Introducing kids to yoga at a young age stimulates their spirit while assisting a peaceful and harmonious existence. Yoga involves stretching core muscles while breathing deep and full, two very important things for children learn. Pairing basic yoga poses with fun scenes that encourage creative thinking makes the class fun and enjoyable. While the kids pretend to become the creature or object they pose into, play relaxing music to ease the transition into a meditative and relaxing state of mind.
Using the animal yoga poses to teach youth classes takes advantage of the creative nature of children. There are many animal poses in yoga, and they all are relatively simple to learn and practice. Kids are encouraged to become the animal as they learn the pose, taking deep breaths to speak the language of the creature. The combination of action and breath works gross muscles as well as the lungs. For example, kneel down and sit back on the legs in a relaxed position. After taking in a deep breath, roar as loud as possible to complete the lion pose. As the energy releases, the body becomes invigorated.
Another popular pose for children's yoga is the snake. Lie down on the stomach and push the front half of the body up using the hands placed equal to the chest. Similar to the lion pose, take a deep breath and release it while making a loud hissing sound. Tell the children to be as loud as possible, hissing only when the body is up off the floor, so the breath resonates and the body and soul gain the most benefit from the exercise.
Rallying the kids together to create yoga positions with each other makes the experience unlike the routine exercises. Fun shapes develop by having each child complete half of a total pose. Kids work together and become better at relying on each other for success, thereby adding socialization to the list of benefits that kid's yoga offers.
Children begin to understand the boundaries of personal space from group yoga by learning what is and is not appropriate. Incorporate these skills into the discussion before and after the yoga instruction, but not during it. Only the pose itself and the breathing associated with it should be concentrated on during the actual yoga activity. Separate any other lesson from the yoga, so the full spiritual benefits of the exercise is achieved.
Have the children take turns completing each half of the pose. For example, one child can start being the top of the mountain pose--the peak--while the other is the base. Standing close together requires more effort and ensures that the pose flows properly. After a set amount of time, ask the kids to switch positions.