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Today, we’ve got a special treat for you: an amazing guest post! Maia, from Kumarah Yoga, has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to children full-time for years and is sharing some of her knowledge with us today in the form of using yoga poses to help teach your children the alphabet. This is a fantastic opportunity for some full body, gross motor learning, which is absolutely perfect for those days that you’re stuck indoors!
Yoga is an excellent and entertaining activity for kids. Yoga in schools is becoming increasingly popular with evidence to show that it helps kids with physical activity, mental stamina, and even empathy.
Doing yoga with kids at home or at school doesn’t have to be complicated. Much of the reason that yoga is good for kids is based on the way they are moving their bodies and using their brains at the same time.
Most yoga poses require cross-body awareness, balance, mirroring, and weight-bearing actions. All of these movements help develop the vestibular and proprioceptive systems of the body, which help kids develop in a myriad of ways.
A great way to start doing yoga with little kids, especially, is to do poses that match the ABC’s. Practicing and coming up with poses for each letter of the alphabet is an excellent physical and mental challenge that kids will enjoy from ages 2 and up!
When doing yoga poses with kids, it’s most important to focus on having them copy the shape they see, either in the image or in your body if you are showing them. Don’t worry about them getting it perfect right away, yoga is a practice. Plus, teaching them that trying is the most important part also helps them develop a growth mindset (bonus!).
Try these animal-themed kids yoga poses with your children or students. It’s a great place to start learning yoga and incorporating it into your daily life. There are also several sets of kids yoga ABC cards on Amazon that are fun as well.
Many kids, when doing poses that are animal themed, will immediately start moving around acting and sound like the animal. That can be fun! If you’d rather have them just do the pose, remind them that yoga poses are like statues. We hold the pose still and breathe quietly. Go back and forth between moving and freezing if you need to practice.
Doing a whole set of animal-themed yoga poses also invites in a whole world of learning… teach your kids about where the animals come from, their habitat, their environment, and so much more!
Some of these poses are quite advanced for really little kids (and even adults!) so keep that in mind. There is always the option to modify and change the poses as necessary. Let them help you figure out a different shape for the animals or turn it into a movement game.
Here are the Animal ABC Yoga Poses for Kids!
**These poses are available in a printable PDF form if you’d prefer to use them away from your computer. You can find the printable download in Maia’s Free Resource Library!**
- A – Armadillo
- B – Butterfly
- C – Cat and Cow
- D – Dog
- E – Eagle
- F – Frog
- G – Gorilla
- H – Horse
- I – Iguana
- J – Jaguar
- K – Kangaroo
- L – Lion
- M – Mouse
- N – Narwhal
- O – Otter
- P – Peacock
- Q – Quail
- R – Rainbow Fish
- S – Swan
- T – T-Rex
- U – Umbrella Bird
- V – Vulture
- W – Whale
- X – X-Ray Fish
- Y – Yak
- Z – Zebra
Once you have tried these with your kids, let them help you come up with new poses for letters to further develop their imaginations. Add in nature poses, character poses from books or movies, seasonal poses and so much more.
Get out there and do some yoga with your kids!
Maia is a 5th year Movement Teacher at Hiawatha Leadership Academy in Minneapolis, MN. She has been teaching yoga, mindfulness, and movement full-time to kids for over 6 years. She has trained in Yoga Calm, Little Lotus, Super Stretch, Street Yoga, Baptiste, and Mindful Schools.
Maia is also the founder of Kumarah Yoga, an online resource for kids yoga teachers in studios and public schools around the world. She writes blog articles, kids yoga lesson plans, and mindfulness resources, with many available in her Free Resources Library. She is especially passionate about teaching yoga to kids with an equity mindset, making sure that yoga can be accessible to all kids of all backgrounds.