Emotions Yoga: talk about feelings through 5 yoga poses for kids | Kids Yoga Stories

Emotions Yoga

“Show me a sad face.”

“Show me a happy face.”

I prompted my daughter through expressing different emotions while she stood in front of the bathroom mirror last night. We made sad, happy, silly, surprised, angry, excited, and frustrated faces. We’ve been talking a lot about feelings lately. Most importantly, we’ve been discussing how to manage big emotions.

We’re taking this journey together, as I’ve been learning to control my own emotions, as well. Here’s what else we’ve been doing:

  • Reading books about feelings and talking about what we can learn from the story.Shop Yoga Books for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories
  • Talking about how our feelings affect other people, both positively and negatively.
  • Observing what happens to our bodies when big emotions strike (ex. heart beats faster, start to sweat, and generally lose control of body).
  • Identifying our feelings with “I feel…” statements.
  • Talking about the fact that emotions come and go and how we can sometimes choose an emotion.
  • Making a poster with photos to show “When I feel frustrated or angry, I can breathe or read a book.”
  • Taking one emotion, like anger, and deciding on two ways to deal with it (ex. punching a pillow or running on the spot).

Almost daily we make mistakes, forgive ourselves, cuddle, and then try again.

Emotions Yoga Poses for Kids

We also talk about managing our emotions through movement. My daughter loves animals, so imitating animals helps lighten the topic of emotions.

These five yoga poses are the first pages of our The Grateful Giraffe yoga book, which will be released next year. You could make up your own animal-inspired feelings yoga poses (like as curious as a cat or as proud as a peacock) by looking at our list of YOGA POSES FOR KIDS, or follow along with these five yoga poses:

Extended Mountain Pose | Kids Yoga Stories

1. A grateful giraffe returns to the wild.
To practice Extended Mountain Pose:

Stand tall in Mountain Pose, look up, take your arms straight up to the sky, and touch your palms together. Pretend your arms are the long neck of a giraffe.

Tree Pose for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories

2. A finicky flamingo picks at a snack.
To practice Tree Pose:

Stand on one leg. Bend the knee of the leg you are not standing on, place the sole of your foot on the opposite inner thigh or calf, and balance. Pretend to be a flamingo picking at its snack. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Eagle Pose for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories

3. A caring koala cuddles her baby tightly.
To practice Eagle Pose:

Stand tall in Mountain Pose. Wrap your left leg around your right. Bring your bent arms out in front of you, wrap your right arm around your left arm, and bend your knees slightly. Pretend to be a momma koala cuddling her baby. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories

4. An excited elephant runs to the waterhole.
To practice Wide-Legged Forward Bend:

Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Step your feet out wide, bend your upper body, clasp your hands together, and pretend your arms are the trunk of an elephant. Take your clasped hands up overhead (inhale), making the excited sound of an elephant, then bring your clasped hands down (exhale), pretending to drink from the waterhole.

Squat Pose for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories

5. A frustrated frog can’t catch a fly.
To practice Squat Pose:

Come down to a squat with your knees apart and your arms between your knees. Touch your hands to the ground. Jump up like a frog trying to catch a fly and then come back to a squat position.

Buy the YOGA POSES FOR KIDS CARDS here

Learning to manage emotions is hard work at any age. Acting out various emotions through animal yoga poses for kids is one way to add fun and movement to the “feelings” journey. Might even be fun for the whole family!

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Feelings Yoga for Kids: talk about feelings through movement | Kids Yoga Stories

 

15 Feelings Books for Kids

My daughter and I also turn to books to learn about new topics. Below are our favorite feelings books for kids:

This book list contains Amazon affiliate links.

FEELINGS:

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
A mom in my book club said to all of us, “Buy this book. You’ll love it!” We agree. It’s a simple and sweet book.

The Story of My Feelings, by Laurie Berkner
My daughter loves Laurie Berkner’s music. One of her songs has been turned into a book, with a CD included.

The Feelings Book, by Todd Parr
We love Todd Parr’s books. This one is like his others—colorful and simple. He uses words children can relate to. Also, check out his matching Feelings Flash Cards.

Visiting Feelings, by Lauren Rubenstein and Shelly Hehenberger
A beautifully illustrated book by a fellow kids yoga colleague, with a beautiful message that feelings come and go.

Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
The author and illustrator have done a great job of appealing visually to young children, who will also love the rhyming text.

I Have Feelings!, by Jana Novotny Hunter and Sue Porter
I’ve had this feelings book since I taught kindergarten. It’s an easily accessible resource to get young children to talk about expressing their emotions.

The Great Big Book of Feelings, by Mary Hoffman and Ros Aquith
This book’s comic-strip format would appeal to primary-aged children.

Here are some more of our favorite books that focus on a specific feeling:

ANGER:

Anh’s Anger, by Gail Silver and Christiane Kromer – about a boy who imagines talking to his anger to get himself calm again.

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry, by Mollly Bang – about a girl who goes out into nature to calm herself down from her anger. Also, check out When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt.

GRUMPY:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst – about a boy who has a really bad day at school.

The Grumpy Morning, by Darcia Labross – about demanding animals who want to be fed by the farmer.

I Love It When You Smile, by Sam McBratney and Charles Fuge – about a momma kangaroo trying to cheer up her grumpy joey.

SEPARATION ANXIETY:

The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper, and Nancy M. Leak – about a raccoon mom who kisses her little’s one hand to give him courage.

SADNESS:

Amy & Louis, by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood – about two friends who move away from each other.

HAPPINESS:

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, by Carol McCloud and David Messing – about how we can “fill” or “dip” into each other’s buckets.

What are your favorite feelings books for kids?

 

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Feelings Books for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories

Feelings Books for Kids

Happiness Yoga Book for Kids

You might enjoy Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats – a yoga book about friendship, and acceptance, and happiness:

Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats is for young and old alike! Your kids will love traveling with Anna through a safari desert, the pyramids of the desert, through the waters of the world’s oceans – and more! It’s a beautifully told story with beautiful watercolor-like illustrations. Anna and her rainbow-colored yoga mats teach a story of acceptance, friendship, and being happy with yourself – being yourself – in your own space.”
Lisa N.

Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats | Kids Yoga Stories


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One Response to Emotions Yoga

  1. Kim August 27, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    I love doing yoga with preschoolers

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