Posts Tagged ‘health’
This topic of yoga tips for greater flexibility was inspired by a question tweeted by Mrs. Johnson’s #1stgradeyogis in China…
“We want to know how we can stretch better! Any tips?”
Thank you fabulous young yogis and your brilliant teacher, Mrs. Johnson, in China for this great #SSYkidQuestion!! We so appreciate you tweeting us questions and inspirations for other kids and their parents and teachers!
Most yogis think about their level of flexibility, so this is a relevant question for kid and adult yogis alike. Here are five yoga tips to help stretch you and your body to greater depths…
1. Begin where you are.
So, first things first — in yoga and in any other area of life… where you are is exactly the perfect place to be! Really!! And if you would like to change something, “where you are” is the perfect place from which to start. For example, if you want to touch your toes in ragdoll (uttanasana), but right now you can touch your knees, first say to yourself “I can touch my knees today. I wonder how far I will reach in a month after doing yoga regularly.” You are where you are and there is nothing better than that! Celebrate today and move forward from here!
2. There’s only one person to compare yourself to… and that’s YOU! – not anyone else.
Comparing yourself to someone else is like comparing the ocean to the forest. Each person is beautifully unique – thank goodness for that – and comparing yourself to another person helps no one.
On the other hand, look at yourself today compared to yourself… say last year at this time… You have most certainly come a long way. Celebrate that! Always compare yourself to only you and you will see growth!
Regarding yoga poses and stretching farther, try this. Do a yoga pose that you enjoy and in which you would like to stretch farther. For example, (and maybe as a group) do the L Pose (Dandasana/Paschimottanasana), hold it for a moment while you notice where your fingers land on your legs. Maybe note this on a sticky note (Deb – Sept. 2 – L Pose – finger tips at knees) and put it away. Then, a month or so later, do the same thing and just notice if your fingers land in the same place on your legs or maybe just a touch farther – and note that. If not this month, maybe next month. Either way, yoga is not about how flexible you are. It does tend to increase flexibility but it is not the most important part! Be aware of your body and how magnificent it is and what it can accomplish for you!!
3. Hold poses longer.
If you’d like to increase your flexibility one strategy you can try is to hold some poses longer than we do in the Sing Song Yoga videos. Maybe as a class, you can decide a pose for the month to hold longer during your yoga time.
For example, for the month of September, each time we do yoga let’s pause the video and hold Standing V (Upavistha Konasana) longer. Maybe the class could vote to select the pose each month.
4. Do a sequence of poses working the same muscles/muscle groups.
Several yoga poses use similar muscles to do the poses. For example, hamstrings (those muscles on our back thighs) are lengthened within many different poses. And they are often tight and a main factor in how far we can bend forward — as in Rag Doll (Uttanasana).
If we were to just hold Rag Doll for 12 minutes, most of us would get bored. But, if we were to do several different poses within those 12 minutes that each focus on lengthening those hamstrings, we would not only better achieve it, but we would add in additional benefits from the other poses as well as enjoy the variety.
So, let’s continue with the example of lengthening our hamstrings. Using the Sing Song Yoga app, as a class, you can explore what poses to include to create and save a “Hamstring Sequence.” A sample sequence could include the following:
- Rag Doll – Uttanasana
- Standing V – Prasarita Padottanasana
- Mosquito – Parsvottanasana
- Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Dolphin – Pincha Mayurasana Prep
- L Pose -Dandasana/Paschimottanasana
- V Pose – Upavistha Konasana
- Big Butterfly
- Half Butterfly – Janu Sirsasana
That’s 10 poses in under 12 minutes, when you slide the transition speed to the left (see pic).
5. Repetition can help.
Do yoga more often… even while watching TV 🙂 If there is a pose you’d really like to improve, set a goal to try to do that pose every day. If I wanted to reach my toes in L Pose, I could try to sit in this pose each day whenever I think of it… while reading, while watching TV, while chatting with my friends, etc.
In the classroom, as a class, you could decide to sit in L Pose for a bit while you are studying your spelling words, or doing math flash cards, or reading… the possibilities are endless!
The main thing to remember is to be easy about all of this and have fun!
Thank you once again for your great question Mrs. Johnson’s #1stgradeyogis in China!! Please keep us posted on your yoga progress over the coming months! And of course, send new questions as they arise! Happy Yoga!
Please post your kids’ yoga questions on
See this link for an outline of the Simple Process for Creating and Saving a Kids’ Yoga Balancing Sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App and apply the process to creating a “Hamstring Sequence.”
Yoga in Schools: Kids and Teachers Talk Kids’ Yoga A quick peek into what kids and teachers are saying about using the Sing Song Yoga app in the classroom.
