April 9, 2014

R is for Rabbit: Sweet Easter Yoga for Children.

Rabbit arms up bunny easter

With Easter right around the corner, here is a good opportunity to get your children practicing yoga, instead of just eating chocolate eggs!

There are many fun poses to do with children this April, as Easter approaches!

Practice half sun salutations with a springtime twist. Show your kids how to stretch their arms up overhead, and say “hello” to the sun. Then while their hands are up, have them pluck some “seeds” before they sweep their arms down, coming to forward fold.

While in Uttanasana, pretend to dig a little hole and plant your seeds. Then lift up halfway and pretend to pour some water on the planted seeds. Fold all the way back down, and pat down the dirt around the planted seeds a bit more. Then sweep arms out and up as you come back to standing.

Clasp hands overhead, making a “sun” with your raised arms and say, “This is the sun shining down on our planted seeds!”

You can do this together a few times, then tell the children it’s time to see if anything has sprouted!

Squat down low to the ground and say, “I see something!” Have the children squat down low with you and bring their hands to anjali mudra in front of their heart center. From “Sprout Pose” have the children slowly begin to extend their legs straight, first coming to standing, and then placing one leg on their shin and growing their branches up, coming into tree pose.

Ask your children what kind of tree they grew. Then squat down together again to check if any other seeds have sprouted. Repeat the transition from “sprout” to “tree” on the other side this time.

Another fun Springtime pose to do with children is Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana). Have them bring the soles of their feet together and flap their knees like butterfly wings. Ask them, “What color is your butterfly?”

And of course, let’s not forget about our friend, the Easter Bunny!

Take this opportunity to practice rabbit pose with your child!

Starting from Balasana (child’s pose), gently roll onto the top of the head, letting the hips rise up off your feet. (Keep an eye on your kiddo to make sure they don’t put too much pressure on their head or neck.) Arms can stay down by the sides, or clasp the hands together and raise the arms up behind, like rabbit’s ears. Take a couple of deep breaths in rabbit pose, and then gently roll back down to child’s pose. Rest here a few moments before sitting up.

Next, take a moment to introduce Bunny Breath!

Sit with your child in Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose). Remember to sit up tall with a straight spine, and hold your hands in front of you like bunny’s paws. Take three to five quick inhales through the nose, making it twitch like a bunny’s nose. Then sigh the breath out through the mouth. Do this a few times.

Bunny Bonus: Theresa Power, author of The ABCs of Yoga for Kids offers a fun rabbit pose coloring sheet. Just print out the coloring page for Sasangasana (rabbit pose) here, and let your kiddos have a great time coloring it.

Can you think of any other fun springtime poses or activities to do with kids? Please share in the comments!

Om shanti!

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Pixabay

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