Transitions can be hard for children. Starting a fresh new year can be one of those times that are challenging for some kids. Some children have been away visiting family, some have had very active or very lazy holidays, and even others have traveled to faraway places over the holiday break.
We can completely relate—our Boston-based family just got back from two weeks visiting family in Australia. After a twenty-hour flight, we are all feeling exhausted and slow to get back into the routines of school and work.
One way to help children adapt to these difficult transitions is to roll out a yoga mat and practice a few yoga moves, coupled with positive affirmations, to get them back into their bodies and adjust their mindsets.
Introducing yoga poses for the new year.
Below, you’ll find five Be My Best yoga poses from our Be My Best Yoga Cards deck, which has twenty poses. These poses and positive affirmations are intended to:
- Welcome new beginnings to start the year
- Celebrate our best selves
- Gain confidence to get through transitions
- Set intentions and goals for the upcoming year
Practice each pose then say the Be My Best mantra, feeling the truth of the statement each time. Use these mantras to help children build their self-esteem and have confidence through difficult transitions, like the beginning of the year or the end of the school year.
5 Be My Best Poses and Positive Affirmations for Kids
The yoga poses below are sequenced specifically to invite flow from one pose to the next. Make safety a top priority—clear the space of obstacles and be safe with your bodies. Feel free to add your own inspiring songs, music, relaxation stories, or props.
1. Easy Pose – Say “I am kind to all.”
How to practice Easy Pose: Sit cross-legged and rest your palms on your knees. Close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing so. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body. “I am kind to all.”
2. Seated Side Bend – Say “I care about others.”
How to practice Seated Side Bend Pose: Come to sitting comfortably cross-legged. Place your right hand flat on the ground straight out to the side. Then reach your left hand over your head, tilting your upper body to the right. Keep your buttocks on the ground. Feel the gentle stretch in your left side. Come back to center and repeat on the other side. “I care about others.”
3. Cat Pose – Say “I am a good listener.”
How to practice Cat Pose: On all fours, round your back and tuck your chin into your chest. “I am a good listener.”
4. Cow Pose – Say “I am generous.”
How to practice Cow Pose: On all fours, look up, arch your back, and open your chest. “I am generous.”
5. Child’s Pose – Say “I am mindful.”
How to practice Child’s Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest on the floor in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body, and take a few deep breaths. “I am mindful.”
After you’ve gone through the pose sequence, have a discussion about how they are feeling about the transition back to school and the start of a new year. Then shift to setting their intentions and goals for the upcoming year.
What do they want to get better at this year? What do they want to learn this year? How do they want to be a better person this year?
What other positive affirmations and poses could you come up with? Tell us in the comments below!