Top 5 Tips to Help Balance in Kids’ Yoga: Kid Twitter Question Answered A kid question answered: “Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”
Getting Kids Ready to Write: Yoga in Schools A teacher question answered: “I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”
8 Kids Yoga Myths Some common misunderstandings about kids’ yoga.
Crossing the Midline and Kids’ Yoga Kids’ yoga is one of the many activites that can provide cross-lateral experiences for children. If done regularly might assist in building the brain for…
Top 6 Yoga Poses for Toddlers “A few months ago a parent asked how she could best do yoga with her one-year-old daughter…”
Kids’ Yoga App – Create Your Own Balancing Sequence Effortlessly create a balancing sequence with a few taps of this kids’ yoga iOS app.
Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.
Kids Yoga App Series – #1. Adult Help Symbol in DVD/App Quick video explaining the “Adult Help” symbol used in the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.
Kids Yoga App Series – #2. Try it Free A super quick video to demonstrate some features within the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.
For more info:
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015.
Posted in Kid's Yoga Sequences, Kids Yoga at Home, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: app, childrens yoga, health, ipad app, iphone app, kids yoga, kids yoga app, kids yoga benefits, music and movement, schools, sing song yoga, yoga, yoga app, yoga benefits, yoga for children, yoga for kids, yoga in schools, yoga in the classroom, yoga poses
Sue, a first grade teacher from Michigan writes:
I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”
This is a great question! Yoga in schools can be a powerful resource for helping kids get ready to write, as well as do other school tasks. Kids’ Yoga is not going to take overly energetic children and mesmerize them into a state of conformity, but it can help a child transform their energy into a more usable form for accomplishing particular tasks. As teachers we occasionally need tiny reminders that children are not built to sit for long periods, and their squirminess might be good feedback to us that their bodies truly need to move in order for their brains to work most efficiently.
I know that, as an adult, when I rush around my world to run errands and then sit down in front of my computer to get some work done, it takes me a bit of time to refocus on my task at hand. Also, if I sit for an extended period of time I need to get up and move to focus most efficiently. Similarly, if a child is moving from one activity to the next without time to refocus with some deliberate guidance, or is sitting for extending periods of time without a chance for specific movement, then it’s likely that s/he won’t be able to give her best.
Yoga in schools can provide purposeful tools for helping children refocus. There’s much involved in how yoga can do this. However, simply put, focusing on one’s body to get into and hold a pose can help quiet the mind’s chatter, allowing more space for purposefully focused thought. And if the yoga movement itself is sufficiently involved it can fulfill the body’s need to move in order to stimulate the necessary systems for optimal learning.
In other words the physical yoga poses and the focus necessary to accomplish them work in tandem to help children refocus.
In addition to this, particular sequencing of poses also has the potential to calm the nervous system, which counters the stressors that physically shut down the brain for learning. The brain of a child who is in distress physically shuts down the networking necessary for learning. The brain of a relaxed child has much greater learning potential.
When thinking about yoga in schools it might be helpful to know that poses can be divided into three categories regarding their main effects on the nervous system:
- energizing poses (red – see arrow in pic below)
- calming poses (blue)
- neutral poses (yellow)
Poses can be sequenced to deliberately shoot for particular goals. For example, our Brain Break sequence was created to assist students in refocusing within their school day with the least number of poses necessary to accomplish the goal.
Brain Break Sequence includes:
- Triangle – general movement lengthening and strengthening the entire body
- Standing V – the inversion allows blood flow to the brain which may enhance mental functioning and forward bends calm the nervous system
- Eagle – crosses the mid-line helping the two halves of the brain communicate through the corpus callosum (helping to coordinate skills being carried out in different parts of the brain). Eagle also stimulates the vestibular system (balance), stimulating the brain for new learning
- Sailboat – crosses the mid-line and twisting allows for additional release of tension
Note below: the color coding above each pose in the app screenshot: red, blue and yellow represent energizing, calming and neutral poses respectively.
The Jazz up My Brain sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App is a longer version at 22 minutes. Teachers can throw poses out or add poses within the app within the sequence canvas and make it work for each situation. Sequences you create can be saved and named. And here’s another example of the app in use.
Thanks for stopping by! We intend to continue growing our posts dedicated to helping teachers enjoy the benefits of yoga in the classroom!
Until next time, Happy Teaching!
For more info:
This entry was posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2015.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Education, Kid's Yoga Sequences, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: app, children, childrens yoga, first graders, health, ipad app, iphone app, ipod touch app, kids, kids yoga, kids yoga app, kids yoga benefits, mindfulness, physical activities for toddlers, research, schools, sing song yoga, test prep, writing, yoga for kids, yoga in schools, yoga in the classroom, yoga poses
So much fun to be a Yogi Artist within the Sing Song Yoga app for kids, creating masterpiece sequences to enjoy again and again! Here is a quick pic tutorial on creating and saving an Animal Sequence with your kids or students! Have a blast!
