Month: May 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Jenga! Jenga! Take this Classic Game Up a Notch with Go Go Yoga for Kids

One of my favorite things to do is to develop creative new yoga games out of classic favorites. Kids love this as it gives them the opportunity to play a game that they are already familiar with and can learn and practice yoga poses, while working together, and having lots of fun.

The bestselling book Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga with Kids includes over 50 fun and creative games to play while lyoga jenga 2earning about yoga and having fun!

I would love to share with you one of my favorite: Yoga Jenga.

How to play Yoga Jenga

  1. Before playing write the names of yoga poses on Jenga blocks in a permanent marker.
  2. Set up the Jenga Blocks as if playing a normal game.
  3.  Each player takes a turn carefully drawing out one block out at a time being careful not to let the tower fall
  4. The player will read aloud the pose and demonstrate it. Everyone then practices the yoga pose.
  5. The player places the block onto top of the tower.
  6. Continue around the circle with each child selecting a block. As per normal Jenga rules, when the blocks fall, the game is over.

Kids and adults of all ages enjoy Yoga Jegan. It is  a fun way to learn and practice many many poses. Have fun!

 

Remember Memorial Day: Celebrate our freedom with Eagle Pose

Memorial Day Quotes

“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children” —William Harvard

Beach Ball Yoga Kids With a Twist

Beachball Feet passGROUP YOGA CHALLENGE:

Beach ball pass with a twist! This is a great teamwork effort, core workout and fun for the kids as well! Sit in a circle and pass the beach ball with your feet. See if the ball can be passed with feet without using hands in the circle. Time the students and see if they can beat their record. Try not to let the ball touch the ground!

Yoga Mats? Really Necessary for Kids?

yoga matYou, your breath, and your yoga mat. Is that all you need for yoga?! Unlike other sports and activities, there are very few materials that your child really needs to practice and have fun with yoga.

Do kids really need yoga mats?  Not necessarily, but they definitely do help kids feel like they are “officially doing yoga.”

It is, however, important to give kids their own space while practicing yoga. They thrive on having their own area to move, bend and explore. Having their own space helps give them confidence in practicing their poses and gives them a perimeter in which to work in. This is especially wonderful for younger ages or children with special needs.

You don’t need to spend too much on yoga mats for kids. It is fun to encourage them to take their mats on the go- outside in the backyard, park or to the beach! You can find discounted yoga mats online. My favorite place is YogaOutlet.com where you can find inexpensive mats or order a mat roll if you are going to need several yoga mats for a yoga themed party or for camps or classes.

Mat rolls are wonderful because you can individually cut them into 15-18 kid sized mats. Remember kids are smaller than adults so they do not have to be as long! You can also choose the thickness of the yoga mats.

I have also had success with using beach towels for preschool classes, outdoor yoga classes, and birthday parties. No matter what you use, it is fun to just be able to take your yoga to go- anywhere!

 

Go Go Yoga for Kids

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Welcome to Go Go Yoga for Kids! You have found the place for creative yoga games, ideas, lesson plans and resources to introduce and teach yoga to kids.

We are here to make that easy for you! No kid yoga certification and additional training and research necessary.We have done that for you with our kid tried tested ideas!

Anyone who enjoys yoga and kids will be able to introduce and teach yoga to them through the creative ideas found with Go Go Yoga for Kids.

 

Group Tree Girls

Go Go Yoga for Kids is a complete and creative guide for introducing kids to yoga through movement, mindfulness, fun, and games. By introducing yoga to kids you can empower them with lifelong skills that will help them physically and mentally throughout life. Yoga can be done in many places besides a yoga studio. It can easily be incorporated in the home, school, extracurricular activities, camps, clubs or anywhere you find kids who are ready to learn and have fun! Check back often for fun and easy ways to incorporate some yoga with the kids around you.

Let’s Go Go Back to the Beginning!

Cristobel Tree facing. GoodThree boys. That was the total number of participants for my very first kids yoga class that I ever taught. I was fresh out the gate with my kids yoga training and was ready and eager to introduce kids to the fun and love of yoga.

After all, I loved yoga AND kids and was sure that I could get these three unsuspecting boys on board. After all, one was a fitness instructor’s son (who pretty much had to be there) and the other two were not native English speaking students. Their mom hoped they would pick up some more words and understanding by taking a yoga class.

I poured my heart into these boys for our first 8-week session. I spent hours researching and creating active yoga themes and games that I knew would get their bodies moving and their interests piqued. We were superheroes, jungle animals, warriors, and Lego enthusiasts.  I wrote up informative parent notes for each session so the parents would know our theme and poses we worked on each week as well as yoga games we played and illustrations and tips so the students could work on poses at home.

I would try out my lessons and ideas on my own children before my yoga classes. If my kids weren’t available, I would sit on my living room floor and run through my lessons out loud. By myself. I know this may sound completely overboard, but I really wanted to be prepared, and I truly wanted to help them learn and grow. I wanted to give these boys the best yoga experience I could.

After my first session ended the boys all signed up for my next session as well as twelve other kids. This quadrupled my roster! I was ecstatic. I had learned so much that first go round and was complexly hooked on the combination of teaching, yoga and kids.

Now hundreds of kids, yoga lessons and games later, I feel like I truly know what works for introducing and engaging kids through yoga. I am excited to share the knowledge I gained with you so you are able to empower the kids around you with all of the benefits and fun that yoga provides.

Go Go Yoga Kids is on the move! Stick around, I would love to have you be a part of it!

Fab Four Benefits of Yoga for Kids: Don’t Miss it!

