It feels like we’re the only family who doesn’t do the early Saturday morning soccer practice! It’s a “thing” in our town, and apparently, all the parents show up on cool fall mornings with their coffees and lawn chairs to watch their kiddos run around the field. And if they aren’t signed up for soccer, the local children are doing other sports such as swimming, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, ballet, skating, softball, karate, hockey, or golf. Or maybe even two or three!
Right now, my daughter is into gymnastics. It’s such a gift to watch children join a youth sport that gives them strength, endurance, and flexibility, while they also learn discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. We’ve noticed that some children find their one sport when they are really young, while others try out a number of sports. Either way, these children are channeling their energy into healthy activities, which is always a great thing.
One thing my daughter has challenges with (and I’ve seen other children experience the same challenge) is getting over the nerves of trying something new and entering into a new sport without knowing anyone. I wrote Katie’s Karate Class a couple of years ago based on her experience in her karate class. To get over her fear of karate, we talked about something she loves doing (yoga) and relating it to learning something new (karate). Read this yoga book with your children to talk about their fears or anxiety of starting a new sport.
Sports for Kids: 5 Yoga Poses for Kids
Check out this list of sport yoga poses to have children either talk about new sports that they haven’t done before or express themselves in the excitement of their favorite sports. If you’re looking for more sport yoga poses, you’ll find twenty sport poses in our digital downloadable Sports Yoga Cards for Kids.
1. Pretend to be a soccer goalie.
How to practice Crescent Moon Pose: Standing, reach your arms up high over your head, bringing your palms together. Tilt your upper body to one side. Come back to center. Tilt your body to the other side. Pretend to be a soccer goalie reaching to block the ball.
2. Pretend to be a gymnast balancing on a beam.
How 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 gymnast on the balance beam. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
3. Pretend to be a hockey goalie.
How to practice Horse Stance: Stand with your legs apart, feet facing slightly outward. Bend your knees and stand firm. Pretend to be a hockey goalie guarding the net.
4. Pretend to be a baseball catcher.
How 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. Pretend to be a baseball catcher ready for the pitch.
5. Pretend to be a swimmer.
How to practice Locust Pose: Lie on your tummy, lift your chest and shoulders, and look up. Circle your arms and kick your legs as if you are swimming. Pretend to be a swimmer doing laps.
When you’ve finished practicing your sport yoga poses, you can come to Resting Pose. Encourage your children to close their eyes (if that’s comfortable for them) and take a few deep breaths to calm their minds and bodies after all the excitement of their yoga pose practice.
You could talk them through a guided relaxation and ask them to imagine lying on the field or mat at the end of their sports practice. Imagine being brave to take risks and learn new skills in their favorite sport.
Have you used a sports theme in your yoga class before?
Tell us about in the comments below.
Watch Sports Yoga Poses
Other Sport Yoga Ideas
Did you know that many successful athletes include yoga in their training programs? Click on the links below to learn yoga poses that are great to practice before doing a sport and to learn about the benefits of yoga for Olympic athletes:
7 Yoga Poses for Young Athletes, Active Kids
Yoga for Athletes: Poses and Practices to Train for Other Sports, Yoga Journal
Yoga for Athletes – The Ultimate Guide, DoYouYoga
Olympic Hopefuls Share the Yoga That’s Helping Them Get to the Games, Yoga Journal
Is Yoga The Secret to Olympic Gold, Huffington Post