Just as every child needs to learn how to read and write, it’s also important to equip them with effective strategies to calm down when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Yoga can be an incredibly helpful tool for kids, as it teaches them relaxation techniques and mindfulness that can help them regulate their emotions. We’ve put together a list of the top soothing yoga poses for kids of all ages, which can be especially helpful for those dealing with stress, anxiety, or big emotions.
Benefits of Using Yoga for Kids
Yoga isn’t just for adults! Children can benefit greatly from practicing yoga, as it can provide them with valuable life skills that can help them succeed in the world. By learning techniques to calm their minds and regulate their emotions, kids can develop the tools they need to handle the ups and downs of life with more ease and resilience. Yoga can also help improve their physical health, flexibility, and strength, while promoting a sense of well-being and inner peace.
Studies show that yoga can enhance children’s focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior. Additionally, it can help reduce stress and anxiety in children, promoting a sense of calm and well-being. As the research continues to grow, it’s becoming increasingly clear that yoga and mindfulness can be powerful tools to support children’s mental health and emotional health.
Yoga Poses for Kids
We’ve created a list of soothing yoga poses for kids that are easy to incorporate into their day, whether it’s at school, at home, at daycare, camp – you name it. These poses can be especially helpful for children who might be experiencing stress, anxiety, or strong emotions. Want to skip the poses and dive right into yoga for kids? Try these kids yoga cards.
Child’s Pose (Balasana) for Quick Calming
Child’s Pose (Balasana) is a fantastic yoga pose for kids that can provide them with a sense of safety and comfort, helping to alleviate feelings of anxiety, stress, and tension. This yoga pose for kids has an instant calming effect on the brain, making it a great tool for soothing meltdowns, tantrums, or excessive worrying. Plus, it’s easy for kids to do and they can use it anytime they need to regain control of their emotions. Here’s how to guide your little ones through Child’s Pose:
- Encourage them to imagine themselves as a round or rolling creature, like a mouse, rabbit, or potato bug.
- Have them place their hands and knees on the ground with their toes tucked and the top of their feet flat on the ground.
- Slowly instruct them to lean back and rest their buttocks on their heels, with their thighs resting on their thighs.
- Next, ask them to stretch their arms out in front of them and place their palms flat on the ground.
- Encourage them to rest their forehead on the floor in between their arms, allowing their body to melt into the floor.
- Take a couple of deep breaths.
- Then, instruct them to slowly and calmly bring their arms to rest beside their body.
- Take some more long, deep breaths and encourage them to focus on the rising and falling of each inhale and exhale.
Benefits of Child’s Pose for Kids
With this pose, your little ones can feel calm and centered whenever they need it! This posture can:
- stretch the hips, back, and arms
- release tension and anxiety stored in the neck and back
- has a calming effect on the body
- can help relieve stress and anxiety in kids
- allows the nervous system to relax
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) for a Deep Stretch
Downward dog is an excellent posture for improving strength and flexibility – and kids love to do it. This yoga pose is an amazing movement that provides a fantastic stretch, helping to release all the tension in the neck and back. Plus, what kid doesn’t enjoy hanging upside down and pretending to be a playful pup? They can even wiggle their tails to extend their stretch further. Here are some fun tips to get your kids excited about trying this yoga pose:
- Before getting on all fours like a dog, encourage the children to think about their favourite furry friend and imagine being it.
- Next, instruct the kids to take a deep breath in and curl their toes under.
- As they exhale, invite them to imagine a string attached to their hips that slowly lifts them up towards the sky.
- They can then straighten their legs and release any tension in their head and neck.
- For a fun twist, suggest wiggling their imaginary tails!
- Another exciting variation is to lift one leg up towards the sky and twist their hips to stretch the leg over the opposite side.
Benefits of Downward Dog for Kids
This yoga pose for kids offers a deep stretch to the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands while also strengthening the arms and leg, which can help:
- alleviate stress
- revitalize the body
- provide relief to children who experience indigestion or digestive issues
- release tension and anxiety in the body
Cat-Cow for Creating Emotional Balance
Any yoga pose that features an animal is perfect for children, and the cat-cow pose, also known as Marjaiasana, is a great one to use to promote emotional stability. As child work through this pose, it allows and encourages them to exhale frustrations and inhale positive emotions. If you’d like to introduce your little ones to this pose, here are some easy steps to follow:
- Invite the children to get down on all fours, mimicking the movements of a cat and a cow.
- Encourage them to emulate a cow and exhale out any frustrations, keeping their back flat.
- Next, suggest they imitate a cat and gradually arch their back upwards as they inhale positive thoughts and good energy.
- Take a pause, and then repeat the sequence.
Benefits of Cat Cow Yoga Poses for Kids
This yoga pose is beneficial for:
- improve balance and digestion
- promoting bowel movements
- helps synchronize your breath with movement
- promotes a sense of calm and relaxation
- allows children to let out all of their frustration
Tree Pose For Focus, Balance and Relaxation
Children have a natural inclination to be active and often love doing things that don’t require their two feet to be still. To help them release their hyper energy and find some calm to help them focus, introduce them to the tree pose, also known as vrksasana. Here are some tips to help get them into the pose:
- Encourage them to stand tall with their shoulders relaxed and pulled down away from their ears. You can even have them scrunch their shoulders up towards their ears first, so they can feel the difference when they relax them.
- Ask them to find a spot in front of them to focus on, and shift their weight onto one leg.
