Adulting may be hard but being a kid can be stressful these days too. Yoga is a valuable tool to manage the stress and challenges adolescents face. Benefits of yoga practice include a decrease in emotional reactions, improved sleep, increased focus and coordination. And it’s fun!
Lisa Curry has implemented a Kripalu Yoga program at Coast Episcopal School to improve the mental, social, and emotional well being of students. The program fosters stress management, self-regulation and confidence.
Here are 5 moves (aka poses) demonstrated by students that you can practice with your kids at home.
1. Breathing Butterfly
Begin seated upright with three “Letting Go” breaths by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting everything go on the exhale. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and rest your wrists on your knees with palms facing up.
Kids can focus on their deep belly breathing while wiggling their “antennae” and gently flapping their “wings”. Children will feel calmer as they regulate their breathing so please use this technique anytime you see your kids getting stressed out or upset.
2. Tiger Stretch
All fours position with knees right underneath the hips and palms spread wide beneath the shoulders.
Draw the belly button in and find balance as you extend your right arm out and your left leg back. You can bring your left knee in to your right elbow and repeat for 3 breathing cycles before your return to table top and repeat on the other side. Don’t forget to growl!
3. Down Dog
Downward facing dog is the ultimate all-over, rejuvenating stretch and often the first pose that children learn.
With palms spread in front of shoulders, tuck your toes into the mat and lift your hips up towards the sky. You can walk your dog by alternating knee bends and heel presses towards the floor.
Imagine shaking off everything from your day. Try the “crooked dog” by bringing your right hand to your left ankle then return to “down dog” and bring your left hand to your right ankle. Bring one leg up at a time for a “3-legged dog”.
This pose has the ability to be both calming and energizing by getting our blood flowing and center refocused.
4. Crow Pose
This fearless and powerful pose is way more fun with kids because they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Start in a squat with palms underneath shoulders with thumbs pointing in. Draw your elbows in and chin to chest as you bring your knees onto your elbows behind you and up towards your shoulders. Then try to lift your feet up towards your hips. Laugh if you fall over!
5. Firefly Pose
High energy kids love the challenge of the firefly. Weight is balanced on palms as the left leg rests over the left elbow and right leg over the right elbow.
Try to straighten your knees and extend your legs out in front of you as you hover above the mat. Fly high with mindfulness and confidence.
To learn more about the enrichment programs provided at Coast Episcopal, visit one of the upcoming open houses:
October 3 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
October 14 from 9 – 11:00 a.m.
November 7 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
December 6 from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Coast Episcopal School is an independent school serving Toddler, Preschool, and Kindergarten through seventh grade. For admissions information, please contact Anne Betz at 228.452.9442.