Mommy & Me Poses: Doing Yoga with Kids
by Melissa Deraval – 200hr RYT
Have young ones at home? Maybe you’ve neglected your yoga practice due to being a new mom or maybe you feel like you’re caught between trying to do something nurturing for yourself or giving that attention away to your children instead. Why sacrifice your health and wellness? Grab the little loves in your life and try out some of these incredibly fun yoga moves for a good workout filled with lots of laughs & love!
Mommy & Me (for children up to the crawling stages)
Downward Dog & Her Pup :
1) Place your little yogi on the mat facing up at you. Set up in Downward Dog, legs and belly strong.
2) Optionally bend at the elbows, keeping your Down Dog shape and lower up and down for some kisses to baby. Keep the core strong and be mindful to not move the shoulders past the wrists.
3) Stay here for up to ten breaths (or alternately lower up & down 10 times through).
Rock the Boat (Navasana/Boat Pose variation)
1) Start sitting down on your mat.
2) Hold baby to a standing position in front of you as you bend your knees.
3) As you exhale, pull your core in and lift baby onto your shins holding on to their hands or body securely.
4) Keep your torso engaged and move your legs out and in by straightening and bending the knees as you begin to sing a song like:
“Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
Life is but a dream.”
The song helps heighten baby’s senses and you get a great abdominal workout as well. Try to match your breath with your movement as well!
A great hip opener and arm toner!
1) As you hold your little yogi in your arms, step your feet into a moderately wide straddle.
2) Turn the toes slightly outwards.
3) Engage your pelvic floor (think of a elevator going “up”. This is especially good for new moms to practice) as you keep lengthening through your spine.
4) Exhale as you bend your knees coming into Goddess Pose.
5) Inhale to straighten your legs, exhale to bend the knees. Engage your yogi (and get in a killer arm work out) by matching your leg movement with your arm movement. Every time you bend your knees, lift your yogi up into the air and as you straighten your legs, lower baby down for a kiss!
Mom & Me Yoga (for children ages 7+)
A great foundational pose to help your young yogi understand teamwork and alignment as well as understanding that when we have a stable foundation what rests on top of it can be supported without effort.
1) Get into Downward Dog and have your child stand in front of you, back towards you, and heels of their feet right in front of your fingertips.
2) Have your child bend forward bringing their hands to the mat.
3) Encourage your child to place one foot on your sacrum & then press down through strong arms to bring the other foot onto your lower back.
4) The “top dog” (your child) presses up and back with their feet to help lengthen your spine.
It feels wonderful!
Helps with balance and extension of the arms, core & legs. This pose can be quite tricky at first so focus & breathe and take your time coming into the pose. If you fall out of sync, simply laugh and try again!
1) Sit facing one another with bent knees.
2) Reach out to hold hands.
3) Start to press the soles of the right foot (your partner’s left foot) together while lifting the legs. Repeat with opposite foot.
4) Straighten both legs and arch back as much as you can while breathing calm & steady.
1) Face each other with feet touching. If your partner’s legs are shorter or longer than yours, touch anywhere.
2) Lean forward to clasp each others’ hands.
3) Pull your child forward as you lean back, being mindful and caring of their forward stretching limit.
4) Then, let your yogi pull you forward encouraging him or her to approach the pose with caring and mindfulness of their partner’s limitations.