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by Lara Hocheiser September 16, 2016 2 min read

How to do the down dog - kids yoga style

About: Downward dog is a wonderful pose to increase strength and flexibility. It provides a moment to turn inward and be at one or to get playful and wag your tail. Downward Dog is a fun, dynamic, and challenging pose appropriate for all ages.

Downward Dog, downward yoga. Yoga poses for kids.

Kids tend to love this pose because they get to hang upside down! We often find that kids pick up this pose very quickly. This pose is energizing and relaxing as it helps bring blood flow to the brain. This pose also increases strength in the spine and hamstrings.

When doing this pose with kids, we like to take time in this pose. Stay in this pose for 3-6 deep breaths and enjoy the present moment. (unless you have a stuffy nose, and then skip poses where your head hangs down)

This pose is perfect for setting aside time for yourself and really feeling the movement of your body. Feel the stretch of your spine. Feel the extension in the arms and neck. For additional ways to make this a kids pose, ask kids to pretend to be a dog. Or challenge the kids to act like a three-legged dog and lift up one leg at a time! This is great for stretching your hip and legs and learning balance!

Pose: Downward facing dog
Ages: All ages, perfect for young ones
Mantra: I have time for me

How to do down dog for kids:

  1. From your hands and knees, spread your fingers out and press your hands down into the floor at shoulder width apart.

  2. Curl your toes under and lift your tail up and back (rather than press).

  3. Bend your knees a little bit and tilt your tail up and back. If your legs feel tight, take turns bending one knee while sending the heel of the other foot toward the floor and then switch to the other side.

  4. To turn up the fun, lift one leg at a time to the ceiling to stretch your hips and legs.

  5. To come out of it, rest your knees down, press your hips back toward your feet and rest in child’s yoga pose.

Additional Exercises with Kids:

  1. Have kids bark like a dog instead of deep breaths.

  2. Ask your kids to imagine being a dog. What kind of dog are they? What is life like a dog like?

Benefits of down dog for kids:

  • Relieves stress 
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
  • Strengthens arms, legs, and back.
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • A great way to de-stimulate
  • A non-punitive time out or break from the day
  • Provides an opportunity to be playful or calm

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Check out a video of Yo Re Mi teaching downward dog!





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