Are you looking for easy yoga ideas to practice with your children?
One of the challenges readers have shared over the years is how to add yoga into their curriculum, classes, or home life with ease and simplicity. There are tons of ways to integrate yoga, but adults with limited time (and that’s just about everyone these days) are finding it difficult to focus on quick ideas.
That’s why I’m excited to have partnered with Spanish Playground on a new monthly theme project that will focus on a single breathing technique, yoga pose, and yoga book. It will also include a 3-pose flow sequence, a Spanish-integration idea, and links to other theme resources. This way, I hope it will give you one thing to focus on each month and make it easier to bring the benefits of yoga to your children.
November’s Theme: Gratitude
“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.”
Our first theme is “gratitude.” This is a perfect opportunity to talk to your children about family, friends, sharing, giving and receiving, and Thanksgiving.
The yoga principle Aparigraha can be translated as “greedlessness” or “gratitude.” As a mom, I am always thinking about ways to help instill the value of gratitude in my daughter. I agree with Jack Canfield—gratitude is an important ingredient to a successful life.
Because of my world travels, I am very conscious that my family is very privileged. We live in a safe place, in a comfortable home, where we have healthy food and access to quality education. I hope to model gratefulness so my daughter grows up appreciating the fortunate life we lead, regardless of the obstacles that she will face in her life.
Learning about gratitude can come from discussions, reading books, doing related kids’ activities, and sending thank you cards. It can also come from doing breathing techniques and practicing yoga poses. Gratitude can then be integrated into our thoughts, words, and actions, ultimately becoming part of our lifestyle.
Gratitude Yoga Practices
The “Gratitude” Focus Breath is deep belly breath.
Choose a comfortable upright position, such as sitting in a chair, sitting cross-legged, or sitting on your heels. Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts then exhale through your nose for 4 counts (with your lips closed). Feel the rise and fall of your chest and belly.
Do this deep belly breathing for a few minutes. Give your child a few times to get comfortable with this style of breathing. You could use a Hoberman sphere as a visual cue to show your children the inhaling and exhaling action. Children can think of different things that they are grateful for during each inhale and exhale.
The “Gratitude” Focus Yoga Pose is Child’s Pose.
From all-fours, come back to resting on your heels, with your arms stretched out in front of you and palms flat on the ground. Gently bring your forehead to rest on the ground in front of your knees and lay your chest on your thighs. Slowly bring your arms to rest back alongside your body.
Take a few long, deep breaths. Feel your body rising and falling with your breath. Stay in this resting posture for a number of breaths. Children can think about what they are grateful for while they are resting in the pose.
The “Gratitude” Focus Yoga Flow is Child’s Pose, Hero Pose, and Kneeling.
1. Child’s Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body, and take a few deep breaths. Pretend to be a seed planted in the earth.
2. Hero Pose: Come back to rest upright on your heels and pretend that you are the stem of the growing plant.
3. Kneeling: Stand on your knees, open your chest, look up, and reach up. Pretend to be a blooming flower.
You can flow gently over and over through the three poses, pretending to be a plant growing in the garden. Talk to your children about how grateful we are for plants, flowers, trees, and other living things in nature.
The “Gratitude” Focus Yoga Book is Hello, Bali: An Island Adventure Yoga Book for toddlers and preschoolers.
As you talk about family holidays, you can join one of Yoga Kids, Anamika, and her family on their vacation around Indonesia in our Hello, Bali yoga book. Say good day to this magical island through these energizing yoga poses for kids, as you pretend to be a surfer, a Balinese dancer, and a monkey. Included in this island-adventure yoga book is a list of kids yoga poses, basic Indonesian phrases, and a parent-teacher guide with tips on creating a successful yoga experience.
Spanish and Yoga Gratitude Activities
Spanish Thanksgiving Activities with Natural World Vocabulary, Spanish Playground
Find coloring pages, a Spanish Thanksgiving yoga sequence, a gratitude game, and Gracias book to teach children vocabulary in Spanish that is related to the natural world.
Thanksgiving Yoga, Kids Yoga Stories
Celebrate Thanksgiving through movement and storytelling by saying thanks to nature. You can start by saying “I am grateful for…” as you begin each of these eight nature poses for kids.
Teaching your Child Gratitude, Kids Yoga Stories
Make a Gratitude Tree for Kids, Kids Activities Blog
Made Gratitude Stones, Fireflies and Mudpies
Make a Gratitude Wreath, Critters and Crayons
Send a Gratitude Gift, Growing Book by Book
Make a Gratitude Advent Calendar, Pragmatic Mom
10 Gratitude and Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers, Totschooling
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude, Childhood 101
Write in a Gratitude Journal, Greater Good Berkeley
Have a Gratitude Garage Sale, The Educators’ Spin On It
Gratitude is our Attitude Kids Yoga Lesson Plan, Next Generation Yoga
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