Category: Breathing Exercises

Opening Minds: Early Education, Child Care, and School Age Conference Presentation

 

I was honored to speak at the Opening Minds Conference and Expo in Chicago.  It is one of the biggest early childhood events of the year and I was so excited to be a part of it. I presented on How to Easily Incorporate Yoga in Your Preschool Classroom with Poses, Games, and Mindfulness Within Your Existing Curriculum.

 

Best yoga for kids props and resources

I may have slightly overpacked, but I had so many props, resources, and ideas that I couldn’t wait to share with fellow educators, counselors, parents, child care providers, and healthcare professionals about the importance of introducing yoga to young children.

Many of my favorite props are detailed in Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Lessons for Children but there were also many seasonal kids yoga props and games that are very timely and effective such as our Open Hearts and Minds Valentine Box and poses as well as our Snowball Kids Yoga Lesson Plan.

Opening Minds: Early Education, Child Care, and School Age Conference and Expo

An hour and a half can be a long time for a session so I made sure to break it up with some breathing exercises, poses, yoga games and videos that everyone seemed to enjoy. A few favorites were Birthday Candle Breath, Balloon Breathing, how to effectively teach Tree Pose to children and ways to instantly incorporate yoga into the classroom in minutes. We used the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards for some of the exercises, but any yoga pose cards could work.

Top yoga poses for kids. How to teach Tree Pose to kids.

One of my passions is definitely helping children get fit and literate. One easy way to do this is by incorporating quality read aloud books along with yoga poses. I took the opportunity to walk through some of my favorite children’s books and explain how to incorporate yoga poses and games with them. Kids love this and they retain what they are learning all the better if they are moving as well.

Favorite read alouds to teach yoga to children

For example, practice forming some Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Palm Trees and different letter shapes with your body. For more information check out our How to Teach Yoga to Kids with Picture Books video or see a list of our favorite read-aloud books.

I so enjoyed meeting the attendees. They had wonderful questions and feedback. It was definitely a joy to be able to share my passions of kids, teaching, and yoga with others.

Yoga Props and Socks

Kids can do yoga too! One of my passions is teaching yoga to kids and helping others learn how to use yoga with kids in fun and engaging ways. Kids yoga doesn’t need to be overly complicated or time-consuming. You just need a sense of humor and willingness to have fun!

You don’t need to have many supplies or materials to teach yoga to kids, but being knowledgeable of some different items and having a few tricks up your sleeves, helps with keeping the interest level high with kids. Shorter sessions and having a few props that accompany the poses are very beneficial. Child size equipment is also useful for children practicing yoga, and child size mats, balance balls, and accessories will enhance their practice.

I always enjoy highlighting a few favorite props and resources that I use while teaching yoga to kids including a breathing ball and great read aloud books that inspire yoga poses and movement with kids.

I am also a new fan of grippy socks or sticky socks for kids. These inexpensive little accessories help with balance, stability and allow young yogis to practice anywhere–even without a mat.

When I teach my kids yoga classes, I always have the students remove their shoes and socks. Normal socks are slippery and make it difficult to hold poses. It can sometimes be a slow process of helping preschool aged children put on their socks again after class, but if they had these yoga socks it would definitely go faster because they could leave them on for the whole class.

What are some of your favorite accessories for teaching kids yoga?

 

 

How to Use a Breathing Ball or Hoberman Sphere With Kids

One of my new  favorite items to use in teaching kids yoga is the Breathing Ball or Hoberman Sphere .  It provides a great visual  for teaching kids to slow down their breath, and take long and even inhales and exhales.  We also talk about how the Breathing Ball is similar to the the work our lungs or diaphragm does.

How to Use a Breathing Ball with Children:

  • As a teacher or leader, model using it together as a whole group. As you stretch the ball out, take a deep long breath, together as a group. Then as you squeeze the ball together, let out a long deep exhale. You can experiment with the pace and show what happens when we breathe in and out too quickly. Talk about the difference in how your body feels when you take short quick breaths compared to long deep breaths.
  • If it is a smaller group, pass the ball around the circle and let each child take turns opening and closing it in time with their breath.
  • The ball is also fun to toss around the circle as it opens and shuts. Have the children participate in a team building and cooperation exercise to see how many times they can catch the ball with out it dropping. This is also a good exercise in building mindfulness.

Get your own  Hoberman Sphere now.

 

 

Teach Yoga to Kids Teacher Training

Below is a portion of the transcript of the:

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

yoga moves for kids

Get lifetime access to this course for only $10 with this coupon code.

Section 3 – Begin with Breath

Breath Work Strategies That Really Work With Kids

Let’s begin with breath. Why is breath important? Deep breathing helps calm us if we’re nervous or anxious. With yoga it helps us hold the poses longer and center ourselves. This is especially important for kids who are maybe nervous or anxious at home or at school. We’re going to show you some kid friendly ways to practice breath work from our kids yoga teacher training.

We’re going to learn eight breathing techniques that kids can remember and use in the home, at school, any time they’re feeling anxious, nervous, or upset. So why is breath important? Deep breathing helps calm us if we’re nervous or anxious. With yoga it also helps us hold the poses longer and center ourselves. I’m going to show you some fun kid friendly ways to practice that deep breathing and breath work.

First off is our Belly Breathing. You can place your hand right on your belly and go ahead and breathe in and breathe out and you can actually feel the breath moving inside. Another fun way to do it that kids love if they know each other is lay on their tummies and breathe deeply and see if they can feel their friend’s breath work as well.

Number 2 is Window Fog. Pretend like you’re trying to fog up a car or maybe you’re stepping outside in the cold air and you’re kind of seeing your breath. Go ahead and breathe deeply in and out as hard as you can. Put your hand there so you can feel your breath moving.

Blowing out the Candle is especially fun too.  Put your index fingers together and then you’ll breathe in then and breathe out as if you’re blowing out those birthday candles.

These Breathing Balls are another great visual to see your breath actually working. tree pose in yogaThe training video shows you how the ball expands and decreases. Kind of how your diaphragm would work with your breath.

Feathers are a great tool for breath work as well. You can blow your feather up and down your yoga mat. You can blow it across the room. These are inexpensive ways to actually see your breath in action.

Pinwheels are another great resource. You can take it outside, you can take in the house and practice blowing it fast or blowing it slow. You can practice different ways of utilizing your breath.

Bubbles are a great way too to see how your breath is actually working. yoga pose tree

Finally we must remember sun salutations. These are important with yoga to connect this movement of reaching up high to the sun and then diving forward towards your toes. Go ahead and breathing in as you rise up and exhaling as you fall down. That really helps you connect the movement with the breath and really warms up your whole body.

Get lifetime access to the rest of the kids yoga teacher training Kids Yoga Teacher Training course for only $10 with this coupon code.

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