Three Kids Yoga Poses to Help Start Fall on the Right Foot

by Susan Verde | October 6, 2017 3:10 am

Fall can be a beautiful time of year. There is transformation all around and a letting go of
the old to make room and space for the new. There are new schedules new smells and
flavors and the anticipation of holidays and family time. The routine of school has settled
in and it’s a perfect time of year to create a regular yoga practice to support your kids as
they experience this transitional season and time of year. Try these 3 yoga poses with
your kids to help them create a foundation of strength and balance[1] that will carry them
into Fall and through the seasons.

Mountain pose:

[2]

Although the routine of school may be established at this point it filled with transition.
Lining up to move from one class to another, changing activities and mindsets, waiting
your turn. Often these are the moments during which kids struggle the most. There can
be a feeling of chaos or difficulty letting go and moving onto what’s next. Teaching your
kids to use mountain pose as a way to handle transition and change provides them with
an ability to find their center and solidity and take some slow deep breaths in and out
through the nose. Mountain pose can be done without to much fuss and attention but is
a truly helpful foundation. Talk to your kids about when they might most need this pose
and then practice. Stand with feet firmly on the ground, feeling your connection to the
earth (floor) beneath you. Make your legs strong by lifting your knee caps and firming
your thighs. Feel the length of your spine as you roll your shoulders back and down.
Notice your head lined up over your pelvis and imagine a string lifting the crown of your
head to the sky. Close your eyes and breathe. Imagine the strength and solidity of your
mountain. What is going on around you while you stay still and solid in your mountain.
Making standing and perhaps waiting more active in the body and adding the slow
breath can make transitions easier to navigate and less likely to be a time of anxiety or
challenging behavior.

Tree pose:

[3]

Helping your children find balance in the physical body can help them find balance
emotionally as well. Tree is a wonderful way to practice balancing and also help kids feel
rooted so they can grow and flourish. For the littlest ones this can be a fun pose to tap
into the imagination. This pose can connect to so much of what is happening in the
natural world this time of year. Apples are growing leaves are changing color. Talking to
your kids about what kind of tree they are will bring a lot of beautiful and funny answers
and help make the practice of this pose playful. Older children will appreciate the
challenge of balancing and rooting in order to rise. From mountain beging to shift your
weight slightly to one foot slowly lifting the other off of the ground. Initially if it is too
challenging to take the foot entirely off the ground it can be placed against the ankle with
toes still touching the floor otherwise lift the foot as high as comfortable and place it
against the standing leg. Just remember to avoid the knee to safeguard against injury.
With palms together by the heart, squeeze lifted foot into standing leg and leg into foot
bringing everything towards the middle. Again a great metaphor for finding balance in
life. Focus your gaze on something not moving to help with steadiness and begin to lift
your arms above the head like branches reaching to the sky. This pose feels strong in
the body and helps strengthen focus and attention as well. Don’t forget to breathe. As
kids try to balance in this pose they begin to feel as though facing a challenge in general
can be fun and possible. Tree is another pose that can bring calm to a moment of
transition and can be done almost anywhere without much disruption.

Child’s pose:

[4]

Although dropping into this pose might be more logistically challenging in the middle of a
class it’s actually an important tool for self-care and finding calm and can be a signal to a
teacher or caregiver that a child needs a moment or is feeling overwhelmed. This pose
create a sense of safety and a turning inward. Teaching your child that they have the
option to care for themselves when there is stress or anxiety is empowering and is a
lesson in self-regulation. Instead of “acting out”child’s pose is a way to “act in.” While
practicing this pose ask your child to breath in and out slowly through his nose and to
notice the air filling his back body. That will again provide a moment of pause and
mindfulness and a place to put focus. Start from sitting on the knees with toes touching
and knees apart then slowly sit back on the heels and round the body forward until the
forehead touches the floor. You can reach your arms out for a stretch or for a more
inward experience keep arms by the sides and breathe. This pose can also be done at a
desk or table with feet on the floor and forehead in the hands or on the desktop. Having
the proprioceptive feedback of the table or hands against the forehead can be very
supportive.

When practicing these 3 poses and any others you might explore with your kids it is
always helpful to have a conversation. Brainstorm situations that might call for each of
these poses and how your child can access them that way they have their tools at the
ready and know exactly when they can pull them out. Applying them to situations at
home will help your child embody the architecture and emotional benefits of the pose
and modeling them yourself when you dealing with your own experiences will do the
same and help you as you navigate your own parenting journey as you transition into Fall.

Endnotes:
  1. strength and balance: https://www.gearweare.com/review/best-yoga-mats/
  2. [Image]: http://yogadigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/blog-mountainPose.jpg
  3. [Image]: http://yogadigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/blog-treePose.jpg
  4. [Image]: http://yogadigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/images.jpg

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