9 Yoga Poses That Children Can Easily Adopt
Yoga, an art form from the ancient times in India, has made its way to the west. It is believed to be the best gift to mankind which brings peace and harmony to the mind and body.
Teaching yoga to children is a wonderful way to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle from a young age, and they can reap its benefits for years to come.
Today’s fast-paced and competitive lifestyle has made stress an unavoidable part of our lives. There is a dire need for something that would alleviate stress and anxiety, bring peace and relaxation, boost confidence and strengthen the body.
What can be better than yoga?
Teaching yoga to children is fun as well as challenging. Here are some easy yoga poses that children can learn and practice with little effort. These poses are simple, and yet packed with benefits.
1. Viparita Virabhadrasana or reverse warrior pose
Benefits: This pose helps boost confidence, opens up the ribs and makes the body more flexible.
Method: Start by standing straight and taking a deep breath. Now move your left leg outwards making sure both the legs are in the same line. Left leg should be straight while right leg can be slightly bent if needed. Keep your right arm upwards and slowly start bending it towards your left side while your palm is towards the ceiling. Keep your left arm straight and facing downwards, and your left palm on the knee. Now, bend your body slightly towards the right side. Keep breathing normally, look upwards and maintain this pose for 30 seconds. Return to the original position and repeat on the opposite side.
2. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Upward Facing Dog Pose
Benefits: This pose strengthens the spinal cord. It also opens up and stretches the chest. It is useful in lowering down stress levels and fighting asthma.
Method: To do this pose, lie down on the floor with your face down and your palms on the ground. Raise your hands with the help of your shoulders and keep your elbows straight. Now, try to push your body upwards from head to waist. Breathe normally, and keep your legs and knees straight and locked.
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Bridge Pose
Benefits: This pose stretches and strengthens the back and neck. It is also a great way to alleviate stress, fight depression and improve digestion. It strengthens the legs as well.
Method: To do this pose, lie down straight on the floor with your back down and put your hands on the floor with your palms pointing downwards. Bend your knees such that your legs are perpendicular to floor from knees to toes. Exhale and use some strength to lift your body upwards. Now, your body should be parallel to the floor from chest to thighs. Stay in this pose for 10 seconds. Return to the original position slowly.
4. Dekasan or aeroplane pose
Benefits: This posture helps in improving concentration and teaches a child to maintain better balance. It also strengthens legs, chest and arms.
Method: To do this pose, stand straight and inhale. Both your knees should be straight and locked. Put your left leg forward and lean your body a little forward too. Now raise your arms sideways to maintain balance just like the wings of an aeroplane. Stay in this position for a few seconds before returning to the original position.
5. Vikrassana or the tree pose
Benefits: This pose teaches a child to improve her balance and stretches the chest. It also strengthens arms and legs.
Method: To do this pose, take a deep breath and stand erect. Bring your left toe a little upwards making sure the right toe is placed firmly on the floor. The right leg and knee should be straight and locked. To maintain balance, bring your arms upwards. Look upwards and breathe normally. Stay in this position for few seconds. Return to the starting position.
6. Balasana or the flower pose
Benefit: This pose helps in building strength as well as improving balance.
Method: To do this pose, sit straight on the floor with your spinal cord erect. Bend your legs such that both your knees should be pointing in opposite directions. Lift your legs slowly upwards while holding them with your hands. Stay in this position for few seconds before returning to the original position.
7. Adho Muka Savanasana or downward dog pose
Benefits: This pose is great for oxygenating the body and is a good resting pose for stability. It is helpful in relieving headaches and back pain. It also calms the mind and provides energy to the body by stretching the upper body area.
Method: To do this pose, inhale and stand erect. Now, bend your body downwards from waist to head. Place your palms on the floor and push your butt outwards. Make sure the elbows are straight and locked. Pull your soles upwards. Stay in this position for few seconds. Return to the original position and exhale.
8. Ananda Balasana or happy baby pose
Benefits: This pose helps in bringing peace to the mind and body and decreases stress levels. It also stretches the spinal cord.
Method: Lie down with your back on the floor and inhale. Exhale and bring your knees towards your belly. Hold your feet with your palms. Stay in this pose for several seconds. Gently lower down your legs and come back in the original position.
9. Balasana or Child’s pose
Benefits: This pose helps in stretching the legs and hips, and calming the mind.
Method: To do this pose, inhale and sit down with your knees bent backwards. Bend your body forwards while inhaling. Keep your hands on the floor alongside your body such that the knuckles are touching the floor. Keep the head down with the forehead touching the ground. Your bent body should touch your thighs. Stay in this position for few seconds. To return to the natural pose, straighten your arms and sit down.
Yoga is a great way to a healthy and positive lifestyle. It teaches how to keep control of your emotions and how to lower down stress levels. If kids start practicing yoga at an early age, it may become a healthy habit that would stay with them for a lifetime.