Top 5 Kid Friendly Animal Yoga Poses to Get Your Kids Moving

In an overstimulated world learning to quiet your mind and take the time to care for you body is a valuable skill for kids to learn. These days kids are living in a very busy, screen filled world. The pressure to succeed in school, organized activities, competitive sports, video games and even social media can take a serious toll on the stress levels of developing minds and bodies. Luckily kids yoga can be a fun and easy way to get your children to slow down in a productive and beneficial way.

 

Kids yoga can help ease the pressure they feel from living in aculture that hurries them from one activity to the other. Yoga teaches kids self care, coordination, concentration and increases balance. Whether your kid is an athlete, musician, or academic, the skills they learn from yoga can help them perform better. Kids yoga can also have a seriously positive impact on mental health and attention related issues like ADHD.

 

The best part about kids yoga is that it’s cost effective, non competitive, and inclusive. Yoga teaches self acceptance and can be practiced almost anywhere with just a yoga mat. There’s no better way to introduce kids to yoga than starting with fun animal poses. So many yoga poses are inspired by animals and are silly enough to get kids interested.

 

The children’s book, Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids by Kristen Fischer teaches kids animal yoga poses while helping them learn to count. The story follows heroine, Lyla as she learns different yoga poses from her animal friends at the zoo. Kristen uses rhyming and counting to make it easier for kids to remember how to do each pose.

 

Here are five kids yoga poses from Kristen’s book to get your kids moving. If you’re feeling ambitious try incorporating savasana at the end of the routine. It’s essentially a short nap. Fingers crossed they fall for it.

 

Namaste!

 

 

1.) Lions Pose Simhasana

Kids Yoga Lions Pose

Illustration by Susi Schaefer

 

Here’s a fun kids yoga pose that focuses on breathing techniques. They’ll love getting the ok to stick out their tongues and roar!

 

Instructions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Kneel on your yoga mat (or a towel) and sit back on your heels.
  2. Press your palms into your knees and spread your fingers out wide like lions claws.
  3. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while you stretch your tongue to your chin.
  4. Breathe out through your mouth and let out a roar!

Book Excerpt: “Lions stalk and they prowl, / in this pride there are four. / Hands pressed to her knees, / Lyla bellows a roar.” Next come five camels who bend their knees back when they sit. Lyla kneels too and grabs onto her heels. She bends backwards while relaxing her neck and in no time “she’s got the knack.” But Lyla needs a bit of a rest. Six alligators lounging in the river show her it’s easy to relax on her tummy.

 

 

2.) Bear Pose (Merudandasana)

Kids Yoga Bear Pose

Illustration by Susi Schaefer

 

Bear pose is a balancing pose that incorporates mediation and breathing.

 

Instructions: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Sit up with your legs bent in frontof you.
  2. Grab your big toes and sit back to balance on your bottom.
  3. Slowly extend your legs straight as you gaze up and continue breathing.
  4. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
  5. Try repeating 5 times.

Book Excerpt: “Lyla is ready / to try something new. / Can she learn yoga / from friends at the zoo?” In her room Lyla dresses in comfy clothes and rolls out her red yoga mat. She remembers the bear who “grabbed onto his feet” as she does the same while lifting her legs in the air. Two slithering cobras teach Lyla their moves, and from three eagles Lyla learns to stand as if ready to fly.

3.) Gorilla Pose (Padahastasana)

Kids Yoga Gorilla Pose

Illustration by Susi Schaefer

 

This kids yoga pose also known as “forward fold” is a great stretch that sends a healthy rush of blood to your head. It improves circulation and increased flexibility. Kids can either try to get their hands under their feet or grab on to their big toes.

 

Instructions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Stand up and fold at your hips. It’s okay to bend your knees a little.
  2. Lift up your toes and slide your hands under them, palms up, fingers parallel to your toes (or grab on to your big toes).
  3. Now your hands are under your feet.
  4. Breathe, focusing on lifting your hips to the sky or ceiling.
  5. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

Book Excerpt: “eight gorillas screech. / Lyla folds in half, / clasps hands under feet, / and lets out a laugh.”

4.) Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana) 

Kids Yoga Lizard Pose

Illustration by Susi Schaefer

 

Lizard pose focuses on stretching the hip flexors and keeps their growing leg muscles limber. While this pose is often tricky for adults to get into, most kids have no problem with this low lunge.Instructions: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Bring your palms to the ground and extend your legs back, raising your bottom up and hanging your head.
  2. Place your right foot to the right of your pinky finger. Be sure your right knee is directly above your heel and not in front of it.
  3. For a deeper stretch, rest your forearms on the ground.
  4. Keep your chin lifted and look ahead.
  5. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

Book Excerpt: Nine lizards gathered on a rock invite Lyla to be one of them. But what will she do for a tail? With one leg outstretched and one near her hand, she can look like a lizard sunning on land. “Remember to breathe / use only your nose. / Inhale and exhale. / Stay calm in each pose.”

5.) Frog Pose (Mandukasana)

Kids Yoga Frog Pose

Illustration by Susi Schaefer

 

Frog pose is a kids yoga pose that is pretty self explanatory. You sit in a squat with your hips at your sides like a frog does. It’s a powerful grounding pose that can make kids feel calmer and comforted.

 

Instructions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Come onto your hands and knees.
  2. Walk your knees out as wide as possible while still being comfortable.
  3. Bring your elbows and forearms to the ground beneath your shoulders.
  4. Keep palms flat on the ground.
  5. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

Book Excerpt: At the pond are ten frogs having high-jumping fun. With her legs stretched out wide and her arms as a prop, Lyla looks like those frogs as they get ready to hop.

 

 

 

Looking for adult yoga poses? Try these Yoga Poses Before Bed for a Restful Sleep.

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