Yoga can be fun!
"All yoga postures are accessible to children," explains one of our yoga coaches. “Of course, there is learning and evolution in practice. But all the movements made by the older ones are accessible to the younger ones.” In fact, children are more flexible compared to adults. Therefore, don't be surprised if your kid manages to achieve a full back bend before you do!
However, it can be challenging to keep your child engaged for a long period of time. Therefore, we recommend keeping the Yoga session playful. Keep your child engaged by involving some story telling and imagination. Indeed, Yoga is a practice that requires a lot of concentration, precision, and rigor. But, for kids, these conditions must be adapted. “The advantage with yoga is that many poses can be imagined: we have the cat, the dog, the mountain, the tree, the warrior… This practice, somewhere, has the advantage of calling upon children's imagination. A real advantage for parents and teachers too!”
Yoga is excellent for family time because anyone and everyone can do it. Unlike other sports, which may have age limits or physical limitations, Yoga can be done together and anywhere! Even in your comfortable living room, just move some furniture around, lay your mats and begin your practice!
The biggest advantage that Yoga can bring to your child is that Yoga helps the development of motor skills. Through the practice of Yoga, your little ones are able to discover different movements that would help with balance and coordination.
Practice yoga daily or weekly to help you and your child focus. Take a break from the day to day chores and spend time to concentrate on your breathing and mind. It will also give you some quiet time, and once the yoga session is over, your child is free to run free and create a ruckus!
1. Set the mood
Begin by removing any distractions from the room. You wouldn't want your yoga to be disrupted by your little one running to their favorite toy or video game. Create some space in the room. Move some bulky furniture around so that you and your entire family may practice in the same space. Nothing can beat some face to face yoga time!
For an added bonus, play some soft music, preferably without lyrics. It is recommended to listen to classical music during the practice as classical music relieves stress and brings peace to the mind. This adds to the tranquil environment that would be optimal for your and your little ones!
2. Create a story
The Decathlon Yoga team has created a series of poses with cartoon animals. Using these cartoons and the sequence of poses, you can create a simple and interesting story to engage your child. This will add an element of playfulness to the practice. Don't forget to join in with your little one. Remember, the poses are good for you too!
Click here to print our Yoga poses. Create fun play cards or a mini book for your little one. There are 2 blank pages at the end of the document. Use this opportunity to test your child's imagination and let them decide the end of the story!
3. Get into it!
Get your child to achieve the yoga poses smoothly. Initially, try to get your little one to hold the pose for 1 breath. If you see that your child is patient and is interested in practice, you may increase the number of breaths to 3.
Ensure that your child is not in any discomfort throughout. If your little one is not able to achieve the correct pose, it is completely ok. What is more important is that your child is able to concentrate and is enjoying the session. It is also recommended to accompany your child during the poses. Do the downward dog with them or help them adjust their position. Keep an eye out for any possible injuries and maintain patience with your little Yogi.
Finally, do keep in mind that your little one's ability and attention span may not be the same as an adult's. Therefore, keep the session short and sweet