Animals are a wonderful way to introduce toddlers and babies to yoga. Children have a natural curiosity to the look, feel, and sounds of the animal kingdom, and children’s first books and toys often include bears, foxes, giraffes, and elephants. Children simply love animals, so what better way to begin your child’s yoga adventure than to practice animal yoga poses?
Animal yoga poses for toddlers can be fun and simple, and they promote a connection between you and your little one. Don’t forget to include your favorite animal sounds, associated animal toys if you have them, and any books to make the experience more enriching.
The most important thing is to have fun. Use your imagination and watch your child’s imagination grow, as well.
5 Animal Yoga Poses for Toddlers
1. Pretend to be a horse standing strong in the breeze.
How to practice Horse Stance: Stand with your legs apart and feet facing slightly outward, bend your knees, and stand firm like a horse. Chat with your child about the different colors of horses and ask which color they would like to be if they were a horse. Then let out a hearty neigh.
2. Pretend to be a cat waking up from a nap.
How to practice Cat Pose: Come to an all-fours position, round your back, and tuck your chin to your chest. Pretend to be a kitty cat and don’t forget to meow.
3. Pretend to be a cow grazing on grass.
How to practice Cow Pose: Come to all fours, look up, arch your back, and open your chest. Mimic the chewing of grass and give a hearty moo!
4. Pretend to be a tiger stretching out in the sun.
How to practice Extended Cat Pose: Come to all fours, extend one leg out behind you, and look forward. Take the opposite arm out in front of you to counterbalance. Don’t forget to repeat on the other side. Purr like a giant tiger.
5. Pretend to be a bear cub playing in a meadow.
How to practice Happy Baby Pose: Lie on your back with your chin tucked in and hug your knees into your chest. Then grab the outer part of your feet with both of your hands and rock like a happy baby. Share how large bear cubs grow up to be and teach them how to let out a mighty roar.
Yoga is a wonderful way to expose children to a variety of animals in fun and active ways. Explore for yourself. You can easily swap out any of the animals above for animals you see in books or at the zoo.
What was your child’s favorite animal pose to do from this sequence? Share your experiences below.