By Jeanell Birk, Content Writer
Does it seem as though stress has become a daily occurrence with your family lately? Do you find yourself or your children overwhelmed, tense, and overcome with anxiety? If so, you’re not alone.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting many families in negative and unforeseen ways. With most children continuing to learn remotely at home – either through their school or homeschooling – this hasn’t been easy for parents or children. We’re all socializing less, if at all, and staring at screens more often than we care to admit. Many of us have unknowingly adopted a sedentary lifestyle, as we’re moving our bodies less due to remote learning and the fact that much of the country is knee deep in winter.
It’s time to take a step in a positive direction. After all, we’re all in this together, right?
Yoga and mindfulness have been shown time and time again to be beneficial and helpful for dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as boosting relaxation and happiness.
Relaxing yoga poses for kids
This is a classic yoga pose for kids – it’s right in the name! It’s a great pose to start off your yoga practice and allows for quiet, self-care time. Plus, you can rest your eyes from looking at screens.
How to do Child’s pose:
Start by kneeling on the ground. Then sit back on your heels and lean your body forward and bring your torso upon your thighs towards the ground. You can rest your arms straight in front of you or you can bring your arms behind you, toward your heels. Let your shoulders release to the floor. Child’s pose is a great yoga pose to help calm the mind.
This is a great pose to stretch the side body!
How to do Gate pose
Start by kneeling on the floor and send the right leg out to the right. Rest your right hand upon the side of your right leg and then reach your left arm up to the sky. Lean to the right and reach your left arm to the right side. Feel the deep side stretch. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat on the other side.
You can also do Gate pose seated!
Resting pose (Savasana)
Also known as deep relaxation pose, savasana is the mother of all yoga poses for stress-relief! This pose, which comes at the end of a kids yoga class, helps calm children down so they can experience rest.
How to do Savasana
Simply lay on your back with your arms and legs outstretched. Try doing this with your eyes closed to really center yourself. Take some deep breaths and then relax!
Yoga poses for strength
When teaching kids yoga, it’s important to mix in relaxing poses and strength postures. This brings balance to the body and mind. Star pose, sometimes called Five Pointed Star Pose, is a great standing yoga pose for kids as it isn’t hard to do, yet helps build muscular strength while developing focus and concentration. If you’re a kids yoga teacher, you may also want to insert some encouragement into this one by telling kids that they’re stars!
How to do Star pose
Stand with your arms and legs stretched out to the sides. Reach as far to the sides as you can with both arms, while solidly planting your feet into the ground. Try some deep breathing with this one, too.
Tree pose is a favorite standing yoga pose in a kids yoga class. Children love practicing this balance pose as it entails standing on one foot.
How to do Tree pose
Stand with your feet under your shoulders and your hands pressed together at your chest. Then, lift one foot up and place that foot below or above the knee on the opposite leg. Turn the hip and knee out to the side while balancing on the opposite foot/leg. The kids can either press the palms together in front of their heart or lift the arms overhead. If the children lose their balance, that’s okay! It’s all about feeling strong and calm!
Yoga poses for anxiety
This is a great pose to help relieve tension from sitting in a chair and being on the computer all day when in hybrid learning!
How to do Forward Fold
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your hands together behind your back or just let your arms rest down by your sides. Then slowly lean forward and fold toward the ground. Slowly roll back up to a stand or come up with a flat back, lifting your arms out to the side and overhead. Bring arms back down to your sides or into Namaste position.
Cat and Cow poses
These are simple but effective kids yoga poses for remote learning. They offer a silly way to relax and let loose during a stressful homeschooling day. Plus, these two yoga poses really help stretch out the back and neck!
How to do Cat and Cow poses
Get on all fours and arch your back upwards like a cat and then downwards like a cow. Have some fun with this one! Maybe the kids can “meow” or “moo” when they switch from pose to pose!
Yoga for hybrid learning, homeschooling, and remote learning!
By simply cultivating a short and easy daily yoga routine with your children, it is possible to create a positive learning and working environment during these difficult times. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Pretzel Kids yoga class today!
About Jeanell: Jeanell lives with her husband and three sons in New York City. Once upon a time, she was a dancer and a children’s ballet instructor, but these days she can be found homeschooling her boys while exploring all that The Big Apple has to offer. She loves learning about and practicing a life of health and wellness, and is thrilled to be able to contribute to the Pretzel Kids blog!