What words come to your mind when you think of yoga? Stretching? Relaxation? Hippy? Maybe “OM!”? What about sensory input?
The sensory benefits of yoga for kids are impressive! Yoga is a GREAT way to get proprioceptive (joints/heavy work) and vestibular (inner ear/balance) input. And it’s just plain fun.
This post is part of the Sensory Summer series, hosted by The Jenny Evolution in partnership with The Sensory Spectrum. Follow us all summer and visit our Sensory Summer landing page to get the latest sensory fun for your kiddos! This post contains affiliate links.
Sensory Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Learn about how you can use yoga with your kids from Julie of My Mundane and Miraculous Life! Here are some of her family’s favorite yoga poses and some of their benefits.
Stand upright with arms to the side or straight overhead. With one foot firmly planted, place the sole of the other foot flat against the sturdy leg. Placing the foot on the opposite ankle is the easiest. Bringing the sole of the foot up to the calf or even the thigh is more challenging.
Benefits: Balance is key with this pose. This makes the vestibular system kick it up a notch. The inner ear has to work hard to keep the body upright.
Downward Dog Pose
With palms and feet flat on the ground, bend at the waist. Keep the back flat and feel the stretch through the back of the legs as well as the shoulder blades. Your child should be looking at their knees.
Benefits: Whenever the head is inverted, the vestibular system gets a rush of input. Many kids crave this. The extra weight placed on the arms is great proprioceptive input, helping kids be more aware of their bodies.
This one is great to do right before or after downward dog pose. Palms remain flat on the ground, while soles come off the ground so that the child is on their toes. Their back and legs should form one slope, instead of being hinged at the waist.
Benefits: Plank pose is excellent for heavy proprioceptive work. So many muscles are engaged to keep the body in position, especially the core muscles. The stronger a child’s core, the better control they will have of their bodies, even fine motor skills!
Dead Bug Pose
While this may not be an official yoga pose, it should be! While lying on their backs, have the child curl all their limbs and head toward the center of their body. They’ll look like a balled up rolly polly.
Benefits: This is another great one for the core. There’s also the added benefit of all the proprioceptive pressure on the back while they roll about.
With hands flat on the floor, have your child tuck their legs underneath themselves, shins and the tops of the feet to the floor. The child can rest their forehead on the floor.
Benefits: While there is some proprioceptive input with this one, it’s also extremely calming. Have your child focus on deep breaths. This is a great pose to get in during an especially stressful time. Your child may feel like they’re in a safe cocoon where they can work through their feelings.
These are just a couple of the yoga poses you can do with your child, even at a young age. Go at their pace and comfort level. Keep things fun and lighthearted. Your child will be getting wonderful sensory input without even knowing it!
Julie is a frazzled mom of two tornadoes (and another on the way). As a dorky second-generation homeschooler, she writes about learning and SPD, natural living and matters of the heart over on her blog “My Mundane and Miraculous Life.”
For more ideas and information about doing yoga with your kiddos, consider the following affiliate links:
SENSORY SUMMER SERIES
This post is part of the Sensory Summer series, hosted by The Jenny Evolution in partnership with The Sensory Spectrum. Follow us all summer and visit our Sensory Summer series page to get the latest sensory fun for your kiddos!