One of the best parts of teaching children's yoga is transporting my class to different places. I love the opportunity to tell a story and the kids love a chance to interject and mold the story into something absolutely fantastic.
Yoga is a great way to get bodies moving during these dark and cold winter months. We don’t all live with a ski slope in our town; but we can all ski and snowboard on our yoga mats.
Here are five, fun, Winter Olympic inspired poses for your kiddos. Try my list and let your kids make up some of their own!
Note: I always start any yoga practice with a couple minutes of quiet centering. Simply sit on your mat or the floor in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. For your kiddos, instruction them to do the same (and let them peek. No one under 10 keeps their eyes closed for more than a few seconds.)
Warm-up and stretch your legs with a little Olympic Yoga Curling. Begin from a standing position. Step one foot behind you and bent your front knee. Extend your rear leg away from your body and ease into a runner's lunge. Place your hands on the floor on the inside of your bent leg. Hold for 3-6 breaths. Repeat on other side.
Focus your energy with Ski Jump pose. Stand with both legs together, feet about hip distance apart. Inhale and extend your arms overhead. Exhale and bend knees, sitting back in an imaginary chair. Hold for 3-6 breaths. Inhale and lengthen yourself tall. Repeat.
Power down the mountain in Snowboarder pose. Step both legs apart into a wide leg stance. Turn your right toes, so they facing away from your body. Inhale and bend your right knee to about 90 degrees. Lift both arms up, so they extend out from your shoulders, in a long line, fingertip to fingertip. Turn your head to look over your right arm. And breathe, while you make your way down the mountain.
Repeat on other side.
Channel your inner grace with Figure Skater pose. Shifting your weight onto one foot, lift your other foot off the floor. Bend that knee, so your foot is behind you. Using your hand gently hold onto your foot. Use your hand to gently draw and open your leg behind you, while reaching your other arm forward and fly!
Repeat on other side.
5. The Luge (Savasana)
Relax and breath in Luge. Lay down on your mat. Relax your arms at your sides. Extend your legs and breath. Picture yourself racing down the luge track. And then, picture yourself at the bottom--the race is over, you are relaxed and your arms and legs are like cooked-spaghetti. Breathe in and out.
P.S. Want more Olympic fun and insights? Check out this fab stuff from some of my favorite blogs:
- Olympics Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers from Jersey Family Fun
- 5 Ways to Celebrate the Winter Games with Your Family from Jersey Family Fun
- My 2002 Olympic Torch Run Experience from How I Pinch a Penny
- Team USA Made in America for the Olympics from Made in the USA Challenge