I am absolutely terrified of horses!
After being bucked off a horse when I was young, that was it! Since then, I have had an irrational fear of these huge, majestic animals. It has certainly caused my angst during my travels over the years!
Luckily, my daughter does not have my fear of horses and has recently started going to a local farm camp where she gets to do horseback riding lessons. After class, as she takes me around the farm to introduce me to all the horses, I have to take deep breaths to calm my nerves!
So when Nicole emailed awhile back to ask for horse-themed yoga ideas, I knew we had to help her out. We talked about three angles that could be fun to introduce horses to your yoga students through movement:
- You could act out all the things you do and see on a horse farm.
- You could practice some yoga pose “exercises” to get ready for horseback riding, focusing on building core stability, flexibility, and arm strength.
- You could act out the various types of roles that horses take on, like racehorse, police horse, farm horse, or rodeo horse.
The third option is what you will find in the horse-themed yoga poses below, and if you’re looking for more poses, check out our Horse Yoga Cards for Kids.
One thing that I have learned about horses is that they can sense your fear. So practicing a few calming breaths before your Horse Yoga session will ensure that you are all relaxed before going on your pretend horseback-riding journey!
5 HORSE YOGA POSES FOR KIDS
1. Pretend to be a racehorse.
How to practice Extended Cat Pose: Extended Cat Pose: On all fours, extend one leg out behind you and look forward. Take the opposite arm out in front of you to counterbalance. Repeat on the other side. Pretend to be a racehorse racing around the track.
2. Pretend to be a police horse.
How to practice Horse Stance: Stand with your legs apart, feet facing slightly outward. Bend your knees and stand firm like a police horse standing on guard.
3. Pretend to be a farm horse.
How to practice Triangle Forward Bend: Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Take your right foot back, keeping your ankle bent at a thirty-degree angle. Place your hands on your hips, ensuring that your back is flat and that you are looking straight ahead. Then slowly bend forward as if your hips are a hinge, keeping a flat back and a long neck. Lastly, bring your hands to your shins, ankles, or the ground, depending on what feels comfortable, all the while checking that your spine is straight. Pretend to be a farm horse grazing in the grassy field. Repeat on the other side.
4. Pretend to be a rodeo horse.
How to practice Handstand Prep (Bunny Hops): From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inch your feet toward your hands. Align your shoulders over your wrists. Look down in front of you and keep your fingers spread out. If you are steady and strong in your arms, start to take hops with one leg at a time, as if you are bucking like a horse. Pretend to be a bucking rodeo horse. Rest in Child’s Pose when you’re done.
5. Pretend to be a pony.
How to practice Mermaid Pose (Sage Twist Pose): Come to sitting on your heels in Hero Pose. Lean forward and shift your feet out to the right. Sit your buttocks on the ground, while your feet are nestled next to your right buttock. Twist your upper body to the right. Place your right hand behind you and rest your left hand on your right knee. Come back to center and repeat on the other side. Pretend to be a pony resting in a field.
Check Out Our Horse Yoga Cards for Kids
Are you kids drawn to horses? Their strength, beauty, and speed are undeniable.
If you can’t make it to the stables then bring the stables to your classroom, studio, or home with these colorful Horse Yoga Cards for Kids.
Gallop like a racehorse, trot like a show horse, and canter like a riding horse.
Bring yoga and movement to your kiddos with these horse-inspired yoga cards for kids.
This deck of 56 colorful cards includes:
- an index card listing the horse poses in a sequence
- instructions for each of the 20 horse yoga poses
- 20 illustrated cards showing the poses
- 20 matching horse cards
- yoga teaching tips
The multicultural yoga kids are from seven countries. Ages 3+.
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