Learn how to do the sun salutation -modified for children
The sun salutations are a set of postures that help prepare the mind and body for concerted effort, such as doing more challenging poses with longer hold, or classically, in preparation to sit in meditation.
In a children's yoga class setting, they offer a memorable, predictable opportunity to get into the breath and body. They help children with excess energy to express the energy, and therefore prepare to listen/receive the lessons with ease.
If children feel lethargic, they can be a great wake-me up.
Modifications for safe sun salutations
The sun salutation pose sequence can be a challenge for adults and children because it requires us to hold plank and low push up positions.
Many people can’t do those positions safely so to protect kids’ growing bodies, I made a safer variation for them.
This child-safe sun salutation skips the poses where form often suffers and instead replaces them with poses more people can do to make it safe and accessible.
🌞 Do the sequence slowly the first time, learning the form of the poses
🌞 Go a little quicker the second time, adding the poetry line for each pose as a call-and-response
🌞 Do it a third time, using the poetry again as a call-and-response
🌞 Once the children have it memorized, have them take turns teaching it. Bonus if they can remember without looking at the words!
🌞 Use a rhythmic voice
🌞 After practicing, have everyone take a mindful seat and turn their attention inward.
Questions to ask:
☝ What do you notice about your temperature?
☝ What do you notice about your overall energetic state?
☝ Do you feel more energized?
☝ Take a few moments to allow the children to discuss their experience.
If the children noticed they felt more awake and yet relaxed, you can point to the sun salutation as a good possible activity to do before something important, such as a big test. Or even as a way to start their mindful morning routine.