Like a yogi painter… Create!! Press, hold and drag animal poses to the Sequence Canvas while keeping these guidelines in mind. Each pose is color coded within the app. The color at the top of each pose picture indicates the influence each pose has on the nervous system:
- yellow = neutral
- red = energizing
- blue = calming
It is most often recommended to order the poses in this way
- neutral or energizing poses (beginning)
- energizing poses (middle)
- calming poses (ending… Savasana is most often the last pose).
Find your saved sequences behind the home screen by pressing the “saved” icon in the top left of the home screen. And return to your custom sequence anytime you wish! Have fun and let us know if you have any questions or ideas! And we would love to hear about some of your Animal Sequence creations on our Facebook page or on Twitter.
For more info:
school program: http://www.singsongyoga.com/school-program/
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2014.
Posted in Kid's Yoga Sequences, Sing Song Yoga.
Tagged: Animal yoga poses, app, children, childrens yoga, health, ipad app, iphone app, ipod touch app, kids, kids yoga, kids yoga app, physical activities for toddlers, sing song yoga, toddler yoga, yoga, yoga app, yoga for kids, yoga poses
Sing Song Yoga® For Kids… Take Two!!
We are excited to announce that our kids yoga app update is available in the Apple App Store! We want to be sure you enjoy the benefits of the improvements:
- Bugs squashed
- Improved stability and performance with iOS7 integration
- Simplified usability
The above pic illustrates an example of one of the simplified features in our kids yoga app – the Available Purchases page. While our Packages remain the most economical deal for purchasing, this new page more clearly displays the options for you, to best meet the needs of your family or classroom. We’re so grateful for our talented developers and love this gorgeous and functional new “Available Purchases” page!
And, another example of the simplified features — If you do not own all of the poses and sequences, those you do own will move to the left so you can find them easily.
We are so excited to make these improvements available to better serve you and your young yogis! Thank you for your continued support and loyalty for Sing Song Yoga! We are so grateful for you! If you’re not yet following us on Facebook and Twitter now’s a great time to hop on board 🙂
Look forward to sharing more soon,
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2014.
Posted in Sing Song Yoga.
Tagged: app, app store, children, childrens yoga, health, ipad app, iphone app, ipod touch app, kids, kids yoga, kids yoga app, physical activities for toddlers, sing song yoga, toddler yoga, video, yoga, yoga app, yoga for kids, yoga poses
Ahhhh! Summer is here. After long lovely days at the beach, at the ballpark, on the playground and running around the neighborhood, kids tend to remain wired when heading to bed. Unless of course a calming activity is deliberately infused into the routine leading up to bedtime.
One such activity can be a short series of kids yoga poses. Here are top 6 yoga poses for helping your child begin to calm their bodies and minds — in as little as 8 minutes. These poses also happen to be the included poses in the free Sing Song Yoga App. So enjoy – and let us know what you think!
Sailboat begins the series during which your child will twist around the straight spine, which has a neutral effect on the nervous system.
Next comes Half Butterfly. Forward folds have a calming effect on the nervous system and the one bent leg opening up the hip adds to the calming effect.
Fish pose is a lovely night time yoga pose to add to our sequence. We tend to hold stress in our hips, so allowing our legs to relax out to the sides enhances the relaxation effect. Open up the chest and allow your head to relax back and look behind you (slightly different than the picture). This multifaceted pose works beautifully to continue the calming effect.
Bridge pose is an inversion well known for its calming effect on the nervous system. This kids’ yoga pose can also be used anytime you have an extra minute during your day to give your child an extra sense of calm. Great, of course, for moms and dads too!
Deadbug pose adds a final dose of a calming response before the big finale! Your child can even add the hum of the bug to enhance the relaxation. Hearing the humming sound within one’s own head can also double the calm for some children.
Savasana is the final yoga pose in this series and the granddaddy of the relaxation poses. Encourage your child to lie flat on his or her back, close the eyes and imagine themselves floating on a cloud allowing their bodies to completely relax. For preparing for bedtime, it can also be helpful for your child to do savasana right in their bed and then allow themselves to drift softly into dreamland! Ahh! Now mom and dad can slip off for their own quiet time.
If you would like to learn the songs and more in-depth directions to these Sing Song Yoga kids yoga poses, check out the award-winning Sing Song Yoga App in the iTunes Store. The above poses are the free ones at launch. Or see our website to order the DVD.
To see a fun White Board Animation about our program click here!
This entry was posted on Saturday, June 21st, 2014.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Kid's Yoga Sequences, Parenting, Sing Song Yoga.
Tagged: app, app store, boys, children, childrens yoga, daughters, dvd, girls, health, ipad app, iphone app, ipod touch app, kids, kids yoga, kids yoga app, kids yoga benefits, mindfulness, music, parenting, physical activities for toddlers, raising kids, sing song yoga, toddler yoga, video, yoga, yoga app, yoga benefits, yoga for kids, yoga poses