Parenting is challenging these days, make no mistake about it. We’re balancing safety with everyday activities, working from home, and monitoring screen time in a period where spending eight hours in front of a screen is the new norm and physical activity is declining. So what if I told you that I had an empowering solution that provides exercise for kids while allowing you unwind? Two words: Family Yoga.
Turn off Youtube, find some calming music on Spotify, and encourage your kids to join you on the yoga mat. Everyone will enjoy the gentle exercises and soothing music as the incessant chatter of the day gives way to a gentle period of serenity.
Not a yoga guru? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be to enjoy family yoga. I have five simple yoga exercises for kids that will help your entire family stretch their bodies and minds. Developing mindfulness young helps create emotionally stable adults, and that is something all us moms can appreciate during the teen years.
Breathing Buddies – Family Yoga
Gently ease into your new family yoga routine with the breathing buddies position. Pair off into even numbers (or if you are short a pair take turns) and then sit back-to-back. Help your child strengthen their posture and then close your eyes and breathe. The only thing you should be doing is feeling the person behind you breathing. Stay here for ten breaths and teach your child to focus on this small detail that encompasses the most simple act of life.
Tree Pose – Family Yoga
Now that you and your crew have found your center, move towards exercises that combine movement and exercise for kids. An old standard is the tree pose, referred to formally as Verksasana. Begin in a standing position with arms and legs parallel to the floor. Lift up the right foot and touch it to the opposite knee creating a triangle from the hidden to the knee. Now raise hands into a steeple position above the head. Choose a point on the wall about five feet away and listen to your breathing as you hold the pose for 30 seconds. Then switch and repeat with the left leg.
Boat Pose – Family Yoga
Another fun team effort, your kids are likely to view the boat pose as play, so don’t be surprised to see them practicing it outside of family yoga (which makes it a double win for you)! To get into position, start facing your child with feet on the floor and knees bent upwards. Grasp each other’s hands and press your feet together. Rise your legs gently into the air until they are above your arms in the shape of a boat. Sing a nautical song like “Row, Row, Your Boat” and enjoy the spirit of teamwork being cultivated between your children.
Cobra Pose – Family Yoga
Very few kids can resist the urge to replicate an animal, which is why the Cobra Pose is a favorite among youngsters. Known as the Bhujangasana to yoga experts, the pose helps strengthen the spine and region and stimulates the body to release stress. Start flat on the floor, face down, and place palms on both sides of the body near the shoulders. Pull your shoulders gently back toward the spine and use your abdomen to protect the back into a curve. Slowly lift your body into a curved position while maintaining a chin-up position. Once the body is fully curved, hold for 15 to 30 seconds based on the flexibility and strength of each individual family member.
Dragon Breathing – Family Yoga
Finish off with a quiet pose that encourages togetherness and self-awareness. Lay flat on the floor and encourage your child to actually claim on top of your back. Position their knees near your hips and then lift your head off the floor, curve your spine backward, and stretch your arms straight out to your sides. Encourage your child to balance on your back for as long as possible and take deep dragon breaths. Focus on noticeably inhaling and exhaling similar to a dragon preparing to blow fire and let tensions melt away.
The physical and mental benefits of yoga can make a large difference in your families lives. There are a ton of great yoga videos and resources out there, so feel free to explore and find what’s best for your family!
Senior Author & Chief Editor
Based in Tempe, AZ
I started writing in college and am thankful to have turned it into a growing career. I love to create and share content that hits home for me, and hopefully helps others at home. I’m the proud mom of 2 beautiful boys, and a gorgeous baby girl.
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