Yoga Exercises With Your Toddler

Amber Jaworksy essentials

SILLY TO CALM WARM-UP:

Circle, Jog, Freeze & Melt

This is a great way to expend a little extra energy and warm up little bodies before doing yoga. Put your mats in a circle, or create an imaginary circle for you and your child to walk or jog around. When you call out “freeze” everyone stops. And when you call out “melt,” everyone melts into a puddle on the floor. Then, tell your child to “grow back up into his big kid self and reach high to the sky.” Start over jogging in the opposite direction this time.

(Click photo for video demo.)

READY, SET, POSE:

Owl

Getting into the pose: From an easy seated position (crisscross applesauce), have your child bring her right hand to her left knee bringing her left hand behind her seat. Inhale and sit up tall, on the exhale twist the body around to look over the left shoulder.

Holding the pose: On every breath in, keep lifting the head taller and lengthening the spine, with each exhale encourage her to work the twist a little deeper – going only as deep as it feels comfortable. Repeat on the other side.

Down Dog

Getting into the pose: From all fours, tuck the toes under, and press the hips high and back away from the hands.

Holding the pose: Have your child make big starfish hands and encourage him to lift his hips higher to the sky like a tall mountain. To fine-tune the posture, have your child melt his heels closer to the earth and work his belly closer to his thighs as he pikes his hips higher.

Down Dog Kick

An add-on to Down Dog, have your child try and lift one leg and balance while holding downward facing dog. Be sure to try both sides.

COOL DOWN:

Make Friends With a Tree

Invite a younger child to bring a special stuffed animal or blanket with her for the final part of your yoga time together. Have her lay down and explain that she gets to pretend to sleep (eyes closed and body still) while you tell her a story:

Imagine you are walking through a forest. There are all kinds of trees in this forest: apple, orange, palm and even imaginary trees. Imagine walking over to any tree that you like; touch its bark and notice how it feels. Smell its leaves, and if it has fruit, take a bite and see what it tastes like. Now, imagine climbing up the branches of your tree. When you reach the top, look out and see all of the other trees in the forest. Now, climb back down and take a rest in the shade of your tree. Take some time to enjoy being with your new tree friend. Trees breath out what we breathe in. So, take a deep breath full of oxygen, and then slowly let it out so the tree can breathe, too.


Amber Jaworksy has an MS in health education and over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. She is the owner of Soul Fitness Colorado and fitness instructor at CorePower Yoga, and mother to Brooklyn, Chase and Jack. Amber inspires women to live healthy, spirit-filled lives.