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7 Yoga poses for children

Get 'em off the couch and onto the yoga mat!

From SheKnows Canada
Yoga is already a trend in the adult world; why not bring it to the universe of children? Here are some easy poses to get you and your little one started on a new fitness adventure.

toddler girl doing yoga

Believe it or not, yoga is not just for grown-ups. In this age of crazy stress levels and nightmarish rates of obesity (in adults as well as children), a little flexibility and a bit of relaxing exercise can go a long way. If presented properly, yoga can be exciting and fun for kids. It's also a great bonding experience. Make sure to emphasize imagination and a gaming aspect to this workout, and your kids will love it.

Try out these poses together, and don't forget to give your child time to adjust to this new type of activity. Be patient.

Tree pose

This is a great pose for children, as it tickles their creative side, and the balancing adds an extra twist. Standing on your left leg, bend your right leg, and rest your foot above your left knee. Since your legs are imitating a tree trunk, your arms and hands will obviously have to be the branches. Extend your arms up in the air, above your head. Try challenging your child to a balancing competition: Who can keep the pose the longest? This is a great pose for strength and balance.

Bow pose

This is more of a challenge, but kids love it. Lying flat on your stomach, grab both ankles with your hands, and arch your back. Your upper torso and legs should be off the floor, thus creating the shape of a bow. To add a bit more excitement, rock back and forth whilst keeping the pose. This strengthens the back and adds flexibility.

Downward-facing dog pose

This pose has the word "dog" in it — a bottomless supply of games and ideas right there. Starting on your stomach, raise your pelvis toward the ceiling, keeping hands and feet on the floor. You're going for an upside down V shape, so keep limbs straight and shoulder width apart. This pose increases flexibility and strengthens the back and legs.

Butterfly pose

Kids often sit like this without even realizing it! Sitting cross-legged with your back straight, put the soles of your feet together, and press your bent legs toward the floor. This pose is much tougher for an adult than it is for a child. It increases flexibility and offers a great stretch for the back.

Camel pose

With the word "camel" involved, once again, play off the visual aspect of the animal to capture your child's attention. Start off standing on your knees, back straight. Recline back, resting your hands on the heels of your feet, and tilt your head back too. Your body should be making a rectangular shape. Help your child to do this the first time, as it can be a little daunting to lean back without support. This posture strengthens many a back muscle.

Fish pose

This pose is fun and can involve all kinds of wiggling; it's a fish posture, after all. Lying flat on your back, keep your arms close to the torso. Lift your upper body off the floor, then bring it back down while tilting your head back, arching your back and keeping the chest elevated. Regulate the position of your head based on the depth of the arch you'd like achieve. Make sure only minimal pressure is on your head to prevent injury. The fish pose strengthens the back and the neck.

Child pose

How fitting… No better way to close your yoga practice with the kids than by indulging in the child pose. Sitting on the backs of your heels, bend over to rest your forehead on the floor, keeping your arms relaxed by your sides. Focus on your breathing, and relax.

If your child takes an interest in yoga practice, there are loads more poses to try out. These are just the basics that will help bring a bit more fitness and flexibility to your child's routine. Remember to have fun and experiment! Let us know what you thought.

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