Yoga is an excellent way to increase strength, improve balance, and gain or maintain flexibility. It’s simple enough that even small children can do it, yet powerful enough to give you a real workout if you choose.
Here are 10+ kid-friendly yoga exercises you can do together.
Mountain pose (relaxation, centering)
Stand quietly with feet hip-width apart, back straight, and arms are hanging relaxed at your sides.
Tree pose (balance)
From mountain pose, shift your weight to your right foot, raise your left foot, and place the sole flat against the inside of the other knee.
Bring your hands together in front of you, palms together. Slowly raise, stretch your arms above your head, hands together, as high as possible. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side.
Dancer’s pose (balance + stretch)
Stand on one leg and stretch the other out behind you. Reach back and grab your ankle with the hand on the same side. (Less flexible people may find a yoga strap, resistance band, or resistance tubing helpful.)
Extend the other arm in front of you and lean forward slightly for balance. Repeat with the other leg.
Warrior Pose (balance + stretch + strength)
Stand on one leg. Stretch the other out behind you, toes pointed, and lift it as high as you can. At the same time, lean forward and extend both arms in front of you at shoulder height. Repeat with the other leg.
Chair pose (strength)
From mountain pose, bend your knees and sink several inches as if you’re sitting down on a chair. Slowly raise your arms above your head, fingers pointed, and stretch for the sky. Return to mountain pose.
Ragdoll pose (relaxation)
Raise your arms and stretch for the sky, then bend forward from the waist and let your arms dangle. Let your upper body and arms sway from side to side, then slowly roll your body upright again.
Downward-facing dog pose (stretch)
From a standing position, bend over and place your palms flat on the floor about a half-pace in front of you. Keep your feet flat on the floor, your legs and back straight so that your body makes a triangle.
3-legged dog pose (stretch + balance)
From a downward-facing dog, raise one leg behind you and lift it as high as you can. Repeat on the other leg.
Child’s pose (relaxation)
Come to a kneeling position, then rest your hips on your heels (feet together). Rest your chest on your thighs and stretch your arms out in front of you.
Cobra pose (strength + stretch)
Lie on your belly with your legs straight behind you and your hands palm-down beside your shoulders. Push your upper body up until your arms are straight, keeping your hips and legs on the floor.
Cat, cow, and table poses (stretch + relaxation)
Get down on all fours, with arms, thighs, and neck straight (table pose). Round your back and tuck your head and hips, stretching your mid-back upward (cat pose). Relax into the table pose. Arch your back so that your tummy stretches toward the floor (cow pose). Relax.
Corpse pose (relaxation)
(You might call this “starfish pose” for small children.) Lie quietly on your back on the floor, with your arms stretched out straight and legs shoulder-width apart and breathe.
Find yoga supplies like resistance bands and wedges at Simply Medical.com.