Yoga offers a plethora of benefits for both adults and children, including improved mental focus, enhanced discipline, physical fitness, better circulation, improved posture, reduced physical and mental stress, and a sense of calmness.
Here are five simple tips to get your entire family started with a yoga practice:
- Pick a quiet place to do yoga, and focus on breathing in and out through the nose.
- Hold the poses anywhere from 8 to 15 seconds. Since it takes time to get into the postures, counting should start once you are in the posture.
- Slowly increase the time spent in the poses once you get more proficient with them.
- Try to eat lightly before doing yoga, as many of the poses twist across your internal organs.
- Have FUN together as a family as you learn to find a sense of calm during the cold winter months.
To jump-start your routine, try practicing the following 12 postures as a family by using the acronyms PEACE, LOVE, and JOY.
Sitting tall in a cross-legged position, reach one arm across your body and rest it on your knee. Then stretch your other hand directly behind you. Count slowly to eight before switching sides.
2. Easy Pose
Simply sit cross-legged with your hands gently placed upon your knees with your palms facing upward. Take several deep breaths in and out of your nose as you begin to quiet and calm your body and mind.
Lie on your tummy and gently lift your chest, arms, and legs off the floor.
Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent close to your side. Then gently lift up your chest, keeping your legs straight behind you.
From a standing position, fold forward and interlace your hands, swinging them side to side like an elephant trunk.
Sit with your knees bent into your chest with your arms wrapped around them. Then, point your forehead to your knees and count to 3; next, inhale and lift your head, like a Jack-in-the-box popping up.
Lie on your belly with your arms out in front of you. Then slowly push up with your hands against the floor, straightening your arms and lifting your head and chest.
Stand tall with your feet grounded into the floor. Slowly straighten your arms and lift them over your head, stretching up and making your body into the shape of the letter Y.
Kneel on your shins with your chest on your thighs. Then, on the count of 3, spring your body forward and roar like a lion!
Sit tall with the soles of your feet together. Then slide your arms under your knees, touching your elbows to the floor with ease. Hold on to the sides of your feet as you slowly inhale and exhale through your nose, bringing your head gently toward your toes.
Stand tall with your feet slightly apart, bringing your hands into prayer position in front of your heart. Next, inhale and push your hands to the sky, then exhale and move your arms to the side and then back to center, like an exploding volcano.
Stand tall and then bend your knees. Bring your right leg over your left one and then cross your right arm under your left. Stay in this position for a count of 8 before switching sides.
Adapted from an except from The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, written by
Teresa Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.