Below is an excerpt from a post titled “5 Simple Ways to help Children Calm Angry Feelings with Yoga” that I wrote for Lemon Lime Adventures, a popular parenting resource created by a former teacher and parent to a child with sensory processing challenges. Follow the link below to read the whole yoga for anger article and to download the Calm Down Anger with Yoga Printable Poster.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to help my daughter manage her intense emotions and teach her to self-regulate in a way that honors her feelings without suppressing her personality. We’ve read books on anger, and now I’m exploring how yoga can help us both in this journey of managing big emotions.
So, today, let’s imagine our children using yoga poses and the power of their breath to release their anger. Teach this yoga sequence below when you and your child are both calm and happy. Once you are both comfortable with this anger-reducing yoga sequence, it’ll be easier to go through the flow of the yoga postures when you start to feel the signs of anger.
Yoga research has proven to help us move from our amygdala (fight-or-flight response) to our prefrontal cortex (regulating emotions and problem-solving), so that we are able to think more clearly and make good choices. Our ultimate goal is to help our children (and ourselves) to regulate big emotions before we hurt ourselves or our loved ones mentally or physically.
5 Yoga Poses for Kids to Reduce Anger
1. WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD BEND – PRETEND TO BE AN ELEPHANT
How to practice Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose: Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Step your feet out wide, bend your upper body, clasp your hands together, and pretend to be a wise elephant.
2. DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE – PRETEND TO BE A JACKAL
How to practice Downward-Facing Dog Pose: Start out on all fours. Spread your fingers and press your palms flat onto the floor. Lift your buttocks, straighten your legs, and make an upside-down V shape. Send your heels gently to the ground. Relax your head and neck and look down between your legs to pretend to be a jackal.
3. PLANK POSE – PRETEND TO BE A CROCODILE
How to practice Plank Pose: From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, come forward to balance on your palms and your bent toes in a plank position. Keep your arms straight and your back long and flat. Pretend to be a crocodile.
4. CHILD’S POSE – PRETEND TO BE A HIPPO
How to practice Child’s Pose: Come to sitting back 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 you are a hippo resting in the water.
5. RESTING POSE – PRETEND TO BE A LION
How to practice Resting Pose: Lay on your back with your arms and legs stretched out. Pretend to be a lion resting in the sun.
After your yoga session, your child might be more willing to talk about the cause of their anger, or practicing the yoga poses might just be the trick for bringing them back to balance without discussing further. Honor their emotions and trust in yourself.
I’m learning to accept myself and my daughter, too. The more I resisted our intense anger, the worse it got. These yoga practices help us both to calm our minds and help us to reconnect. I hope they work for you, too!
Read the entire “5 Ways to help Children Calm Angry Feelings with Yoga”article on LemonLimeAdventures.com>>
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MAY WE SUGGEST
“As a father and as a kid’s yoga teacher, I think this The Grateful Giraffe is simply awesome. It’s a wonderful voyage that invites the kids to travel around the world, to learn about several animals, and also it introduces some different emotions by addressing simple feelings. The text is simple, which is very useful when you are reading stories to kids from 2 to 5 years old, but it can be easily expanded. The yoga poses correspond with pictures, and as they are in a good order, it helps a lot with the class flow. Also, you can encourage the children to make animal noises, making the class much more fun and also letting the kids spend more time on the poses. In addition, the feelings listed in the book can give you an excellent opportunity to work with the kids the expression of their own feelings. Finally, the parent-teacher guide is a wonderful tool if you are a parent and you want to introduce yoga to your children, or if you‘re a kids yoga teacher, it can simply be a source or a reminder of how to teach yoga to children in a properly and funny way.” – Martin