Yoga provides some of the best tools for strengthening little bodies, minds and emotions: asana, breathing, visualisations and positive communication. Combine these together and you equip them with tools to take into adult life. Here are three ways to practice with your children at home that will give them a foundation to build upon week after week, year after year.
The Superman Pose is a favourite because it builds back strength and helps spinal alignment, which results in a children feeling powerful, strong and in control. The visualisation and success List are designed to build mental and emotional resiliency and lead to them feeling happy about who they are.
I am Strong and Confident Pose
Superman Pose. Tell your little one to lie down on their belly and take their arms and legs wide into a starfish. Perhaps tell them to imagine they are a very powerful superhero who is about to set out to make the world a better place. “You are about to set out on a journey using your special and unique gifts to make the world a better place. Think about three things that you do to make this world a better place. Maybe you give great hugs, look after friends, tell bullies to stop, give the best smiles.” Ask them to tell you 3 of their special qualities. Then tell them to get ready to take off. “Take a big breath in and as you breathe out, lift everything off the floor and FLY!” They lift up four to six times and each time hold long enough to spread their gift to the world and share with people who need it.
After the last time, tell them to lie down, turn their head to the side and rest, feeling their heart fill with joy and happiness, saying, “You are such a gift to the world and make it a brighter place.”
I am Confident Visualisation
Lay them on their backs, turn their palms up, let their feet flop out to the sides and ask them to pull their chin in slightly into their chests. Tell them to relax every part of the body and close their eyes. You are going to guide them to a happy place where they will picture all the things they are good at. “Keeping your eyes closed, imagine walking into a beautiful place. Choose somewhere that makes you feel really happy. Look around at all the colours, smell the beautiful fragrances; feel the sun shining down on your skin.”
Ask them to imagine they find somewhere to sit down where they can relax and feel happy. “You look around a find a soft patch of grass to sit down on and lie back gazing at the sky, feeling relaxed, calm and peaceful. “
Now ask them to focus their mind on a positive time.” Remember a time when you did something great, or when you did your best, when you achieved something good or tried something for the first time and were brave. Remember how you felt, that feeling inside and you can picture your face so happy.”
Remind them that they can remember this time whenever they are feeling afraid, insecure or unconfident; that they will always have this feeling; that it’s captured inside them and can be drawn upon whenever they need it.
My Daily Success:
This is a great family ritual for school pick-up time, to do at the dinner table or to end the day with at bedtime. It sets a positive frame of mind and builds inner strength in children, by reminding them that they achieve things — big and small — every day. Do this every day for one week and see the impact.
Loraine is a leading authority on yoga for children and teens. Over the past 20 years, she’s spent over 10,000 hours teaching 1000’s of children and teens. Her mission is to impact the lives of millions of children worldwide and set the standard for children’s yoga.