Yoga is a great exercise for children from birth to the teen years, and into adulthood. Learn the benefits of yoga for kids, beginning yoga poses, basic sequences, and easy activities and ideas that can help parents and educators get children started with yoga at home or in the classroom.
Yoga for kids is a fantastic calming activity for children of all ages that can be practiced indoors or outdoors, from birth to adulthood. Toddlers, preschoolers, and kids of all ages can enjoy doing this stress releasing exercise.
Related: Best FREE Yoga Videos for Kids
The practice of yoga can help children calm down, develop mindfulness, relieve stress, increase confidence and awareness, and build strength and flexibility… Even in a small space!
Benefits of Yoga for Kids:
- Calm down and learn to self-regulate
- Develop mindfulness
- Relieve and release stress
- Build concentration skills and focus
- Increase self-confidence and self-awareness
- Strengthen the mind and the body (Yoga can help strengthen both the will and gross-motor muscles)
- Increase flexibility in body and mind
- And get exercise in a small space!
You are never too young, or too old, to start practicing yoga. Have a look at this collection of free yoga videos for kids to get started.
Related: Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101
How do You Get Started with Yoga for Kids?
As a parent, caregiver, or educator, it can be difficult to know how to get children started with yoga for kids, especially if you have never practiced yoga before.
Even as a certified yoga instructor I struggled with the how’s and why’s of getting children started with the practice of yoga.
Unfortunately, I had to learn a lot from my mistakes.
The good news is you don’t have to repeat my mistakes, because I am sharing everything that I have learned, along with a wealth of mind-blowing yoga resources for children, parents, and educators everywhere!
Yoga for Kids Lesson #1 – Don’t Wait, Start Now!
Don’t wait to get started… Even infants can join mom on the matt!
Learn how to get children from toddlers from teens started with the kids’ yoga tips below.
Yoga for Kids Lesson #2 – Know Your Audience
When it comes to yoga for kids… Age matters!
The general learning style of the age group of children that you will be teaching will be your ally and friend.
Learn how to teach babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, school-aged children, and teens yoga… Based on the way that they learn best.
Follow the tips and kids yoga ideas for each age group to help you get started today!
Yoga for Kids Lesson #3 – Establish a Regular time to Practice Yoga
The hardest part about yoga for children is getting kids started. One of the best tips I can offer is, instead of wondering how to practice yoga, plan when to practice yoga!
It is a lot easier for kids to practice yoga when parents and educators create a regular time and space for it in our daily routine or rhythm.
When we designate a regular day and time for children to practice yoga we will be helping kids create the habit of doing yoga. Children thrive on rhythm both at home and in the classroom and will come to expect that it is time for yoga.
It is a lot easier to make children’s yoga practice a regular reoccurring habit–rather than some arbitrary thing they “do” every once in a while. Even just a few postures a day, or a few moments in meditation, can help children develop the daily habit of practicing yoga.
How to Make Time for Yoga at Home or in the Classroom
The easiest way to make time for yoga is to create a daily and weekly routine at home or in the classroom.
Learn how to plan a powerful daily routine and download our FREE weekly planner to help you get started, now!
Don’t forget yoga lesson number 1 listed above… Don’t wait, do it today!
Yoga for Kids From Infants to Teens
Kids’ yoga is a fantastic calming activity for children (and adults) of all ages that can be practiced either indoors or outdoors.
The practice of yoga can help children calm down, develop mindfulness, increase confidence and self-awareness, relieve stress, and increase strength and flexibility in both body and mind.
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, elementary-aged kids, tweens and teens all benefit from practicing this type of exercise on a regular basis.
Scroll down to learn how to get children started with yoga for Kids from birth through the teen years!
We have included beginning yoga poses for kids, basic sequences, and yoga videos for kids that can help parents and educators teach children yoga at home or in the classroom.
Babies learn best through imitation and modeling. This is why mom and baby yoga is the best way to get infants started with yoga for kids. Mom and baby yoga is every mother’s ticket to much-needed self-care and stress release.
When my daughter was an infant I longed for the yoga practice I once had. I mistakenly thought that my primary duty was to entertain her, so I sacrificed my needs for hers. Little did I know how wrong I was.
What she needed was to see me taking care of myself. She needed to know that my needs are just as important as hers.
My daughter also needed to see her mommy’s body move so her body could model the movements and learn. Even more importantly, she needed to experience that she is perfectly capable of entertaining herself, whenever I take the time to care for myself.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did.
Benefits of Mom and Baby Yoga
- Babies learn basic yoga poses and postures known as asanas by watching their mother and may even imitate some of the basic motions from time to time.
- Mom gets the time that she desperately needs to stretch mind and body, practice self-care and develop mindfulness.
