Yoga is beneficial for adults and children. Doing yoga regularly enhances flexibility, improves concentration, increases muscle strength and keeps you calm. Yoga helps children’s coordination and makes them aware of their bodies and their breathing.
Through this post, I will be discussing some easy yoga poses that can be done in the class with the children. I will also discuss the basic ways to get children involved in doing the poses and to get them to enjoy the yoga class.
Preparing for the Yoga Class
While doing yoga children should be barefoot. Every child must have a yoga mat. Before starting the class these simple instructions must be given to the children and the children learn to fall into a routine for every class thereafter. This routine makes them comfortable before the class begins.
As preschool children are between the age of 2 to 4 years, their attention span is short. Hence, it is important to do poses that are easy and do not take long. Teachers should try to do the poses that are related to the topics being taught in the class. For example, if the class lesson is on pet animals then the cat pose can be done.
Children should be informed about the poses through pictures before starting the class. So let’s get started on a fitness routine for our preschoolers. As mentioned earlier, ask the children to take off their shoes and gather their mats. The teacher should do the same and she must also do the poses along with the children.
Tell the children to lie on their tummy with their heads turned towards one side. Ask them to bend their knees, lift up their chests from the mat. Now ask the children to reach for their feet and hold their ankles and look upwards. The bow pose strengthens the back muscles and makes it flexible.
Ask children to lie on their backs and bend their knees with their feet flat on the ground. Then ask the children to rest their arms on the ground along the side of their bodies. Instruct them to tuck their chin into their chest and lift their buttocks and back from the floor, while their arms are still on the ground, to form a bridge. The bridge pose strengthens the back and the buttocks.
Ask children to sit cross-legged on the ground with their spine straight. Ask children to place soles of their feet together. Children should hold their ankles and gently start bouncing their legs like the flapping of the wings of a butterfly. Butterfly pose helps in flexibility of inner thigh and knees.
Ask children to lie on their tummy. Children should place their palm flat next to their shoulders. Ask children to press their hands into the ground and lift their head and shoulder off the ground. Ask them to make a hissing sound like a snake. This pose helps in strengthening the shoulder, chest and abdominal muscles.
Ask children to stand with their spine straight and shoulders back. Ask them to stand on one leg while bending the other knee. Children should place the sole of the bent foot on the inner thigh of the other leg. Ask children to balance and stretch their arms above their heads and sway their arms like a tree sways. Tree pose builds strength in the ankle and the calves.
Children are asked to stand on one leg. They are instructed to extend the other leg behind while bending in front. Children should be careful and balance themselves well. The teacher asks children to stretch their arms in front of them. Children are asked to pretend that they are gliding through the water. This pose enhances focus, balance, and stability.
Ask children to stand tall with their legs slightly apart. Their hands should be down along the side of the body. Ask children to bend their right ankle and take the foot back. Children should place their hands on their hips and look forward. The children should bend forward slowly without arching their backs. Then they are asked to hold their ankles. Throughout this pose, the spine should be kept straight. The pyramid pose helps in better posture.
Children are made to stand straight. They are told to put one foot back like taking a big stride. They are asked to stretch their arms out like a bird’s wings. Children are asked to bend from their waist, reach the front arm to hold the ankle and the arm at the back is stretched straight up. The triangle pose helps in strengthening the muscles of the hips and the back. It also strengthens the knees.
Table Top Pose
The teacher askes children to come down on all fours (crawling position). The palms should be flat on the ground and the fingers should be spread out. Children should be told not to arch their backs. The children should be asked to keep their shoulders in line with their wrists and their hips in line with their knees. This pose makes the back, wrist, and arms stronger.
Seated Forward Bend Pose
This pose help in the digestion of the food hence is beneficial for children. Ask children to sit with their legs stretched out in front of them. Tell children to bent forward, knees unbent, backs not arched. Extend the arms in front but leave them loose.
Make the children sit with their spine straight. Ask children to extend their arms behind them and put their palms flat on the ground. Their legs should be bent at their knees in front of them. Children should use the strength of their arms and legs to lift their buttocks up. They should try to move ahead if they can. The crab pose strengthens the arms, legs, wrists, shoulders, and spine.
Yoga should be included in the curriculum of the school. It is a very important part of the growing process of the children. It enhances their concentration, their physical strength and brings discipline in their daily life. Yoga enhances the children’s ability to perform better in preschool and thus builds their confidence. Yoga helps calm the children. Thus what we ultimately have are children who are physically fit, have better cognitive development, and are much calmer human beings.