“Do you want to join in ? “ the teacher asked. The little 5 year old boy shook his head, and curled in on himself. The rest of the class, settled themselves excitedly onto the yoga mats, waiting to start their first yoga class EVER!
If you can remember your first yoga class, whether you were excited or slightly nervous, it’s the same for children and teens. Their little faces were glowing and eyes glued on me.
The Kindy requested a yoga class with lots of connection and getting to know each other as it was the first week of term and many of the children didn’t know each other or hadn’t made friends yet.
We know how important it is to feel like you belong and have real connections, because that leads to happiness and emotional and mental resiliency. For children, to feel a sense of community, to have friends and feel that they are an important part of the group is everything.
For children to enjoy school, activities, classes and love life, it’s important to foster connections, friendships and teach them about how to find happiness inside.
In kids yoga, we use partner poses to create connection with others and yoga therapy movements that relate to the heart meridian and open the heart to increase a connection with themselves. By the end of a heart yoga class you feel warm, tingly and more connected to everyone in the room and yourself.
The class began and you could hear a pin drop, we connected, played, learned new skills. We learned about our bodies, we traced the heart meridian and did yoga therapy movements to help the heart pump fresh blood and we fell into relaxation.
It was then that I noticed a little bottom shuffling into the circle to join the others. After sitting on the sidelines and watching, the group created such a safe space of joy, love and connection, that a scared and anxious little 5 year old, felt drawn and safe to be part of it and WANTED to be included.
That’s the benefit of Heart Yoga Poses with kids.
To get started with your kids, or your class, try these top 5 heart exercises below.
If you want to do this too, check out our upcoming Kids Yoga Teacher Training Courses or the magical Yoga therapy 4 Kids Training Courses.
1.Open the Curtains
Sit on knees. Bring your fingers into the centre of your heart.
Exhale take right arm out to side, Inhale centre
Exhale take left arm out to side, Inhale to centre
Exhale take both arms out wide, pull fingers back
Inhale to centre
2. Cow Face Pose
Lift arm up and drop hand behind head
Hold the elbow with the opposite hand
Exhale, stretch elbow across behind the head
Leave the top hand behind the back and clasp with the other hand.
3. Roly Poly Bear
Lying on back with knees bent.
Arms are in strongman position, with hands in fists. The elbows are in line with the shoulders and the wrists in line with the elbows.
Keep the arms pushing into the floor.
Exhale, drop knees to side. Inhale knees to centre.
4. Fish Pose
Lying on back, make hands into fists, bend elbows and point fists to the ceiling.
Push down with the elbows and lift the chest high, dropping the head back.
Focus on keeping the chest high
Roll shoulders back and lift heart to ceiling.
Exhale lift one leg/ both.
5. Partner Wheel
Start by lying on the floor getting ready to push up into a wheel. The parter stands with feet apart, at the shoulders and is the support. Grab your partner’s ankles and start to lift your hips off the floor. Partner brings their hands under the shoulder blades and supports their partner to lift them up gently.