, and on your buttocks. Align the soles of your feet together and flap your legs gently mimicking the wings of a butterfly.

The Resting Pose

Lie on the ground with your legs and arms stretched out. Close your eyes, rest, breathe, and imagine the peaceful sounds and sights of a park.

Bear Yoga Pose for Kids

Bear yoga pose is a fun posture for kids and comes with the following benefits:

  • Helps develop balancing skills
  • Increases proprioception (understanding of body shape and body awareness)
  • Increases core stability and activates both hip and tummy muscles
  • Stretches calf and hamstring muscles
  • Furthers language and speech development

Now that you know all the benefits of a bear pose, here is a step-by-step procedure to perform it:

  • Stand opposite to your child so that they can copy your movements
  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward from the waist
  • While bending forward make sure to grasp the back of your legs (just below your knees) using both your hands
  • Slowly stomp forwards like a bear does while trying to keep your knees from bending
  • You can growl as bears do while you move around to make the experience more authentic and enjoyable
  • You can straighten up after a few steps to stretch out your back and get back at it again with more energy!

Two-Person Yoga Poses for Kids

Two-person yoga poses help in building trust and connection, enhancing communication and cooperation, boosting teamwork and creativity, and developing self-esteem and confidence. Above all, these poses are so much fun! Here are some YouTube video tutorials for partner poses for kids for all ages:

Family AcroYoga with Small Kids Tutorial

KKY Partner Poses for Kids of All Ages!

3 Minute Kids Partner Yoga | Fightmaster Yoga Videos

Now that you’ve learned so much about fun yoga poses, it’s time to move towards calming yoga poses for kids to help them relax and release that built-up stress.

Calming Yoga for Kids

calming yoga for kids

Like you, your kids might even be a victim to the ever-dreaded stress and tension. These issues can be caused because of their busy school schedule or just common nervousness, anxiety, and the inability to calm down. Yoga for kids can help them make that connection between the mind and the body even stronger. To help your kids move their bodies and shake loose their discomfort, introduce them to the following calming and simple relaxing yoga poses for kids:

Easy Forward-Bend Pose

Sit with your legs crossed and inhale deeply. Exhale slowly while bending forward, fold your arms, and rest them on your head. Move towards the floor and rest your arms on the ground. Stay there and breathe slowly. Sit up straight, straighten your legs, and shake them.

The Rabbit Pose

When it comes to relaxing yoga for kids, the Rabbit Pose plays an essential role in the practice. Begin in child’s pose, clasp your hands behind your back while lifting your hips, and rolling forward while balancing yourself on the crown of your head. Stay in the position and breathe slowly. Lower your hip when you’re ready and relax in child’s pose until you’re ready to perform the pose again.

The Side Stretch

Sit on the floor or your yoga mat in a comfortable position and extend your left arm away from you, resting your palm on the floor. Drop your head toward your left shoulder and inhale. Now stretch your right arm over your head, and feel the stretch. Keep your shoulders and head completely relaxed, and breathe in and out. Switch sides when you’re ready.

Hard Yoga Poses for Kids

Yoga is not something that needs to be imposed on your kids; instead you need to consider their passions and interests to make the practice engaging for them. For those children who feel ready to perform advanced and hard yoga moves and for kids who like to challenge themselves, here are some poses to get started:

Heron Pose

Extend your legs in front of you and sit with a tall straight spine. Tuck your foot under your left thigh while bending your left knee. Bend your right knee, cup your hands around your right foot and stretch it in front of you. Try bringing your leg towards your forehead while keeping your spin straight. Repeat the steps by switching sides whenever you feel ready.

Shoulder-Pressing Pose

With your knees out wide, come to a squat position and place your flat palms between your legs on the floor. Now bring your left hand under your right foot. Tuck your left shoulder under your left calf. Do the same for the right side of your body. Cross your feet over each other, bend your arms slightly, drop your hips, and lean slightly forward while pressing into your hands. Balance yourself to hover above the floor.

Your kids cannot be expected top perfect these poses immediately, and should only be moved to this level once they are completely comfortable with beginner yoga. Make sure it is an enjoyable experience for both you and your kids.