How to Start Practicing Yoga with Your Kids

Kids love yoga. And adults love it when kids do yoga because it focuses their minds and bodies, limiting collateral damage to homes and siblings. But what if you don’t do yoga or have no idea how to make it interesting for your kids?

Why it’s good

Yoga 4 Classrooms, which provides research-backed yoga curriculum for schools, has a long list of how yoga benefits a kid’s mind and body by improving, among other things:

  • Neuromuscular development
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Immunity
  • Sleep
  • Concentration
  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Social interaction
  • Self-control

“Kids are natural yogis, they experience everything physically,” says Mariam Gates, author of several yoga and mindfulness books for kids. “They are the definition of ‘full-bodied’ and so for them, stretching their arms and letting out a big exhale has immediate results in how they feel. It is never too early to focus on the way the mind and body are connected.”

So kids will pick up on yoga instantly—in fact, they are probably already doing it. How can you help? Here are a few easy tips.

Start small and make it routine

No one starts out with the focus and stamina to do a 60-minute practice. Try starting with 5 minutes (maybe 10 if no one is whining).

“Even a few minutes of breathing and movement can go a long way in moving from agitated or tight or anxious to spacious and calm,” Gates says.

Lifehacker health editor Beth Skwarecki advises new yogis to set a time and place. Maybe yoga will be part of your bedtime wind-down. Or maybe it will ease the transition from school activities to dinner time. It could be a Saturday morning activity for the whole family to head outside and greet the sun.

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