Encourage kids to go barefoot on grass or at the beach and try these standing balance poses. Since they don’t require getting on the floor, they will also help in keeping summer clothes free of grass stains!
Start with one standing leg, and lift the other foot to place the sole against the inner calf of the standing leg. Reach the arms up into the air, and as you both find balance in this pose, explain that even the strongest trees sway in the wind. Play with movement of the arms like tree branches in the breeze. Remember, yoga is a practice and we never want to give kids the idea that perfection is the goal.
AIRPLANE POSE (WARRIOR POSE)
You can start in tree Pose to transition into airplane. Begin to send the lifted leg back behind you as you tip the chest forward. Eventually the head and lifted foot should be on the same level. Extend the arms out to the side like airplane wings. Just like with tree pose, explain that movement is all part of the experience of being like a plane. There is never true stillness, but if we focus and practice we can find more stability.
PARTNER BRIDGE POSE
This is good for kids to do together (ideally if they are around the same size). Stand facing each other and clasp hands. Begin to inch the feet back as both fold at the hips, keeping the clasp of the hands. This is essentially a half-forward fold with the hands connected. Kids can lean back slightly and still stay upright, getting a hamstring and side body stretch.
FROG POSE / MALASANA VARIATION
Start with feet hips-width apart, toes turned out. Bend the knees and begin to squat down towards the ground. This is a great stretch for hips after long road trips, but also requires some balance to keep from tipping backwards. This pose resembles a frog, and will also stretch calves after a long day of play!