Practicing yoga is a great way to stay active throughout the summer, especially with your kids.
To keep children engaged and cool this summer, why not teach them fun, beach-themed poses? For example, traditional chair and warrior poses can be turned into familiar sights at the beach, like adventurous surfers and responsible lifeguards. Just think, any day can turn into a beach day. Take a look at our favorite beach poses and learn some of our easy summer games!
1. Crab Pose. Just like crabs at the beach, your kids can have fun mirroring crabs crawling in the sand! To do crab pose:
* Start by laying on your back.
* Hoist your hips into the air, as if you’re doing a traditional pelvis press (if this is challenging for children, ask them to use their arms to support and lift their backs until their backsides are parallel to the ground.)
* Once your back is lifted, invert your hands so that your fingers face the heels of your feet.
* Start crab walking around!
The benefits of crab pose: You'll build strength and increase hip flexibility. Crab pose also helps coordination and enhances balance.
Easy crab pose game: Create a contest and keep track of which crab crawls fastest!
2. Lifeguard Pose. Lifeguards are responsible for watching beach-goers. Why not teach kids about responsibility with lifeguard pose? To do lifeguard pose:
* Start in standing mountain pose (tadasana) with feet together or no more than hip’s width apart.
* Bend your knees so that your hips lower down as if you are about to sit in a chair (you are coming into chair pose).
* Instead of lifting both arms up, keep one hand on your hip and raise the other to your forehead as if you are creating a visor to block out the sun.
* Begin to twist from side to side as if you are scanning the beach and ocean to make sure everyone is safe.
* When you get tired from squatting in chair pose and twisting, stand up. You can repeat the side to side rotations as if you are now a standing lifeguard instead of a seated lifeguard!
The benefits of lifeguard post: Helps build leg and core strength and builds stamina.
Easy lifeguard game: Ask children to be swimmers and beach-goers while one child poses as a seated and then standing lifeguard. Ask the “lifeguard” what he sees and then repeat the game, giving another child a turn to be the lifeguard. Keep an eye out for sharks!
3. Surfer Pose. Take a break from the sand and rush over to the water for surfer pose! With Pretzel Kids yoga, surfer pose is identical to traditional warrior II pose. To do surfer pose:
* Start on a yoga mat facing the long side.
* Separate your feet to a wide stance so that your whole body is still facing the longer side of your mat.
* With your hips facing straight in front of you, turn one foot out to the side so that the toes of this foot are facing one of the short sides of your mat.
* Bend that knee into a lunge position (as close to a right angle as you can get.) Look down to make sure you can still see your toes with your knee bent. If not, step this foot out, creating an even wider stance.
* Take both arms straight out, not lifting them higher than your shoulders. One arm should be directed toward your front toes and the other towards your back foot.
* From here, begin to move your hips, arms and legs as if you are balancing on a surfboard upon the waves. Be careful not to fall in the water!
The benefits of surfer pose: Helps build leg and arm strength, increases hip flexibility, strengthens the core, enhances balance and focus.
Easy surfer game: Have all children (or even just you and one child) carry rolled-up mats under one arm and pretend they are surfboards. When you get to a clear space, have the kids place their mats on the ground, pretending they are placing surfboards in the water. You can start them off on their bellies, pretending to paddle out to a wave. Then slowly ask them to stand, find their balance and move into surfer pose. For added fun, play some beach-themed music. Ready to catch a wave?
As you can see, Pretzel Kids LOVES themed poses (we teach you all about these in our training course!) We had a blast introducing these summertime poses to Boston kids at the TADpole 10 event at the Boston Common last month! The kids especially enjoyed surfer pose, laughing as they rode the waves and reached their arms out to give their friends high fives. We hope you will try out some of these Pretzel Kids poses with your kids. Let us know what you think!
Sarah Scribner is a content writer and social media intern at Pretzel Kids