Breathing Space instructors love coming up with creative and engaging classes for you and your children to enjoy. But we usually see you only once a week. There are lots of opportunities for yoga between classes and the practice offers the most benefits when it becomes part of your daily life.
Practice Yoga Poses and Songs from Weekly Classes
Up-Up-Up, I Love You, and Wake Up Toes make great car-seat activities. I’ve been known to twinkle and falling star at the bus stop with my daughter (ok, she’s 12 now, so it been almost a decade, but it did entertain her while waiting for the bus). You don’t need to replicate the whole class, just practice favorites. I know some of you are doing this because you tell me about it 🙂
A favorite game of older yogis is sequencing creative poses into a basic sun salutations. If you play this game with your kids, you will definitely do unusual combinations unlikely to appear in your adult vinyasa classes, but challenge your child to put the poses in logical places in the sequence (hint for anyone with a particularly bendy yogi – common among our 8-12 yr girls – wheel is typically forbidden during this game because Sun Salutations are usually done during the early part of class and wheel is not a warm up.). If you have a kids yoga card deck, that can be a good source of ideas and help you remember your sequence.
Yoga Story Books
We actually rarely use yoga-specific stories in yoga class. Our teachers more commonly take favorite children’s stories and put the characters, objects, and actions into a yoga pose sequence. However, we all agree that yoga-sequence storybooks make great home-practice tools.
Here’s Gisselle from Kids Yoga Stories reading an ocean adventure:
We use lots of music by Kira Wiley in our classes, but she’s also written several books that are great for home practice. Breathe Like A Bear is good for making sure you are incorporating breath work as well as poses.
Gates has quite a few good ones, including Breathe with Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm, and Happy and Dinosaur Yoga, (which I’ve never read, but it looks super fun).
Susan Verde also writes books about yoga and yoga themes. Our elementary yogis would probably recognize I Am Yoga because we use that in classes, but Verde has several more good books for exploring peace, empathy, mindfulness and more.
If you’d like a big book of breath work ideas for your child, psychologist and mindfulness teacher Christopher Willard has put together 26 of them in Alphabreaths.
Music for Children’s Yoga at Home
Music is another great way to share yoga at home. When we use recorded music in classes it’s usually just one song. But you could put an album on by Kira Willey or Bari Koral and just practice along! If you purchase the physical albums they come with illustrated practice guides.
Shop Local for Your Home Yoga Practice
The links above are Amazon Affiliate links, but we definitely recommend Capitol Hill residents check if either East City Bookshop or Solid States Books has these titles in stock before ordering online. The affiliate commission is miniscule. The benefit to our community of you shopping locally is MUCH BIGGER!
About the Author
Jennifer Mueller has been teaching yoga for children and families in Washington DC since 2008. Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY) as well as a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM), a Certified Baby Signing Time Instructor, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby & Toddler Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to offering lactation support and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.