- Instruct them to lift their other leg slowly and calmly, then place the sole of the foot against the inside of their shin, knee, or thigh – whichever feels comfortable and steady.
- Take a deep breath together and try to bring your hands to touch at your heart center.
- Continue to breathe and maintain your focus.
Benefits of Tree Pose for Kids Yoga
- Encourage your little ones to stand tall with their feet hip-width apart.
- Instruct them to bend forward at the hips and let their head and arms hang down towards the ground, like a ragdoll or excavator.
- Ask them to relax their neck, shoulders, and jaw while taking a few deep breaths.
- Encourage them to gently sway their upper body from side to side, releasing any tension in their lower back.
- For an added challenge, they can try to touch their toes or the ground with their hands.
- Remind them to keep breathing and allow their body to relax into the pose.
- Once they are ready, ask them to slowly roll up to a standing position, one vertebra at a time.
- Repeat as many times as they like, encouraging them to enjoy the feeling of letting go and releasing any stress or worries.
Benefits of Forward Fold for Kids
The Forward Fold pose, also known as Uttanasana, promotes:
- a sense of grounding and introspection
- enhances self-awareness
- helps strengthen balance in the body
- brings calmness to the mind
Warrior Pose for Releasing Negativity and Channeling Their Courage
Encourage the kids to tap into their inner strength and courage with the powerful yoga pose known as Baddha Virabhadrasana, or the Warrior Pose. This pose has various variations, but we will focus on the Warrior I variation. By practicing this pose, children can develop physical and mental strength, as well as learn to release negative emotions and embrace their bravery.
- Begin by having the children stand firmly on both feet on the ground.
- Then, ask them to take a big step back with one foot and bend the knee of the front foot, making sure that their knees are aligned with their ankles.
- Instruct them to take a deep breath in, and as they exhale, encourage them to release any negativity while pressing down through the back heel and lowering their buttocks towards the ground.
- Take another deep inhale together and have them slowly raise their arms up towards the sky, reaching as high as they can while keeping their shoulders relaxed.
- For a fun variation, ask them to extend their arms to the sides and twist their bodies open, facing the side of the room.
Benefits of Warrior Yoga Poses for Kids
The warrior pose, also known as Baddha Virabhadrasana, is a powerful yoga pose that helps:
- build strength in both the mind and body
- stretches and strengthens various muscles, including the chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, belly, groin, back, thighs, calves, and ankles.
- helps children develop a sense of bravery and fierceness
- helps you feel strong and confident
Happy Baby Yoga Pose For Calming the Mind
Introduce the little ones in your life to the happy baby yoga pose, also known as Ananda Balasana, and watch them channel their inner calmness. This pose is perfect for releasing tension in the hips and relaxing the mind, making it an excellent yoga pose for kids. Follow these simple steps to get started, and you’ll see why children love this silly yoga pose so much.
- Guide the children to lie on their back with their legs extended upwards.
- Instruct them to bend their legs and lower their knees towards the ground while reaching for their toes.
- For an enjoyable twist that kids adore, allow them to wiggle and shift back and forth, giving themselves a relaxing homemade back massage.
Benefits of Happy Baby Yoga Pose for Kids
Happy baby is a calming movement that gently stretches and releases tension in the groin and hips, while also stretching and lengthening the thighs and hamstrings and releasing the lower back. It can:
- release tension stored in the body
- improve posture
- boost overall mobility
- calm the mind and body
- feel like a mini back massage
Resting Pose for Feeling of Safety and Relaxation
The final pose in every yoga class is Shavasana, also known as the resting pose. It’s a crucial pose that allows the body to deeply restore and relax, as the warmth of the body encourages this process. As the body cools down, the calming sensations of the movement settle in, helping children leave the pose feeling calmer in both mind and body. Resting our forehead on the floor or a block sends a signal to our brain that we are safe and it’s okay to relax.
To do the resting pose for kids:
- Instruct children to lay flat on their back with arms and legs comfortably spread out.
- Encourage them to close their eyes and take deep breaths, inhaling calm and exhaling stress.
- Instruct them to fully relax their mind and body, releasing all the weight of their muscles and thoughts onto the floor.
- Remind them to stay in the pose for a few minutes to maximize the benefits of relaxation.
Benefits of Resting Pose for Kids
Child’s pose is a calming yoga pose for kids that is also a great way to:
- slow down and tune out the noise and distractions around us
- draw our focus inward
- calm the mind and nervous system
- send a signal to the brain that we are safe and it’s okay to relax
Yoga Cards for Kids
You’re making a great choice by considering teaching children calming yoga poses. It’s an excellent strategy for promoting self-regulation that they’ll carry with them for years to come. Even at a young age, kids can benefit from learning techniques to calm their minds, bodies, and emotions. With this deck of yoga poses for kids, you’ll have access to four different activities that are specifically designed to promote emotional, social, cognitive, mental health, and physical development. These poses are not only effective, but they’re also fun and engaging for children, making it a wonderful way to introduce them to the practice of yoga. So, go ahead and gather the kids, and get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth through yoga!
With so many yoga poses for kids out there, it can be tough to know where to start. We hope this list can be a helpful resource for you and your little ones. There are also some incredible digital training classes for parents, teachers, caregivers and grandparents that help you learn how to learn and teach these kinds of self regulation activities for kids.
We’re here to support you and your child find peace and relaxation through the practice of yoga!