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5 simple yoga poses to teach your kids

By SABRINA MERCHANT
September 02, 2020 12:40 IST
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Kids yoga expert Sabrina Merchant shows you the easy and fun way to introduce yoga to kids.

Introducing yoga to children in the early years helps establish healthy habits.

Yoga can enhance your child's flexibility, coordination, memory, help with self awareness, build attention span, reduce stress and anxiety and so much more.

Since kids love animals, an interesting way of introducing yoga to your little ones is through kid-friendly animal yoga poses.

Animal Yoga poses are inspired from animal behaviour and movement.

These poses will help your child connect with nature, learn more about animals and stay fit while doing so.

Some of these simple yoga poses are great for beginners too.

1. Talasana/Giraffe Pose

Talasana or Giraffe pose

A cultural asana for upward stretch of the spine. This posture stretches all the muscles of the body lengthwise.

How to do it

  • Stand erect with hands at their respective sides with feet slightly apart and parallel to each.
  • Keep the neck straight, chest thrown well forward, and chin parallel to the ground.
  • Focusing at a point straight ahead, raise both your arms for a full upward stretch to reach a verticals position.
  • Simultaneously, raise both your heels, to achieve maximum stretch to the body. 
  • After holding for 6 to 10 seconds, turn your palm position outward, keeping the arm straight, bring it down through a backward and downward circuit. 
  • Simultaneously lower the heels to resume the starting position. 

Benefits

  • Stretches the entire body and aids in increasing height.
  • Improves elasticity, capacity and circulation of the lungs.
  • Improves the venous flow- equalizes blood circulation.

 

2. Anjaneyasana/Rhino Pose

Rhino pose or Anjaneyasana

How to do it

  • Start by kneeling down on your mat, hand on your waist.
  • Lift one knee off the ground and move one foot in front, coming into a low lunge.
  • Lifting your hand up straight over your head and joining your palms together in namaste.
  • Bend backward with your hand reaching behind and forming an arc like the nose horn of the rhino.

Benefits

Strengthens the back, legs, and shoulders mainly the quadriceps and glutes.

 

3. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana/Dolphin Pose

Dolphin pose or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Let's go flipping with dolphins with this amazing semi inversion pose.

How to do it

  • Start by getting onto your fours, with palms under your shoulder and knees under your hips.
  • Lower your forearms on the floor, spread your fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward, and palms shoulder width apart.
  • Tuck your toes under and lift the hips up towards the ceiling.
  • Let the head and neck hang freely from the shoulders, the forehead can rest on the floor.
  • Slowly bring your knees back to the floor, sit back and relax with your bottoms on your heals and arms stretched out in front.

Benefits

  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders.
  • Stretches the chest, mid and lower back, hips and hamstrings and energises the body.

 

4. Uttihita Marjaryasana/Tiger Pose

Tiger pose

An energising pose that improves your balance and strengthens the entire body, stretching the arms and legs and aligning the spine.

How to do it

  • Start with hands and knees.
  • Extend the right arm and left leg. Opposites.
  • Return to hands and knees.
  • Extend the left arm and right leg. Opposites
  • Return to hands and knees.

Benefits

  • Improves balance and mental focus.
  • Lengthens the arm and legs.
  • Relieves stress and tension.
  • Tones the core
  • Stretches and lengthens the spine.

 

5. Bhujanasana/Snake Pose

snake pose

How to do it

  • Start by sleeping on your belly, forehead on the floor, legs stretched out and feet touching.
  • Bring your palms close your chest making sure your elbow are close to each other.
  • Lift your head, upper body, arms. Legs remain on the floor.
  • Hold this pose. Come out of the pose by bending your elbows and  bringing your body back on the floor.

Benefits

  • Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals.
  • Decreases stiffness of the lower back.
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders.
  • Increases flexibility.

All photographs: Kind courtesy Sabrina Merchant

Sabrina Merchant, a certified kids yoga expert, is the founder of Lil' Yogis and the author of Ocean Yoga.

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