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Guest Blog: Lion, Snake and Butterfly: Yoga Games You Can Do With The Kids - featured September 19, 2011

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Guest Blog: Lion, Snake and Butterfly: Yoga Games You Can Do with the Kids

By: Denyse Whillier

Reprinted with the express permission of the author as it originally appeared on the YogaBug blog, August 16, 2011

[Image: yogagames.JPG]

Yoga and kids make a great fit because children naturally love to move their bodies and use their imagination to act like animals and other things in their world. Just keep in mind that younger tots will prefer hopping and ribbiting in Frog pose rather than holding still, so encourage them to move around and make lots of noise.

You can use these poses to play a game of ‘Simon Says’ where you do a pose like Lion or Snake and the kids copy you. A game of ‘Freeze Yoga’ is also fun — play some upbeat tunes, and when the music stops, call out a yoga pose (like Boat or Flamingo) and they have to hold the pose like a statue. Or have your kids make up their own yoga poses. When it comes to children and yoga, the most important thing is to be creative and have fun so as they grow up, their love of yoga will grow, too. Here’s a group of yoga poses your kids will love to try:

Lion Pose – Start by kneeling, stick your tongue out as far as it will go and roar like a lion. If you feel foolish doing this, remember that this pose gives a natural facelift as it is said to prevent and eliminate wrinkles!

Snake Pose – Lie on your tummy. With your hands next to your shoulders, push up and hiss like a snake.

Cat Pose – Kneel on your hands and knees. Line your hands right underneath your shoulders and your knees right under your hips. Round and arch your spine toward the ceiling and let your head float toward the floor. Hold for three breaths. Make the “meow” sound as you hold the pose to create an audible relation to Cat Pose.

Cow Pose – From Cat Pose, let your belly sink toward the floor as you raise your gaze upward which creates a curve in the spine. Make the cow sound “moo” and move back and forth between Cat and Cow Pose a few times.

Dog Pose – This poses gives kids’ brains a boost in circulation and improves breathing. From Cow Pose, curl your toes under, and lift your hips up as you straighten your arms. Your body will resemble an upside down V. Gaze straight back at your belly and relax your neck.

Butterfly Pose - Sitting on the floor with the bottoms of the feet together, let your knees drop open to the side so that they form a diamond shape. These are the wings, which you can gently flap up and down. Butterfly pose is intended to be fun and calming.

Tree Pose – Invite the children to imagine a giant tree and its roots holding it firmly, as if roots are growing out of the soles of their feet and into the ground. This pose is a invitation to develop balance while using the imagination. Draw one foot to the side of the calf and balance on the standing leg. Bring the hands first to prayer position at the heart, and then raise them in the air to form branches. Try closing your eyes and see how long you can remain balanced. Repeat on the other side.

Featured Guest Blogger: Denyse Whillier of Yoga Bugs

Denyse Whillier is the Head of Marketing and PR for YogaBugs, the UK's leading provider of children's yoga. She also runs YogaBugs classes in nurseries and primary schools in London. She is passionate about bringing the benefits of yoga to children through fun, creative, magical adventures where children get to stretch their imaginations as well as their bodies.

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Tags: Article Yoga 23 September 2011 Newsletter