Looking to introduce yoga to the young people in your life? There’s no better way than by showing them the poses named after animals. Encourage kids to roar in Simhasana (Lion Pose) or surf on their mats in Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin Pose). Children will love acting out the postures of creatures they already know and love, which gives you the opportunity to add more poses to their flow.
In Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids, I integrated 10 animal poses into a rhyming picture book about a girl who learns yoga from creatures at the zoo. The book offers basic instruction and colorful illustrations to get the children moving. But you don’t need a story time to engage children in yoga. Here are five poses that will capture and keep their attention—and hopefully turn them into devoted young yogis. With these skills, children can learn to use yoga when they want to calm down and be strong. Remind them to breathe, using only their nose. Inhale and exhale. Feel calm in each pose.
Simhasana (Lion Pose)
The fun of sticking out the tongue and bellowing a roar is what gives Lion Pose so much appeal for a young audience. Don't forget the sound effects!
How to: Kneel on a mat and sit back on your heels. Press your palms into your knees, splaying out your fingers like claws. As you breathe in through your nose, open your mouth, and try to stretch your tongue to your chin. Breathe out through your mouth and let out a roar!