The Mindful Journal


Getting Your Children Into Yoga


Yoga is an all-round incredible practice that benefits your mind, your body and your soul. It can help you to discover peace within yourself, enhance your physical fitness, and improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Encouraging your children to give yoga a try at a young age is an amazing way to help them develop into happy, healthy young adults! Within reason, there is no age too young to get your child into yoga, and there are several very basic poses and stretches that you will be able to flow through with them.

If you are unable to take your child to a yoga class, then practicing at home is also a good way to introduce them to this spiritual activity. The following poses are perfect for getting started. It is a good idea if you do the pose first and then your child can follow suit!

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This is one of the most common poses for yoga practitioners regardless of their age. It is a great connecting pose between other more complex poses, but can also be held on its own.

To get into this pose you must start on your hands and knees on the mat. Tuck your toes in, lift your buttocks up, and create a triangle with your body. Push your chest forward and allow your head to hang down. You may bend your knees slightly if required. Ensure you keep your feet firmly on the ground as you hold the pose in this position.

Downward Facing Dog is great for getting the blood flowing around the body and will also help your child to develop their balance and stability.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Tadasana is amongst the simplest of the yoga poses and requires more concentration than it does physical ability.

All you have to do is place your feet firmly on the mat with your shoulders relaxed, and feel the crown of your head reach up towards the ceiling. Make sure you balance your weight equally between both feet and hold your hands in prayer position in front of your heart.

Mountain Pose is great for lengthening and strengthening the body, and can help to increase awareness and posture. It is also a good pose to help children focus on their breathing, as they are not distracted by trying to hold themselves in position as they may be with other more complicated poses.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Begin by lying down with your chin on the mat, your belly down and your palms flat on the mat beneath your shoulders. Your legs should be together. Squeeze your thighs and buttocks and bring your head and chest up away from the floor without relying on your arms to do so. Keep your elbows tucked in to the sides of your body and push through your palms into the floor.

Cobra pose is great for stretching the muscles in the shoulders, chest and back. It improves flexibility and boosts the mood. Cobra pose can also help to reduce stiffness in the lower back.

Maintaining Healthy Habits

Yoga is an amazing way to enhance both your physical and mental health, and is therefore very beneficial to encourage your child to embrace. However, some yoga poses can be quite challenging and the key is to have fun and bond with your child. If they are struggling to hold a pose then you should always encourage them to exit the pose and try again.

As you continue to practice yoga together it will be exciting to see how you both progress, and how you feel the benefits in other areas of your life!

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Follow Your Intentions

The first part of namaste comes from "namaha," a Sanskrit verb that originally meant "to bend." Bending is a sign of submission to authority or showing some respect to some superior entity." Over time, "namaha" went from meaning "to bend" to meaning "salutations" or "greetings." The "te" in namaste means "to you," Deshpande says. So all together, namaste literally means "greetings to you." In the Vedas, namaste mostly occurs as a salutation to a divinity.