Eagle pose can look confusing and difficult if viewed in its fullest expression. When working with children, I discourage showing difficult poses. Instead, I encourage sharing poses they will most likely be able to get into safely in a reasonable amount of time (which varies depending on our intentions and goals, but probably within the class or short session.)
Because making poses safe and accessible the responsible thing to do, let’s explore some fun, dynamic, and different age focused activities to enjoy this pose with kids of all ages.
Sit in criss-cross applesauce. Extend your arms at the shoulders.
Cross them at the center of your chest, placing elbow over elbow.
Then, extend your arms again, and repeat placing the opposite elbow on top.
Next, repeat again from your first side and this time as you cross your elbows and place one on top, also bring your wrists and hands closer together above your elbows. (This will start to look like the top of the eagle pose)
As you cross the elbows, make a fun noise.
Pretend your arms are tied in knots to place an emphasis on fun and deemphasize perfecting this shape.
Kids and Teens
Eagle arms with chair pose legs
Kids of most ages can practice chair pose safely.
Stand with your feet together.
Bend your knees deeply and as you do, slide your knees in line over your ankles.
Lengthen your spine by lifting your heart up and gently tightening your belly.
Lengthen the back of your neck so you’re looking straight ahead
Instruct them to do eagle arms as done above for early childhood (and can be adapted for older kids with perhaps less fun and gimmick and more anatomic instruction).
Kids and Teens
Full eagle pose
Start in chair pose.
Extend your arms at the shoulders. Cross your elbows and place one on top, bringing your wrists and hands closer together above your elbows.
If you feel steady, lift one leg up and over the other.
Soar back to standing and repeat on the other side.
Full Eagle (or half eagle with arms only) lying on your back