Yoga for Kids from Toddlers to Teens! learning how to practice yoga can help children calm down, develop mindfulness, and increase strength and flexibility in both body and mind. Learn the benefits of yoga, beginning yoga poses for kids, basic sequences, and easy activities and ideas that can help parents and educators teach kids yoga at home or in the classroom with these tips and free yoga videos for kids.
Yoga for kids is a fantastic calming activity for children of all ages that can be practiced either indoors or outdoors. Toddlers, preschoolers, and kids of all ages can enjoy doing this stress releasing exercise.
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!
You are never too young, or too old to do yoga!
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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!
How do You Get Started with Yoga for Children?
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 – 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 designating 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.
Trust me when I tell you that it is a lot easier to make children’s yoga practice a habit–rather than some arbitrary thing they “do” every once in a while. Even just a few postures a day 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 strong daily routine and a weekly rhythm at home or in the classroom.
Yoga for Kids Lesson #3 – 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!
Babies learn best through imitation and modeling. Infants learn best by watching the people in their lives work and do things. This is why mom and baby yoga is the best way to get infants started with yoga for kids. Mom and baby yoga is also 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. Most importantly, she needed to experience that she was perfectly capable of entertaining herself. 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 babies 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.
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Practicing yoga in front of and along with your toddler is the best way to get them started. 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.
Like babies, toddlers learn best by watching others, except that they are a lot more mobile–lol–watch out mom!
This is why it’s a better idea to start with mom and baby yoga when your child is an infant, so your child is used to the idea of you practicing yoga. However, any time is a great time to start yoga for children… And always better than never.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to make toddlers sit there and watch. Include them 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.
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Benefits of Mommy and Me Yoga
- Young children learn best by watching others. Toddlers don’t need to be taught how to do yoga, they can learn basic toddler yoga poses by watching and imitating a parent or teacher.
- Mom gets time to take care of herself and make the time to commit to her own yoga practice. Reminding herself that toddlers are wonderful teachers for spiritual growth.
- 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. Lifelong habits start in the subconscious minds of young children.
Yoga for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Preschool-aged children and kindergarteners can still benefit from watching mom or a teacher in order to learn how to do 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 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.
This yoga for kids video by We Heart Yoga 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 the yoga with your preschooler so they experience success and enjoy yoga. 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.
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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.
- Have children watch you practice yoga and 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
Yoga for Kids YouTube: The Best Free Yoga Videos for Kids
Children are sure to enjoy this collection of awesome FREE yoga for kids youtube video resources:
- Cosmic Kids Yoga – This YouTube channel is an amazing kids’ yoga resource that has a ton of awesome free yoga videos for kids!
- Yoga class for Kids with Sophia Khan – Follow this fun and family-friendly introduction to yoga. You’ll get to warm up, practice breathing and poses, and relax into power down.
- Sun Dance Kids Yoga by the Bari Koral Family Rock Band – Invite children toddlers and up to rock out to a simple yoga flow in the form of a music video. We like to listen to this yoga video for kids as a part of our morning rise and shine routine.
- Yoga For Kids with Alissa Kepas – Invite your children preschool age and up to try this 15-minute yoga class just for kids!
- Wake Up Routine Yoga for Kids by Tiny Turtle – An easy yoga class for kids that can help children wake up in the morning and loosen up the muscles in the body that mom or dad can do, too! “After a long nights rest, we need to move our bodies to get our joints lubricated and blood flowing to our brain and muscles.”
- Good Morning Yoga Sequence For Kids by Mindful Minutes – Start your day with an easy to follow and energizing yoga sequence for kids that parents, caregivers and school teachers can do at the same time. This short 5-minute video is a great addition to your morning routine or any time you need a little boost or motivation!
- Yoga Class for Kids by Yoga Today – This yoga class for kids is a wonderful beginning resource for young children to learn basic yoga breathing techniques, and beginning yoga postures and self-regulation activities.
- Children’s Yoga Class by Ally Ford – This class is based on the children’s yoga book written by the teacher titled “Garuda, The Eagle Who Soared With Ahimsa.” It is a lovely yoga story for kids in the form of a yoga class that teaches non-harming or ahimsa and kindness to people, animals, and the planet.
- Animal Yoga Videos for Kids by Smile and Learn – We love this easy and educational yoga video for kids that teaches easy yoga techniques that can help teach children how to be calm and relax in a different way. Through a fun story with animals, kids will practice different yoga poses to work on their breathing and learn different ways to relax and recognize when they feel any tension in their bodies.
- Kids Yoga with Sheila Palmquist – Young children will enjoy this fun yoga class where kids are invited to assume shapes of animals, and other playful yoga postures for kids that are sure to keep them entertained while they learn how to do yoga.
- The Yoga Alphabet by Bari Koral – Enjoy this short music video that shares a yoga posture for each letter of the alphabet in ABC order. Not great for a yoga class, but a fun song for kids to enjoy as a part of their daily yoga practice.
- Alphabet Yoga for Kids by Fundoola – Young children will enjoy this fun yoga session where poses take alphabet shapes in a simple yoga flow to nurture a healthy body and mind.
- Children’s Yoga Video by Yoga Ed for Manduka – This is a wonderful yoga class for kindergarteners and school-aged children that begins with simple relaxation postures, and then flows through a simple yoga class for children to help them become stronger, and more flexible, in body, and, mind.
- 4 Minute Yoga for Kids by Fightmaster Yoga – A simple and brief yoga class that kids of all ages can do quickly at any time they need a moment to calm down, relax, breathe and move.
- Yoga for Kids | Part 1 – In this yoga video for kids, Physical therapist Kendra VanWasshenova from a well known pediatric rehabilitation program quickly demonstrates kid-friendly yoga positions with a couple of children at her side. She puts together an easy class with yoga poses to help improve your children’s balance, strength, coordination, and endurance starting with deep belly breathing to invigorate mind and body.
- Yoga For Beginners 20 Minute Kids Yoga Class by Yoga Ed (video below) – This is a fantastic introductory yoga class for kids preschool age and up that children can use to learn basic breathing techniques and yoga poses or postures, also known as asanas, 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.
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!
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…