Editor’s note: Today’s fitness tutorial is brought to us by my friend Abby Nagler, co-founder of The Little Yoga House in Austin. Within the walls of their two beautiful studio locations, Abby and her team combine their shared love of yoga and kids to create magical experiences that are both fun and healthy. She joins us today to prove that being mindful isn’t a grown-ups-only practice…
From Abby: As adults, we sometimes forget that we’re not the only ones experiencing stress — our little ones can feel it too. Practicing yoga and meditation can provide real, concrete benefits for kids and families dealing with the stressors of everyday life. By emphasizing the importance of being truly present, yoga can foster a new sense of peace during the chaos. Benefits include: stress reduction, strength development, enhanced communication skills, anger management and confidence building, to name a few. At The Little Yoga House we recommend consistent practice in a group class or at home.
Yoga and mindfulness can seem daunting and a bit unfamiliar for families who have never practiced before, so we’ve put together a list of a few easy poses to practice (and play!) together in the comfort of your own home.
Twists are a great moment to slow down and breathe together!
Come to a comfortable seat facing your partner and smile! Both partners lift your left hand to the sky.
Reach your lifted arm across your body and rest it on your knee.
Both Partners reach your right hand behind your back and around to the front for your partner’s left hand as you twist slightly to the right.
Take a deep breath in as you sit up tall, then breathe out as you twist deeper to the right while holding hands. Release and try it on the other side.
Partner Boat pose is a core strengthener and builds trust as you balance together.
Face your partner, sitting with your knees bent in and your toes touching. Grab on to your partners wrists.
Keep your feet glued to your partners, and Slowly use your core muscles to lift up one foot to eye-level.
Lift the second foot to meet it, keeping your knees glued together. Sit up tall and thank your partner!
Shooting star is an awesome stretch for the hamstrings, and when you reach over your head with the arms you will feel a side body stretch as well.
Sit next to your partner (side by side with feet aligned) and extend out your inside legs (so together they are like 1 big leg.) Bend the other knee and place the bottom of your foot into your inner thigh.
Reach our inside arm long and grab for your partner’s toes.
Extend your other arm to the sky and hold your partners hand.
Tip your arms and upper body towards your toes and enjoy the stretch.
In this pose, each partner gets a different stretch. The seated partner gets an assisted hip opener and the partner in Downward Dog will feel a lengthening in the back of the body — it’s a 2-for-1!
Sit across from each other in butterfly pose — soles of your feel glued together and knees open wide out to the side.
Partner A will come onto their knees and place their hands on Partner B’s thighs, then lift their hips into Downward Dog.
Partner B brings both hands to their forehead, and rests their head on Partner A’s back. Take a few deep breaths, release, and switch roles if possible.
Our core is so important for strength and balance, this pose will give you and your yogis an ab workout!
Sit next to your partner, facing each other with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
Roll Down onto your back and grab hold of your partners hands.
Extend your legs up to the sky.
Using your core and stomach muscles, lift your hips up into the air and over to the other side of your partner. (You are both switching sides at the same time)
Slowly lower your hips down onto the ground- And don’t let go of their hands!
Keep your legs straight and slowly lower them down to the floor.
When your feet touch the floor, bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor- ready to start again!
Your breath is the most powerful tool you have in your yoga practice. Using a feather is a helpful prop for your little yogis to see their breath moving as you pass the feather back and forth.
Sit facing your parter in Criss-Cross Yoga Sauce. Make your hands into a little cup, with one partner holding a feather in their hands.
Using a big yogi breath, blow the feather into your partners hands. Your partner will catch the feather, and blow the feather back to you.
Continue passing the feather back and forth as you breathe and strengthen your diaphragm muscle.
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