I have two little people who love to do yoga, in fact they’ve been doing it since before they were born. Here’s a list of tips and tricks I’ve come up with (after several years of trial and error fun!) for practicing Yoga with kids.
1. Just go with it: Don’t plan too much. Little people mean lots of distractions and interruptions, so you’ll never get to do everything you planed for. You might not be able to get in a full hour or 20 minutes, but even a few minutes is better than nothing.
2. Use them as weights: Holding your little people up (but still close to your body) while doing a pose is a great way to include them and add in a little extra resistance for you.
3. Cuddle and rock them: Gently swing your baby while doing a forward fold, hold your little one on your hip while doing warrior or cuddle them between your chest and knees while rolling like a ball or doing boat pose.
4. Lots of Jazz Hands and Funny Faces: These will keep your little one entertained so you can hold your pose for a few breaths longer.
5. Practice whenever and where ever you can: Try doing arm, wrist, neck, shoulder or ankle stretches while rocking or nursing your baby.
6. Go extra easy when pregnant and nursing: Crazy hormones mean you might be extra bendy, and that means it even easier to stretch too far without realizing it. Pay attention to your body and learn the different modifications to make practicing safe during all three trimesters.
Yoga for Kids
7. Play “this is yoga”: This is a favourite game for my little ones, we take turns making up poses and fun names for them.
8. Be each other’s mirror: Once you’ve practiced a few poses together, get your little ones to imitate you and instruct you so you can mirror them back.
9. Tell a story: Use lots of action words and act them out as poses, or tell a fun story with lots of animals and make their sounds while you do cat, cow, dog, cobra, butterfly and fish pose.
10. A built in accountability partner: Encourage each other to make everyday activities more mindful or set a regular time and place to practice together.