Question: I recently started taking a yoga class for active recovery and love how it makes me feel. I’d like to share yoga with my three year old daughter, but I don’t know where to start. Do you have any tips on practicing yoga with small children? Answer: I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying your yoga practice and want to share it with your family. Yoga is a great way to connect with your child and to help them build strength and awareness that can help them in everything from sports to academics. Because of your daughter’s young age, one of the most important things you can do is keep your shared practice playful. While it isn’t essential, she would probably enjoy having her own mat and props to practice alongside you. As you introduce poses, you can try giving them nature and animal names and even add animal sounds to the postures. You can check your local library for children’s books on yoga to find one that appeals to her. Focus on enjoying the playfulness of your practice together, rather than getting the postures just right. As an on-line resource, Cosmic Kids Yoga has short practices that are engaging for kids. If you’d like to learn more about teaching yoga to your daughter, Yoga for Children by Lisa Flynn is a wonderful book that will allow your practice to grow together. Finally, most importantly, remember that children want to do what they see us do, so practice with her and around her. You’ll probably find that she joins you naturally and will want to share in what you’re doing.
ImageAbout the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Joli.