There’s no doubt that kids nowadays need more activity, more play time outdoors, a time to unplug and play! Play is very integral in a child’s development and nowadays, city kids don’t get that much free time to run around in a garden or a playground especially those who live in apartments and high rise condominiums. What better way to get them away from the couch and digital consoles if not to play and be active with them and get the workout that you need as well?
For all you active parents out there, this one is for you! You don’t need to be a yogi to try out these simple poses, but you do need to know how to use your core muscles to protect your own body and make sure you’re a strong support for your child. I asked model, active yoga dad, Hideo Muraoka and his lovely 7 year old daughter to show us how it’s done!
1 FLOCK OF BIRDS
Hold each other’s hands and get ready to take flight! Help each other balance in airplane pose or Warrior 3 pose. Make sure both your toes of your standing leg point straight ahead and the other leg shoots straight backwards. Try to challenge each other and hold the pose for 15-20 seconds!
2 LION ON A CLIFF
Remember that scene in Disney’s Lion King where Mufasa stands over Pride Rock? Come into plank pose and keep your belly in and legs strong. Your pose will mimic the cliff. Have your child climb up on top of you and do Upward Facing Dog Pose as if he/she were that lion looking over the cliff! If you have a toddler, he/she can just climb on to your back and give you a hug from behind like a baby koala hugging it’s mom.
For those of you with issues with your wrists, lessen the load, bring your knees down and take a modified version of plank or come down onto the forearms if it’s really tough to sustain wrist flexion.
Here’s a challenge, if you’re child is pretty good with balance, he/she may even try to stand tall from the back of your hips!
3 LITTLE BEAR IN A CAVE
Kids feel safe when they have you providing that safe space for them. Have your little one curl up like a little bear cub (child’s pose) underneathe you as provide shelter in Downward Facing Dog pose. These two poses are great for both your backs.
4 LIZARD ON A ROCK
Now it’s your turn to curl up into child’s pose and imagine as if you are a rock. Have your child lie down on your back as if he/she were a lizard sun tanning himself. Take your time in these poses. Give your child time to stare up at the sky and watch the clouds go by while you take a moment to breathe.
Remember, if done in the spirit of play, you and your child will enjoy! No pressure to do things perfectly. It’s a great way to bond with each other, have a few laughs and at the same time get a quick yoga practice or workout.
If you’re new to yoga or new to doing core poses like plank, learn more about how to do some of these yoga poses at home with your child, using Amazing Me yoga book for kids. The last few pages have a simple 1-2-3 instruction on how to get into the poses. To keep your children active and moving through yoga, enroll them in Urban Ashram’s summer program for kids.
Nica Hechanova De Erquiaga teaches vinyasa flow, community yoga and kids yoga at Urban Ashram Yoga. She’s illustrator and graphic artist who recently published a yoga book for kids called Amazing Me (which she shamelessly plugs into her article *wink wink* ). Oh, and she’s editor of www.urbanyogi.ph Follow @amazingmeyoga on instagram.