Yoga is all about connection. Although we often think of this connection as being inward toward the self, it can also be an outward, nurturing relationships with others. A partner yoga practice can be especially effective with your child. Practicing yoga with your child has a variety of benefits and can help to nurture your relationship. Try the following parent poses to share and explore yoga with your child for a positive, fun and empowering experience.
Sukhasana, or easy pose, is a great way to connect in a calm, grounded way. By sitting back to back, you and your child can you close the eyes and direct attention grounding the lower body and feeling the support of one another. For an additional connection, invite your child to match their breath with yours or vice versa.
Wide-Legged Seated Forward Fold
This pose combines connection and stretch in the low body. To begin, extend your legs and flex the toes. Depending on the height of the child, they can place the soles of the feet on your feet, calves, or thighs. Interlace fingers and gently rock back and forth to dynamically stretch together.
Hand-to-Hand Childs Pose
Guide the focus of this calming pose by having your child sit across from you. As you both enter child’s pose, flip your palms up and invite your child to place their hands on top of yours. Hold the pose and breathe together.
Childs Pose with a Supported Backbend
This combination, sometimes called “Sunbathing on a Rock” is a popular parent-child pose with the parent acting as the “rock” and the child stretching into a gentle backbend on top. Remain in childs pose and have your child place their sit bones on your sacrum. Allow the child to lean their back against yours, stretching their body and extending their arms. You can invite them to relax and visualize sunbathing on a rock
Baddha Konasana Butterfly
Baddha konasana, or bound angle pose, stretches the hips and back while adding in a bit of gun. Sit face to face with your child and come into the pose, leaning forward and grasping the outsides of the feet with their hands. Begin to ‘flutter’ the knees, moving them up and down and visualize flying.
Connected cobra is a fun way to stretch the chest. Come into cobra and have the child place the top of their feet on the bottom of yours. Instruct them to go up and down by saying up, down. Tell the child to press into your feet as their stretch upward, and relax as they lower down. Add in a hissing sound if you need the pose to be more playful!
Come into navasana and face one another. Start by point the toes toward one another, then flexing them back. Increasing the movement in the pose by slowly beginning to rock up and down on the back.
Relax into savasana and depending on the size of your child, invite them to either lie on top of your belly facing or on their back) or having them lie so the top of their head is touching the top of your head. Focus on the present moment and relax-together.
Practicing yoga with your child can be a playful, nurturing and relaxing experience all rolled into one. Keep an open mind when practicing and see not only what you can teach your child, but also what your child can teach you as you explore yoga together.