By: Erica Quam, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor. Erica Quam has taught yoga to athletes and active individuals for 11 years. Erica first began teaching to her athletes during her 15-year career as a college swim coach. She believes yoga can help prevent injuries and reduce stress, while building strength, flexibility and confidence.
Today I'm gonna teach you five yoga poses that are great for kids, and for the whole family. These poses will help kids build strength, flexibility and confidence (bonus: they're also a lot of fun!).
Start in child's pose and get a good distance between your hands and your feet. Come up to the hands and the knees, open up the chest, lift your hips up, extend your arms, extend your legs, and breathe. Dog pose is a great pose for kids because it's really simple, they love the name, and it's a great way for them to reset their energy.
Start from your hands and your knees. Extend your arms forward just like downward dog pose. Keep your toes curled under, and reach the hips back towards your heels. Take your hands over to the right side, stretch your left fingertips a little further forward and draw back through the outer left hip -- hold here. Then, come back to the center and now walk your hands over to the left side. Stretch your right fingertips a little further forward and draw back through the outer right hip. Puppy pose is great -- it's simple, you can be down on your hands and your knees, and you get a little bit more of a side stretch that's really great for your body.
Lie down on your stomach. Take your right foot into your right hand and your left foot into your left hand. Press the feet back into your hands, lift your chest up, lift your head up and roll the thighs in. Once you're up, keep using your breath to come even more up into a back bend. If you wanna go a little further you can even rock forwards and backwards in this pose. Bow pose is a great pose for kids because it opens up the chest, opens up the shoulders, and it's super fun to get into the pose and start to rock back and forth.
While standing, spread your legs wide apart and line up your front heel to the arch of the back foot. Extend the back leg and lift your chest. As you bend your knee, keep the knee over the heel and center the knee in line with the center of the foot -- really pay attention to your alignment here. Then extend your arms in opposite directions. Keep your spine vertical, reach the arms away from one another, and turn your head and look over the front fingertips. Warrior pose is a strong, stable pose and it's great to help build confidence.
Crow pose is an arm balance. Start by bending at the hips. Lower your hands to the floor and keep your hands shoulder-width apart. You're going to bend your knees and take your knees to the outside of your elbows. Extend your arms, lift your chest, and then start to lean forward. As you lean forward, see if you can take your right toes up and then take your left toes up. Start to straighten your arms. Draw the navel into the spine and lift your lower back up, pressing the hands into the floor. Crow pose is a fun pose for kids because most of them are strong enough to do a pose like this. It's great for their core, it's great for their arm strength, and it's just a lot of fun