Practicing yoga with your toddler is a great way to cultivate body awareness, build balance, and soothe tantrums. Toddler/mama yoga is best practiced in short bursts whenever the situation allows (or mandates!). This practice not only teaches your toddler about movement (“monkey see, monkey do”), it also allows for active play with just a touch of cuddle time.
Twinkle Little Star:
- How to start: stand with your legs hips distance apart and extend your arms out so that your body resembles a five-point star.
- What to do: rock your weight side to side as you reach your fingers right to left with your weight. Sing Twinkle Twinkle little star. Feel your energy spread through your body and expand out though each extremity.
- Benefits: this pose can be great for transitioning from one activity to another or for introducing some energy and movement into your day. Shifting weight from one foot to the other builds gross motor skills and develops a better sense of balance in your tot.
- How to start: sit down on the floor and lean back on your sit-bones. Bend your knees into your body and extend your legs away from you so that you resemble a letter ‘V’.
- What to do: from the ‘V’ position, hug your knees back into your chest as you “row” your imaginary oars in big circles with your arms. Sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Use your core strength to maintain length in your spine, keep your back as straight as you can (no hunching!)
- Variation: when your child is a little older, you can sit facing each other, pressing your feet into his. Hold hands and lean back and forth as you sing and row your boat.
- Benefits: this pose is great for building a strong core and developing coordination. It’s a lot to accomplish at one time so be liberal with the positive reinforcement.
Itsy-Bitsy Spider Toes:
- How to start: sit down with one side (hip) touching a wall. Lay down on your back as you extend your legs up the wall. Your body should look like an ‘L’ mirroring the wall where it meets the floor.
- What to do: from the ‘L’ position, hug your knees into your chest, letting your feet drop down the wall. Sing Itsy-Bitsy Spider as you crawl your toes up the wall. Straighten your legs and point your toes, stretching on both sides.
- Benefits: this pose is a gentle and easy inversion which reverses (in part) the flow of blood in your body. It is soothing, calming, and encourages quiet/introspection.