- Baby will benefit in body, mind, and spirit, even if they don’t “do” any baby yoga. Mommy and me yoga class benefits can show up in a baby’s movement and breath patterns in other activities, or even years later. When a child watches their mother’s body practice yoga as a baby, their body will remember what they learned, even if they never practice yoga again!
- If your toddler is not interested in toddler yoga poses, they will learn that this is your time and will eventually find other ways to entertain themselves.
Related: Best Parenting Books
The best way to help toddlers learn basic toddler yoga poses is to invite them to watch and imitate a parent or teacher. Like babies, toddlers learn best by watching others, except that they are a lot more mobile–lol–watch out mom!
In other words, if your child is under the age of 3, the best way to get started with yoga for children is to allow them to watch you practice, even if you have never practiced before.
Pop in a yoga video, or click on one of the FREE kids’ yoga videos listed below, and practice with your toddler the first few times they practice yoga.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to make your baby or toddler sit there and watch. Include them in your yoga practice or let them do what they want, but please don’t place them in front of a TV while you practice.
This will have several benefits for both you and your child.
Benefits of Mommy and Me Yoga
- Young children can learn basic yoga postures and yoga sequences for toddlers by watching a teacher, parent, or caregiver.
- Mom gets time to take care of herself and make the time to commit to her own yoga practice.
- Toddler yoga can help children under three learn basic calming and self-regulation skills.
- If your young child is not interested in toddler yoga poses, continue with your own yoga practice. Do not stop your practice just because your toddler is not interested in doing yoga on any given day. Your toddler will eventually learn that this is your time and will find ways to entertain themselves, and, they will still learn by watching you practice, even if they aren’t paying much attention. Positive lifelong habits start in the subconscious minds of young children.
Related: Natural Toys for Toddlers
Yoga for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Preschool-aged children and kindergarteners also benefit from watching mom or a teacher in order to learn yoga poses for preschoolers, and yoga poses for kindergarteners. Children in this age group may also be interested in a group yoga for preschoolers in a class setting.
My daughter and I had a blast practicing mommy and me yoga together. You can find some of our favorite yoga videos for purchase, as well as the best FREE yoga videos for kids listed below.
If your child expresses the desire to practice with you. Get a child-sized yoga mat and either pop in a children’s yoga video, or, allow them to follow along with you and your yoga practice whenever and however they please.
Try this yoga for kids video by We Heart Yoga… It shows how to do a simple short yoga class with young children.
If you choose to pop in a yoga video for kids, it’s a good idea to do yoga with your preschooler so they experience success and enjoy yoga. Even more yoga videos for kids are listed below.
Whatever you do, don’t force young children to do the whole practice with you, just keep an eye on them and continue to let them come and go and do yoga however they please.
Once again, lifelong positive habits start in the positive routines that parents and caregivers create for young children and live inside their subconscious minds until they blossom in adulthood.
Yoga for Older Children and Teens
Elementary school-age children and teens do the best learning yoga in a class environment with positive role models and peers.
Start older children and teens off in the privacy of their own home with any of the kids yoga ideas listed and discussed in the next section, and/or sign them up for a kids yoga class at your local school, gym, or yoga studio that caters to their age group, experience, and ability.
Do a Google search for “kids yoga classes,” or “kids yoga classes near me” to find a children’s yoga class near you.
Related: How to Raise a Helper
Kids Yoga Ideas for Toddlers to Teens
There are many ways for children to get started with yoga. Below are a few simple ideas to get you started.
- Invite children to watch you practice yoga and/or allow them to practice with you. (Have a look at benefits of mommy and me yoga in the section above for more information.)
- Pop in a yoga video for children, or, try one of the FREE yoga for kids YouTube videos recommended below. It is best if you watch and practice with your children a few times before inviting children to practice yoga on their own.
- Sign children up for a kids yoga class. Try a google search for “yoga classes for kids near me,” or “yoga for kids near me.”
- Find a mommy and me yoga class or start your own local group of moms and children that practice mommy and me yoga together.
- Have fun playing “The Yoga Garden Game” with your children.
- Try playing with Yoga Activity Blocks.
- Teach children a few of the basics yoga poses for kids and activities listed in “Beginning Yoga Poses and Activities” below.
- Play and learn with yoga decks and yoga pose cards for kids:
Kids Yoga Equipment and Resources
One of the best things about yoga for kids is that you don’t need a lot of equipment.
The only piece of yoga equipment that children need is comfortable clothing and a kids yoga mat like this, or this to get started with yoga for kids. In the beginning, children don’t even need a yoga mat, all they need is enough space to move into each yoga pose for kids.
We have found that having a few kids yoga videos are also a worthwhile investment. I have listed some more kids yoga videos that we like below.
Yoga Props for Kids
There are a lot more yoga props available, but children don’t really need them yet. If your child needs a little help getting into some yoga poses for kids, you may also want to invest in some yoga blocks and a yoga strap.
