Adaptive Yoga for Kids

Adaptive Yoga for Kids


What is Yoga? Yoga is a healthy exercise
that has very popular with men, women, and even kids! It involves tough stretches
and movements to help build muscle and provide relaxation. What are some of the
benefits of yoga? One is the balance of body and mind, two concentration and
focus, three breathing awareness, and four self-confidence and happiness. Now, let’s go through to of our breathing
techniques. Five County Breath. We are going to
inhale and exhale five times and do this one with your eyes closed. So, you’re
going to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. The second one is a nice Deep Full
Breath. I want you to put your hands on your rib cage and feel the difference as
you inhale and exhale. In through your nose and out through your mouth. [Breathes in through nose and out through mouth] The third one is called Sunrise and
Sunset. You’re going to stretch up as you inhale and down as you exhale. So,
you’re going to stretch up. [Breathes in [Breathes in and out] The Flower Breath. You’re going to go in
through your nose and out through your mouth. The Hissing Breath. You’re going to
breathe in through your nose, long and deep, and out through your mouth with a
hissing sound. The Bear Breath. You’re going to breath
in through your nose, pause for just a second, and exhale through your nose. Now, let’s go into our different poses. The
first few are going to be from a sitting position. First will be Cat. From all fours with your
hands under the shoulders and your knees under the hips exhale and round
your back up towards the sky, tuck your chin, and look back at your belly button. The second one is Cow. From all fours
with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips inhale arch the back
so that the chest is opening forward and the tailbone and chin are turning upward
into the Cow Pose. Dog Pose or Downward Dog. From
extended arms place your palms flat on the floor shoulder with a part with the
fingers fanned out, kind of like a starfish. Lift the hips, tuck the toes under, and
press your hips high and back away from the hands. To modify this position you
may go from a knees only position. Camel. From a kneeling position place
your fist on either side of the tailbone, gently press your hips forward, and lift
your chest to the sky. Keep lifting out of the lower back and pushing the hips
forward. Keep squeezing the muscles around the tailbone to protect the back.
Relax your head, neck and back, but keep some space in the back of the neck. To
modify this tuck your toes under, keep lifting out to the chest as you slowly
reach one hand at a time back to hold on to your heels. Listen to your body and
find which variation seems best for you. The next pose is the Superman. Lie on
your stomach, reach your arms forward over your head, lift your head squeezing
your shoulder blades together, palms facing each other. Next squeeze the
muscles around your tail and lift your legs a few inches off the floor. The entire
back is squeezing and strengthening. Now, hold the pose, keep looking slightly
forward and down. Lengthening forward through the fingers, chest, top of the
head and back, all the way through the tail and toes. Cobra is our next one. Lie on your
stomach. On the next inhalation pull forward on the mid section with the pelvis
and legs still on the floor into Cobra. Elbows will stay bent and close in.
Shoulders roll back and down and shoulder blades squeeze together. Now, let’s try a Bow. Lying down reach
back and grab one ankle. Then reach back and grab the other ankle. Bringing
the knees in to hip width apart. Lift and extend the chest forward as you as you
press your ankles back into your hands. Don’t forget to breathe as you do all these
exercises. Plank. You’re going to lie on the floor on
your stomach. Push back into the downward dog. On the inhale bring the
shoulders forward over the wrist into Plank Pose. You can also do this on your
elbows. Next is the Rabbit. Come up on to your
toes and reach your hands back to hold on to your heels. Lift your back rounding
it towards the sky. Tuck the chin bringing the top of the head towards the floor. As
you hold the pose, hang on to your heels and contract your abdominals, or your
tummy muscles, as you round the back just until you feel a good stretch. The Dead Bug Pose. On your back you’re
going to bring your news to your chest, grab your feet with your fingers, and pull
your knees down to the sides of body. Heels over knees. Holding on to the pose,
push your hipbones down. Relax the shoulders and head into the floor. Keep
checking to make sure your heels are over your knees. Next is the Windshield Wipers. Lying on
