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How to get kids started with yoga early so they can enjoy the benefits their whole life.

The Benefits of Kid Yoga & How to Get Started Today

Have your littles ever tried yoga?  Kid yoga seems to be the trend these days and, I must admit, I’ve completely hopped on board.  By the time S was 2, “namaste” was a regular part of her vernacular.

Now before you go thinking I’ve gotten all hippy-dippy on you, just know that I’m a girl who likes to make decisions based on research – and this is no exception.  There’s actually been quite a few studies that have delved into the benefits of getting kids started in yoga early.  This Wall Street Journal article, for example, cites the following findings:

yoga improved students’ behavior, physical health and academic performance, as well as attitudes toward themselves.

yoga reduces feelings of helplessness and aggression, and in the long term helps emotional balance. The benefits of yoga are particularly strong among children with special needs

So today I thought I’d share with you some of our family’s favorite yoga tools, as well as few products and resources I’ve had my eye on…

Videos

  • First up is Sing Song Yoga (pictured top left) – C and S’s hands down favorite.  I first spotted a YouTube sample of the series on pinterest about a year ago.  I instantly fell in love with the way the instructor uses sing-along songs to entice kids into the various poses. After viewing the clip below, I welded my blogging power (one of the best parts of this gig is the perks after all) and wrote the creator to see if she’d send me a copy. She graciously agreed and the DVD is now well-known to my kiddos.  In fact, S asks to do “singing yoga” several times a week.

  • On occasion the kids and I also enjoy watching Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure on YouTube.  (Side note: I think I mentioned here before that we have an Apple TV, yes?  It cost under $100 and allows us to watch YouTube videos, rent or buy movies and TV shows, and watch all of our iPhone movies straight on our TV.  I actually got it for Mother’s Day two years ago and would highly recommend it for this Mother’s Day if you don’t have one!) The great thing about the Cosmic Kids series is that it weaves a story around the yoga and is very visually stimulating which, just like the music in Sing Song Yoga, totally draws the kids in.

Books & Card Sets

Of course, you don’t need a TV to practice yoga with the kids – there are lots of great books and even card sets to get you started too.

  • Yoga Pretzels is another card set I’ve had my eye on.  Again the illustrations look beautiful and I like how there’s a story element to go along with each of the poses.  Plus the set gets great reviews on Amazon.
  • Before moving on, I also wanted to mention that our beloved High Five magazine also often has a feature in the back that, while not yoga per-say, reminds me a lot of the kid yoga stuff I’ve seen in that it incorporates imaginary play with different poses and movement.  S and C are big fans.

Other Resources

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m not the only blogger out there who’s caught on to the benefits of kids and yoga.  Here are some of my favorire resources on the topic from a few of my favorite blogs.

  • First up is this adorable Tiny Yoga Sun Salutation from Small Fry (pictured 3rd row above).  Sun Salutations were a big part of the very first yoga class I ever took back in college and I still love them today.  Nicole’s idea to actually have the kids make suns, and her unique kid-friendly instructions for the practice, are genius.
  • Finally, one last big benefit of kid yoga not mentioned until now… it can be a very helpful tool in getting in some restorative yoga of your own.  Check out my pal Zina’s post on Lasso the Moon, How to Enjoy Kid-Free Yoga.  It’s a thing of positive-parenting, logical-consequences beauty.

*Post contains affiliate links.

P.S. Don’t forget we’re starting our third book for Virtual Book Club on Thursday.  So grab your copy of Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin and get to reading!

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber May 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I just used the Yoga Pretzels with my 4 & 5 year old preschoolers today. It is simply amazing. It’s too cold to play outside today and things were getting a bit wild. I picked a few I knew would help them calm down and focus and then they picked a few animals to do, too. They ASK to do it!

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Brooke May 2, 2013 at 8:54 am

I also highly recommend “Once Upon a Mat” by Namaste. We started with our son at 20 months and he loves it. He likes to do 2 sessions at a time. We each have our own mat, which is important. You can find “In the Garden,” one of the sessions from the DVD, on Pinterest. It’s very well done and enjoyable for me too! Then he likes “Sleepy Little Yoga” by Rebecca Whitford before bedtime.

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Monique B May 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the mention in your resource list. I’m thrilled to be included and happy to see so many kids enjoying Yoga!

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Yoga August 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

Thanks for sharing these list of books. It is really a challenge make children do yoga.

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Best Yoga Pants September 18, 2013 at 8:10 am

I definitely want to encourage my girl to jump on the curiosity she has for yoga right now because the benefits will last her a lifetime.

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Yuvi - Story Aerobics for Kids September 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Yoga is a great way for kids to exercise. We have include some yoga exercises in our new programm for kids. Kids should exercise at least an hour a day. To keep them active we developed Yuvi – Story Aerobics for Kids. The program is suitable for kids age 2-6. They help Yuvi to rescue all the toys by copying (exercising) him. You can find out more about the programm on http://www.yuvi-aerobics.com or https://www.facebook.com/YuviStoryAerobics

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Sally from Little Hiccups February 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I love the idea of using the yoga pretzel cards as a game like musical chairs (as mentioned in your newsletter). What a great way to bring a bit of fun and exercise into a day at home! I think I need to get a set of those cards for my kids.
My kids (ages 7 and 3) love doing yoga and like to come up with their own postures – which generally aren’t all that graceful! But they have fun with it despite how crazy or awkward they might look at times :)
Last year we worked on making an ABC of “yoga” postures and they had loads of fun trying to work out ways to make the letters with their bodies. You can see what they came up with here: http://www.littlehiccups.net/2013/10/31-days-of-abcs-y-is-for-yoga.html

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