If your child needs a bit more help with calming strategies and self-regulation skills, you may want to invest in a yoga bolster for kids, a lavender eye pillow for kids, and a few yoga sandbags to use along with a restorative yoga poses.
Best Yoga Videos for Kids
- Kids Yoga DVD – Once Upon a Mat – Children Ages 2.5+
- Cosmic Kids Yoga Series
- Yoga for Families
- Kids World Yoga
- Animal Yoga Video for Kids
- Squish the Fish
- Yoga Kids Fun Collection
- ABC Alphabet Yoga Video for Kids
- Child Yoga Video: Silly to Calm
Related: Best FREE Yoga Videos for Kids
Best Yoga Books for Kids
Books about yoga for children are a wonderful resource to help them learn basic yoga postures for kids and develop mindfulness.
I have noticed in my many years as a childhood educator, and now a parent, how deeply children are touched by the books that they read.
May this collection of the best yoga books for kids help your children develop a kind and peaceful heart through the practice of yoga and mindfulness.
- I am Yoga
- Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids
- Goodmorning Yoga
- Goodnight Yoga
- Yoga for Kids and Their Grown-Ups
- Yoga Bug
- Breath Like a Bear
- Yoga Bear
- Meddy Teddy: Mindful Poses for Little Yogis
- Yoga for Children
- You Are a Lion
- ABC Yoga
- Yoga and Mindfulness Practices for Children
- The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids
Beginning Yoga Exercises for Kids
Before learning yoga poses for kids
Big Belly Breathing
Big belly-breathing teaches children to fill their lungs completely and helps them learn to relax their breathing
- Invite children to lay on the floor with knees bent or sit in a comfortable seated position.
- Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest.
- Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your belly push your hand out. Once the belly is full allow the breath to fill the chest.
- Empty the lungs first as you exhale. Then squeeze your belly button toward your spine as you continue to exhale. Use the hand on your belly to help you push all the air out.
- Take your time with each breath. Repeat these steps 3 to 10 times.
Combining Movement with the Breath
In yoga, all movement follows the breath. We inhale to move and exhale to move. There is no movement without breath.
Learning to take long full breaths and move with the breath is one of the most important aspects of hatha yoga. (Hatha yoga consists of the yoga postures or asanas that most people think of when you mention the word yoga.)
Beginning Yoga Flow for Kids: Combining Arm Movements with the Breath
An easy way to teach this is with the simple arm movements of Sura Namaskar. That’s the fancy Sanskrit way of saying, inhale to reach your arms up, and exhale to reach them back down again.
- Stand in mountain pose (tadasana). Feet hip-width apart, hands at sides palms forward, shoulders back, tailbone tucked, the crown of the head reaching for the sky, chin slightly tucked.
- Inhale reach arms up from the sides until fingertips touch.
- Exhale arms back down at the sides.
- Move slowly taking nice deep long breaths.
- Repeat these steps 3 to 10 times.
Sun Salutations for Kids
Once your children begin to master moving with the breath they can learn how to do sun salutations.
Sun salutations are exactly what they sound like… A salute to the sun. This yoga flow is usually practiced in the morning, but it can be used to warm up the body at any time of day.
We found a great 5-minute sun salutation yoga flow for kids that you can invite your children to try, and practice with them!
Yoga Poses for Kids
Yoga poses are the postures known in Sanskrit as ananas, that yogi’s young and old practice to make up a yoga class.
You may also enjoy any of the yoga pose resources for children listed below.
Beginning Yoga Poses for Kids
Introducing your children to yoga at an early age can help them learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future. Get your family practice started with these kid-friendly yoga poses. (source)
Kids Yoga Stories
Learn yoga poses for kids and download posters and yoga pose cards for kids at THIS amazing yoga resource for children.
Kids Yoga Resources for Parents and Educators
We hope you enjoyed this amazing yoga resource for children, parents, caregivers, and educators.
Kids yoga is a fun activity for kids. Even in small spaces, kids can get the exercise and stress release they need! This article contains tips for kids of all ages to get started with the practice of yoga. Even infants can get in on the fun!
Get your children started with yoga to help them reap all of the benefits that regular yoga practice has to offer. Start with this collection of FREE yoga videos for kids!
If you are still having trouble… Scroll back to the top and start with Yoga for Kids Lesson #1!
You may also enjoy books that help children understand their feelings, and, 15 Ways to Raise a Helper.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Liked Yoga for Children, You may also like:
- Books That Teach Kids Important Life Lessons
- DIY Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101
- Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Positive Discipline Books for Parents and Educators
The One Essential Tool You Need To Keep You and the Kids Happy!
Subscribe to the Rhythms of Play community newsletter to connect with your children, and find the FREEDOM to CREATE a life you LOVE!