1.     Increases Flexibility and StrengthImani Down Dog good

Picture a toddler and all of the flexibility they have to bend, squat, and move in all sorts of positions that adults suddenly sometimes find themselves unable to do. Children are naturally flexible, but somewhere around ages of 6 or 7 their flexibility begins to diminish. The good news is that by practicing yoga it will help you maintain flexibility. Yoga also builds strength as muscles are worked in new ways. Whether a pose is done standing, sitting, or lying down each pose has its own benefits and can challenge various muscle groups. Being flexible also allows fewer and less severe injuries. That is good news for kids involved in many activities outside of school.

2.     Improves BalanceBeanbags on head group

Similar to flexibility, balance is another skill that decreases as we age. Everything from navigating icy sidewalks in winter to holding a tree pose works to improve your balance skills. Balance can be improved with practice and many yoga poses and postures incorporate different elements of balance. Your body’s balance naturally improves while practicing yoga without realizing it.  As children work to improve their balance in poses, they are filled with self-confidence and can almost feel their bodies getting stronger as they hold these poses.

3.     Enhances Concentration and Focus

Flower KateKids are part of a rapidly changing world with young minds easily over stimulated with technology and electronics.  They are used to getting immediate feedback with their video games, tablets, and phones.  This can make it very difficult for children to actually sit, focus, and complete a task in school. Yoga helps children to practice concentration and self-control which then enhances their focus and awareness.

4.     Practice Being Present and Mindful

As parents and kids rush from activity to activity, it is difficult to be still and appreciate the moment that we are in. It doesn’t start like this for kids —  think of a preschooler noticing the shape of a leaf or color of the sky as they dawdle home from the park.

Sadly many kids become accustomed to a faster pace lifestyle until they suddenly do not know any different way. There is much benefit to slowing down, unplugging, and being away from it all for a bit. A good kids yoga classes can provide that. They begin with a settling into the moment and focusing on their breath and body. Kids can practice engaging poses with games and end with a savasana or quiet time. The end of class usually becomes the students’ favorite part while they lie still and “do nothing”. They know they worked their body hard and this is a time to give back, be still, and reap the benefits of strengthening their body. Being involved in a yoga class keeps the kids present, aware, and in the moment — a valuable skill to practice throughout life.

 

Beach Ball Yoga Game for Kids

Beachball Group Good  What is one of my favorite things about teaching yoga for kids? There are so many fun and creative ways to introduce poses! Beachball Yoga is one of my favorite games to use with all ages of children… especially in the summer.

Buy an inexpensive blow-up beach ball. I got mine from the Dollar Store. With different colored permanent markers write a variety of yoga poses on the beachball. I like to make my poses summer and ocean theme related. Here are some examples:

Shark (Shark Pose)

Iguana (Plank)

Swimmer (Superman Pose)

Dolphin (Dolphin Pose)

Mermaid (up dog)

Sunflower (bend at waist, hold opposite elbow, and circle up and around while holding elbows)

Beach chair (Chair Pose)

Crab (Crab walks)

Sand castle (Down Dog)

Palm tree (Tree Pose)

Surfer (Warrior 2)

Fish (Fish Pose)

Jellyfish (bend at waist and let arms hang down)

Turtle (Turtle Pose)

Starfish (Savasana)

How to Play

Toss the beach ball around the circle. When a child catches it, have them read the pose nearest their thumb. Introduce that pose to the class and everyone can practice it. Then have the ball be tossed again to another student and go again. This is such a fun way to learn lots of different poses!

Love this fun idea of teaching yoga to kids? 

We have you covered. For a limited time join our Teach Yoga to Kids Online Course for only $10. You get lifetime access, can take at your convenience, and get over a 100 fun and ready to use fun kids yoga ideas. Learn more here.

Check out our recommended kids yoga resources.

Need more Beach Ball Yoga ideas? See our Fun in the Sun Kids Yoga Class at Athleta or Learn how to play Beach Ball Yoga with a Twist .

Go Go Yoga Kids: Fun Partner Poses That Kids Love to Show Off!

Kids LOVE partner poses! They are fun to do and equally impressive to watch. Partner poses and working together as a group to accomplish a goal is fun and rewarding. It builds trust and community while building confidence.  It is helpful to have someone near similar size for some of the partner poses, but partner poses can definitely be modified.

Here are few fun partner poses that can be tried anywhere and anytime!

Double Boat: This partner pose looks absolutely stunning and impressive when done correctly. Have each partner sit facing each other, knees bent and toucDouble Boat Nia and Katehing toes. Have them hold hands and lift legs. The bottoms of their feet should be touching as this helps with balance. Then the partners, if able, straighten their legs and lean back slightly as if in a “V” shape.

 

 

Raindrop: Each partner lays on their back Raindrop Nia and Merylwith their heads touching. With their arms at their sides, they raise their feet above their heads to touch to make a giant raindrop.

Just Breathe! How to Calm Yourself in 30 Seconds

mothers day yogaThere are several ways to practice breath and being mindful with your kids, but the main goal is to make children aware of how they are feeling while slowing down their bodies and noticing their breath. Does their breath become short, shallow and fast when they are getting worked up or nervous about something?

The following is a simple sequence that allows children to practice becoming aware of their breath and it helps them focus and calm their nerves before a test, presentation, game, recital or anything that they are feeling anxiety or stress over.

  1. Find a seated position comfortably with your hands resting open on your lap.
  2. Sit up tall, close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in for a count of five and out for a count of three through your nose.
  4. Repeat for five to seven rounds.
  5. Open your eyes and see how you feel. More peaceful and ready to take on the world?!

Help your kids practice this simple technique and it will become a tool that they will always have with them to use and find success with.

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