Yoga is such a great activity for kids. There are so many benefits – strength, flexibility, concentration—to name just a few. But if you’re new to yoga, don’t worry. You can still teach your kids with these easy yoga poses for kids.
But first – why do yoga with kids at all?
Yoga has many documented benefits for kids of all ages. It’s great for gross motor skills like balance and increasing physical fitness in areas like strength and endurance.
Potentially, the most important benefit of yoga could be its effect on children’s anxiety and stress levels. At a time when many children’s mental well-being is critically low, yoga could be a key intervention. In a meta-analysis of numerous studies, nearly all of them indicated a reduction in anxiety by participants who received a yoga intervention treatment.
Plus, there’s really no downside. Doing yoga with your kids is free and the risk of injury is negligible.
What’s the best age to start these easy yoga poses?
You can start doing these easy yoga poses with your kids at nearly any age. I’d suggest starting at age two if you want to train them up early.
For my family, I started doing yoga poses with our kids when the oldest was four. Mainly, I was looking for a way to burn off a little steam without tearing the entire house apart during the winter months. Because my littlest (two at the time) wanted to do whatever his big brother did, he participated too.
Then 2020 happened and well… my kids’ yoga poses also became their PE class pretty regularly. We had a new baby, so I nursed on the couch 24-7 while the 7, 5, and 3 year-olds did their yoga poses.
If the weather is nice, yoga can also be a great outdoor spring or summer activity for kids!
Okay, onto the easy yoga poses.
This is a great yoga pose for kids because it’s fairly literal. The pose looks a lot like its name: a tree. But even though it’s literal, it’s also legit.
This is a real yoga pose—no faking here. In fact, all the poses I’m going to discuss are actual yoga poses. If you’re a yogi yourself, many of these poses should be familiar.
To do the tree pose properly, the kids will need to raise their hands and balance on one leg. If you have younger kids or balance is a real struggle, you can let them do Tree pose with both feet on the ground at first, gradually working up to balancing on one leg.
This pose is great because it can encourage some flexibility. Also, like the tree, the yoga pose really does resemble the name.
When my oldest would do this, the youngest enjoyed trying to crawl underneath the bridge. This was fun for about 30 seconds and then led to fighting, but… maybe your kids get along better than mine.
Yep, it’s a little creepy, but kids pay attention to creepy. The best thing about this easy yoga pose is it really encourages your kids to be still and quiet. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better! (Well, except maybe bedtime!)
Have your child lie on their back, feet straight in front. Arms should be down near their sides (about 45 degrees away from their bodies, twisted so palms face up).
I hate hate hate snakes, but my kids are super into them, so this pose is a popular one around here. It’s a great way to stretch the spine and it’s easy to do. See the picture below for how to do this yoga pose (or, just picture a snake and do that).
Happy Baby Pose
I love this pose because it’s actually one of my favorite things babies do. I just love it when they grab their own chubby little feet with their chubby little hands.
Your child should lie on their back, bring knees in toward the chest (but spread the knees apart, as in a squat) and grab their feet.
It can also be fun for your kids to pretend to be babies during this pose (as long as they don’t do baby talk. That’s so painful.)
This is another literal yoga pose that’s great for kids because it helps strengthen the legs. It’s also an exercise a lot of coaches use as part of their team training, so if you have kids who are playing team sports (or plan to), it’s a pose worth practicing.
Another perk – you can have them practice up against a wall until they get good at it. (Although it gives me slightly painful flashbacks to my coaches making us do wall-sits forever…)
Rag Doll Pose
In this pose, your kids lean forward and let their upper body hang, like a rag doll. Obviously, this can be a good pose in a full kids yoga routine, but it comes in handy at other times as well.
If you have a kid who gets really tense or anxious, it can be good to have them practice the Rag Doll pose at other times. It can help them loosen up and shake out the tension when things get a little tough or frustrating.
Downward Facing Dog
This is fairly simple — as you can see from the toddler doing this yoga pose in the picture below. Be prepared for barking if you tell the kids the name of this particular pose.
If you’ve been around my site before (or just looked at the website tagline –“with four boys, anything goes”) you may have realized I know zilch about raising girls. Maybe they’ll be into this pose, maybe they won’t.
What I do know is Warrior pose has been a consistent favorite of my kids. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extra patient (so…. not that often), I’ll let them hold a lightsaber while they do this pose. Or a shield.
Usually, I collect the lightsabers as soon as yoga is over. If I don’t mind dealing with fighting, crying, and “accidental” nosebleeds, then I let them keep them out and play with them a little longer.
Other ways to do yoga with your kids
Having your kids practice these easy yoga poses is a great start. Over time, you can have them see how long they can hold a particular pose. You can also let them create their own yoga poses if you want to push the creativity aspect.
Sometimes, if you just want a little peace and want to sit out the process, you can try Cosmic Kids Yoga. It’s a YouTube channel that instructs the kids how to do different themed yoga poses and it’s really great! My kids had a great time with the Pokemon and Star Wars Yoga programs, in particular.
However you decide to incorporate yoga into your daily activities with your kids, you really can’t go wrong. Do a few minutes or a few poses every day or do yoga once or twice weekly — it’s all beneficial!