Wondering how to teach yoga to your kids at home? A good way to start is by DVD. I recently checked out Jodi Komitor’s (of Next Generation Yoga) Whale Yoga for Kids DVD, designed for kids ages 2 and up. She uses the majestic Pacific humpback whales in Hawaii for inspiration and as a theme for class. I have to admit I dropped my multitasking to do the "whale breath" with the kids in the DVD within the first five minutes and am now in love with whale pranayama practice. (Blow stress out your blowhole!)
She went on to lead kids in an asana practice using the whale theme. A lot of the shapes will be familiar to adult yogis, but are given different names to go along with the whale story. (Thread the needle? How about stretching your pectoral fin? Downdog to plank to updog? How about moving in big ocean waves, child's pose or sleeping whale?) I wish there was a little more explanation to the kids why they're doing these exercises (other than being whales), like lessons about relaxing, getting strong, or listening within, but this might be something you can let your kids know, to give a larger context. This DVD made me want to visit the ocean, and Jodi's tone is endearing and pulls you in. It's a great tool for getting kids moving and breathing consciously.
A cool bonus: kids will actually learn fun facts about whales as they practice this 20 minute asana sequence! Another thing I really liked is that there's an instructional chapter to watch and try, and then when you've got it down you can practice the "flow" chapter and keep it moving -- just like moving from a "beginner's" class as an adult to an "open level" flow class.