your back on the floor with your knees bent and your arms out to the side like a
“T” with palms up. Keeping the shoulders on the floor , on your next exhale let the
knees drop to one side. As you breathe in return the knees to center and as you
exhale allow the knees to sink to the other side. Now we’ll go into the Bridge. Lie down on
your back and bring the soles of the feet to the floor lifting your knees up. Then lift
your hips up to the sky. Keep pushing the hips up by pressing through your heels.
Keep your feet parallel and keep the knees over the ankles. This one takes
some practice. Keep your chin tucked and the back of the neck long. The Half Shoulder Stand. Move slowly
into this pose listening to your body. Lying on your back, arms to your side,
press your palms into the floor, and bring your knees in towards the chest to lift the
hips off the floor. Bend your elbows and bring your hands onto the lower back for
support. Straighten your legs up towards the sky. Look only at your belly button. From the Easy Seated Position, or as we
like to say sometimes “sitting down criss-cross applesauce, you want to sit
and bring your right hand to your left knee. Reach back with your left hand and
place it behind your tailbone. Inhale and sit up tall. On the exhale twist your body
and look back over the left shoulder. On every breath in keep lifting the chest and
lengthening the spine by lifting through the crown of your head and repeat to the
other side. Also, from the Seated Position we will go
into the Butterfly. Bring the soles of your feet together in front of you opening the
knees towards the floor. Lift your chest imagining you’re a puppet with a string
tied to the top of your head lengthening your spine up tall. Fold forward staying
long through the spine and holding on to the ankles. As you hold this pose
visualize your knees sinking closer to the floor as you use your elbows to gently
press the knees open. Relax the shoulders. We can do the Turtle. From the seated
position bend and open the knees out to the side feet wide and flat on the floor. Lift
the chest lengthening your spine. Hinge forward from the hips, bringing your arms
under your knees, reaching back behind you palms down. As you breath out you
want to exhale, relax the head down like a turtle tucking his head into his shell. On
the inhale lift the chest and look up bringing your head out of your shell to
great the world. Next is the Flower Pose. Again from the
seated position bring the soles of your feet together opening the knees. Lift your
chest imagining you’re a puppet on a string, again, with a string tied to the top
of your head lengthening your spine up tall. Bring your arms under your knees and
open the palms towards the sky. Lift the toes off the floor and balance
on your sitting bones. Continue balancing with the spine long focusing on
breathing and feeling. Now, let’s do the Lion Pose. You want to
sit up on the knees with hips resting on the heels of the feet. Place your hands on
your knees, straighten your arms, and keep your back nice and straight, and
your head straight. Now, for the last few this will be our cool
down. The first one is Knees to the Chest. Lie down on your back on the floor bring
your knees to your chest and hug the arms under or around the knees. As you
hold this pose keep pulling the knees towards the chest and pushing your tail
down toward the floor. For a gentle back massage rock gently from side-to-side. Next, is the Baby Pose. Lie on your side
and curl up into a ball. Imagine you’re a little baby curled up nice and warm. Next, is Child’s Pose. From hands and
knees push back so that hips lower down to your heels. Keep your arms stretched
out in front or bring your arms around to the sides of the body. As you hold the
pose rest relax and breathe. Feel your breath travel all the way down to your
belly feeling your belly expand against your thighs. Check in with your body and
notice how you’re feeling. And finally, for final Relaxation, I want
you lie down on your back let your arms relax to your sides palms open. Let the
feet just open naturally and close your eyes. As you hold the pose relax and
breathe comfortably. Yoga can be a wonderful and creative tool
to help kids improve their flexibility and core strength. All positions and poses
can be modified and adapted to the level and ability of each child. If a pose is
challenging allow the child to change to the pose to what feels comfortable to
them. Always praise their successes. We want all kids to be successful so
remember, just make it fun.

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