Try these five heart-opening yoga valentine poses with children this Valentine holiday. These heart-opening exercises are especially beneficial for kids and adults who spend the majority of their day slouched in desks at school and work or with their heads bent over screens and books.
These exercises take only minutes and will help improve posture and release back and neck tension as well as create openness in your body and mind.
Cat to Cow Pose: Begin on your hands and knees. Next round your back and tuck your chin into your chest as if you are a cat. Then look up, arch your back and open your chest into Cow Pose. This is a great way to strengthen your spine and begin to feel your heart-opening.
Updog Pose: Lie on your tummy. Place the palms of your hands next to your shoulders and lookup. Slowly straighten your arms and open your chest. It is okay to keep arms bent as well.
Bridge or Wheel Pose: Kids love trying to get into Wheel Pose, but this huge heart opener is not easily accessible for all. For an easier but still effective heart opener, try Bridge Pose. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arms alongside your body, tuck your chin into your chest, and lift your back to create a bridge.
Camel Pose: Take this pose slowly and feel your heart open. Get on your knees, lean back slowly, and place your hands on your lower back or ankles. Tilt your head back, open your chest, and breathe.
Bow Pose: Lie on your tummy, bend your knees, and lift your chest. Reach your arms back toward your toes and hold onto your feet. Let your heart shine!
Bow Pose becomes easier to try after practicing with The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose
How amazing would it be if we all did one small act of kindness each day? What better day to start than on National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th? This day has grown in popularity over the years and what a game changer it could be if everyone participated.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
We tell kids all the time to share, play nicely and be kind to others. It is one thing to say, but we all know how actions mean more than words.
Often random acts of kindness can go a long way to brighten our day more than we would ever imagine.
Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week with the Go Go Yoga for Kids Kindness Bingo Game
Yoga Bingo is a fun and active game for all ages. This game is an engaging and easy way to introduce and teach children a variety of yoga poses. Plus a fun way to help kids practice a wide variety of poses.
Yoga Bingo is perfect for large and small groups.
Downloadable for immediate play!
Your Complete Yoga Pose Bingo Game Includes:
10 Unique Full Sized Yoga Bingo Cards
Directions on How to Play
40 Different Yoga Poses
Multicultural & Diverse
1 Caller Card
Downloadable for immediate play
Perfect for school, home, camps, clubs, and parties.
I love creating new games to use in my kids yoga classes. Kids naturally love to play games and they are a good way to get them moving. Games also lead to laughter and fun which helps build community and friendships. Yoga Games such as the Kids Yoga Obstacle Course are also the perfect way to practice all of the fun yoga poses that the kids have been learning.
How to Create a Kids Yoga Obstacle Course:
Kids LOVE obstacle courses and this is one of my favorite ways to get kids moving in healthy and good ways. This is exactly what kids need as their school days involve a lot of sitting as well as the national increase of video games and screens.
Every kids yoga class that I teach follows the Go Go Yoga for Kids Lesson Plan Format. This lesson plan framework ensures that kids are getting exactly what they need with breathing exercises, poses, movement, teamwork, mindfulness and more.
Select 4-5 poses that you want to introduce to children. I use the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards as visuals for the poses. I will place the selected cards into a colorful gift bag and allow the students one at a time to draw out a pose to learn. After the yoga poses have been introduced and practiced, it is the perfect time to begin The Yoga Obstacle Course!
Be creative with this! Please do not go out and buy anything. Use whatever objects you have available to make an obstacle course.
Obstacle Course Prop Examples
Hula hoops laid on the ground to do high knees through
Jump ropes laid parallel so kids can jump across them like a river
Cones to jump over or hop to
Yoga blocks for stepping stones
Yoga mats placed end to end for bear walks, log rolls, frog hops, etc.
The ideas are endless for using creating different obstacles and I do like to change it up to keep things fresh and fun.
Place the objects in a large circle. Between each obstacle I place a yoga mat and a Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Card.
Get Ready to Go!
First, I demonstrate how to go through the obstacle course. I make a big show out of hopping through the “rings of fire,” (hula hoops) or carefully crossing over the “icy river on blocks of ice” (yoga blocks).
Kids are completely mesmorized as they watch you carefully navigate through the obstacle course. Be sure to pause after each obstacle to hold the pose on the yoga pose card.
Next, I put on some fun music and it is the kids turn to move around the obstacle course and perform the yoga poses that are shown on cards. They love this and would do it forever if allowed. I recommend not letting the obstacle course go on “forever” as you want to keep things fresh and fun. Learn more Secrets to Teaching Yoga to Children here.
Cold weather is keeping kids inside during school recess this winter. With recess and PE time already being decreased in schools, this definitely is a growing concern. Kids need to have the opportunity to move and be active during an otherwise mostly sedentary school day. Instead of turning on a movie or staring at an Ipad try some fun Yoga Stations.
Try these 5 easy to implement Yoga Stations for the next indoor recess to get your kids fit, focused and flexible. Yoga stations are perfect for school and home and require no materials. Set up your 3 Yoga Stations in your classroom or home, turn up some music and have kids rotate stations every five minutes.
Station 1: Plank Pose Challenge
In one corner of the room have students partner up and take turns holding the perfect plank position with a straight line from head to feet. Their partner can watch the clock for 15 or 30 seconds. Have them switch positions and slowly work up to one minute.
Station 2: Tree Pose
Balance needs to be practiced in order to be maintained. Tips on holding that can be tricky tree pose is by focusing on a spot on the ground that is not moving. Bring your foot to your calf and hands at heart center. As you become more steady, try bringing your foot to your thigh and your hands overhead.
Station 3: Warrior 2 Jumps
Kids love this and is a great way to get the heart pumping and healthy. Stand strong in Warrior 2 with arms outstretched and front leg bent. Try jumping and switching directions and landing in Warrior 2. It is almost like snowboarding, but much warmer!
Station 4: Down Dog Push Ups
We have all done push-ups and feel the effects in our arms. Down Dog push-ups work not only your arms, but also increase the length of hamstring muscles. While in Down Dog pose move your arms in a push-up form. You probably won’t be able to get as close to the floor, but students will work their arms and legs in a whole new way!
Station 5: Human Knot
This is a perfect opportunity for kids to work together in a small group to accomplish a goal. Stand in a circle and grasp one another’s hands across from you. Try to untangle yourselves without letting go of hands. This requires patience, communication and some flexibility. It is a great way to build teamwork in your home or classroom
With these simple exercises, kids are working together on balance, focus, core strength while getting their heart healthy and happy! Those are all good things for home or school!
Are you looking for a fun easy kids yoga game?! Yoga Shapes is easy to play and the kids LOVE it! All you need is a dry erase marker and a markerboard.
How to Play Yoga Shapes:
Begin by telling the children that they will need to make the shape with their own body on markerboard as quickly and quietly as possible. There is no right or wrong answer.
Draw one shape on the markerboard. When I turn the markerboard around the children will see a shape (examples: 0 , 1, L, S) Keep it simple at first. After the children make the shape with their body, then I erase it and draw another.
After a few rounds, then have the students pair up and make shapes such as T, and V. Remind them to do this quickly and without talking. It is amazing to see the pairs make the shapes differently. Finally, if you are up for a big challenge, have all of the students work together to make the final shape. I have done a smiley face, star or Y for yoga. This is a great team effort and because they aren’t able to talk it is neat to see the nonverbal communication.