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 partner 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.
December’s Theme: Kindness
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
Our second theme is “kindness.” This is a perfect opportunity to talk to your children about giving and receiving, generosity, kindness, feelings, and the true meaning of the holidays.
The yoga principle Ahimsa can be translated as “non-violence” or “kindness.” As a mom, I am always thinking about ways to help my daughter to be kind to herself, others, and the environment. A few ways that we are practicing kindness at home:
- My daughter sometimes joins us for our 40-day meditation challenge. I am hoping to give her the gift of self-regulation as she grows up and can learn how to take time out to be kind to herself.
- I have been researching local service projects. A few moms have recommended Toys for Tots and Cradles to Crayons. We are going to collect pajamas to give to a local teacher who is giving out clothes to her students. Yesterday, we brought a stroller full of baby toys over to our neighbor. I hope to teach my daughter how to show kindness to others during the holidays.
- We talk to our daughter about reducing waste to be kind to the environment. We aim to not buy frivolous items, use reusable grocery bags (instead of plastic), and not waste food.
Learning about kindness can come from discussions, reading books, doing related kids’ activities, and giving gifts. It can also come from doing breathing techniques and practicing yoga poses. Kindness can then be integrated into our thoughts, words, and actions, ultimately becoming part of our lifestyle.
Kindness Yoga Practices
The “Kindness” Focus Breath is balloon breath.
Choose a comfortable upright position, such as sitting in a chair, sitting cross-legged, or sitting on your heels. Place your hands on both knees (with palms facing up), open your chest, and straighten your spine. Take a deep breath in for three counts while raising your arms up to form the shape of a balloon. Then exhale through your nose for three counts (with your lips closed), while taking your hands back to rest on your knees. Feel the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you continue to raise and lower your arms like a balloon inflating and deflating.
Do this balloon breathing for a few minutes. Give your child a few times to get comfortable with this style of breathing. Your children could hold a Hoberman sphere as a visual cue to imagine the balloon inflating and deflating with their breath. Children can think of different ways to show kindness during each inhale and exhale.
The “Kindness” Focus Yoga Pose is Tree Pose.
Stand on one leg, bend your knee, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh (or shin or ankle, but not your knee), and balance. Sway like a tree.
The “Kindness” Focus Yoga Flow is Mountain Pose, Warrior 2 Pose, and Tree Pose.
1. Mountain Pose: Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and take your hands together in front of you in a prayer position. Close your eyes (if comfortable) and think of being kind to yourself.
2. Warrior 2 Pose: From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outwards. Take your arms up until they are parallel to the ground, bend your front knee, and look forward. Think of being a “kindness” warrior and being kind to others.
3. Tree Pose: Stand on one leg, bend your knee, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh, and balance. Think about being kind to the environment.
You can flow gently over and over through the three poses. Talk to your children about being kind to themselves, others, and the environment.
The “Kindness” Focus Yoga Book is Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats. Enjoy this yoga story about friendship, happiness, and acceptance.
Anna finds happiness practicing yoga on her rainbow-colored yoga mats at recess. She imagines traveling the world and exploring new places. While her new classmates watch and wonder from the sidelines, Nick approaches her and joins her on the yoga mat. Find out if the rest of their classmates join in on the fun, too.
Spanish and Yoga Kindness Activities
Teaching Kindness in Spanish, Spanish Playground
Find coloring pages, games, and a sorting activity to teach children Spanish vocabulary about kindness.
40 Acts of Kindness, Kids Yoga Stories
Read about forty ways that you can support your child to be kind to themselves, others, animals, and the environment.
Acts of Kindness: A Love Rocks Project, Kids Yoga Stories
15 Acts of Kindness, Kids Yoga Stories
Acts of Kindness through our Thoughts, Words, and Actions, Kids Yoga Stories on All Done Monkey
Random Acts of Kindness Project, All Done Monkey
100 Acts of Kindness Project, Toddler Approved
Acts of Kindness Books for Kids, Coffee Cups and Crayons
100 Ways to be Kind to your Child, Creative with Kids
Raising a Kind-Hearted Kid, The Educators’ Spin On It
Giving and Receiving Kids Yoga Lesson Plan, Next Generation Yoga
“Loving Kindness” relaxation story in Imaginations 2 book, Bambino Yoga
Make Earth Day Every Day, ALLterNATIVElearning
How a Trip to the Playground Turned into a Lesson on Empathy, Kindness, and Gratitude, Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes
Character Training: Kindness, A Mother Far from Home
Family-Focused Random Acts of Kindness, Every Star is Different
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