Posts Tagged ‘kids yoga benefits’

8 Kids Yoga Myths

A dictionary meaning of the word myth is — “a widely held but false belief or idea.” Ultimately ideas are yoga myths or not, only in the eye of the beholder. But I’d like to challenge some common misunderstandings about kids yoga.

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Adho Mukha Svanasana (tunnel of downward dogs)

Here are eight ideas that I typically hear from parents that I would consider yoga myths in the world of kids yoga:

1. My kid is not flexible enough to do yoga.

I hear from parents, about their children, and from adult students that they’re not flexible enough for yoga. This one is the misunderstanding that I run into the most often. Yes, over time many experience increased flexibility from doing yoga, but it’s not a prerequisite.

Doing yoga poses has many benefits within the process, one of which is gaining increased flexibility.  But as an example. let’s compare two yogis doing a forward bend (Uttanasana).


Uttanasana (standing forward bend)

“Yogi A” uses blocks under her hands because she doesn’t touch the floor. And “Yogi B” folds forward more completely, turning her ribcage upside down with the crown of her head comfortably pointing toward the floor without strain.

Each of these yogis experience similar benefits from the pose.  It’s not as much about how far the yogi bends, it’s more about the alignment in the pose and the relative range of movement. For example, focusing on just one aspect of the pose, each yogi is stretching their hamstrings. The relative movement achieved with their personal full extension of their muscles provides the benefit – not the ultimate length that’s achieved. It’s likely that the beautiful photos of yogis bending in seemingly impossible ways contribute to this misunderstanding, however, just know that yoga works for all flexibility levels. That’s one of the benefits that fits everyone.

Furthermore, the less flexible folks can actually be less prone to certain injuries because their bodies give them some natural limits that the more flexible yogis might need to discover on their own. There’s no need to be flexible to do yoga!

2. My child is too hyperactive to do yoga

One common benefit of yoga is that many experience a calming effect. Due to this fact, some feel that their children are too hyperactive to do yoga.  However, a child might find that the opposite is true. The calming effect on the nervous
system that yoga can provide might be a good reason for some children to find yoga.  Again it’s a relativity thing.  Similar to the range of muscle movement (in number one) being the important factor providing benefit, it’s the relative range of the calming effect that provides the benefit. For example, a child who begins in a perceived hyperactive state and ends in a more typical active state might be achieving that same benefit as a typically active child ending a yoga session in a more perceived calm state.  It’s the relative change that is the important factor, not the overall perception of where others want that child to be (or behave). The nervous system holds the imprint of the change even if those outside the child’s body can’t see it as clearly through behavior.

3. My child can’t focus enough to do yoga.

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Upavistha Konasana (seated wide leg pose)

We have a bit of a relativity theme going here, but it applies to focus as well. Some children can sit and build puzzles for a seemingly endless span of time and some can barely sit long enough to open the box to begin.  The idea of “I am where I am” applies here. There’s no good or bad, there’s only the perception of such. And though it is true that yoga can eventually result in an improved ability to focus, it too is not a prerequisite. Some young yogis do a Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) for 3 seconds and then need to get up and run around their mat before they are ready for another. This child still gains benefit from the 3 seconds in dog even if it might not look the same as the child who can remain in Dog for 30 seconds. Growth is measured by looking at a particular skill in the beginning and comparing it to the skill after a period of time. So if this young yogi moves from doing Downward Dog for 3 seconds at the beginning of a 10-week session up to 8 seconds at the end of this time, then growth in the pose and benefit for the child has been achieved.

If you come across a yoga teacher who expects your child to do things the same as all other students in your class, it might be helpful to find a new teacher.  Yoga should remain outside the tradition of trying to get children to conform to the same robot-like conformity that is still expected in some settings. Yoga is personal. Its benefits are illustrated in personal ways.  Avoid comparing your child to others and enjoy comparing your child today to your child a year ago. Growth has occurred – whether it fits the norm or not (inside or outside of yoga).

4. My child cannot do yoga because of physical limits.

callie supta virasana - edited

Supta Virasana (reclined hero’s pose)

Ustrasana (camel pose)

Ustrasana (camel pose)

Whether your child is a fully able-bodied child or a child with some limits, the benefits of yoga can be experienced by most. One of my beloved young yogis who is limited physically was limitless in her determination to experience the joys and benefits of yoga as she achieved each. We together found one or more aspects of each pose that would be perfect for her to work on in that particular session.  For example, when working on the sitting forward bend (Paschimottanasana), one session we focused our attention on lengthening her calves, in the opposite direction of her high tone, extending through her inner heels and pulling her toes toward her shins. In another session we would focus on pressing her thighs into the floor. In yet another session we would work on lengthening from her hips up through her chest taking her shoulders away from her ears. This is similar to focus changes in fully able-bodied adults from session to session, but we broke it down in a child-friendly way for her to experience results.

5. My kid is an athlete and would not like yoga

Though yoga is growing in popularity in the States, there can sometimes still be a perception that athletes are not the “yoga type.”  Again, the opposite can be true. Athletes in many different sports have enjoyed the multitude of benefits from yoga due to the simple fact that yoga can provide a positive soothing balance for the sometimes overused muscles and emotional energy that the stream-lined goal focus within each sport can invoke. In addition, the breadth of focus in yoga, meaning the broad range of positive effects on the body, might assist the athlete in preventing injury.

6. Some kids are just not the “yoga type.”

Again, there still exists this idea that a person is either the “yoga type” or not but it’s simply not true. Virtually everyone can benefit from some time to deliberately chill while focusing on ones’ body in space.  Each child or adult experiences yoga in his or her own personal way.  There’s no “type” of person more likely to find benefit. The only aspect necessary is the willingness to give it a shot. And the only necessity to continue is the desire to do so.

7. Yoga is not for boys or men.

dead bug

Ananda Balasana (dead bug pose)

This is slowly changing but still remains an underlying belief for many. Yoga classes typically have more women than men, but as men continue to discover the benefits of yoga and these next generations begin yoga as kids, this will eventually fade out. As with most biases, children learn these from adults. Boys, themselves, come into this world as natural yogis. But a myriad of societal influences can eventually persuade boys that there are some things that boys just do not do.  This yoga myth will eventually fade and your family can be a part of this change. Boys can benefit greatly from yoga as mentioned in the characteristics outlined in the other myths in this post.

8. As a parent, I should know yoga before introducing my child to it.

As outlined in 6 Tips to Dive Right into Kids Yoga, there is simply no experience necessary to begin yoga – as an adult or as a child. Every single person is a beginner when starting something new. Your yoga instructor (a live person or through a book) will guide you through beginning yoga. So just dive right in!

Related Posts:

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.

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.”

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.

For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website


This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2015.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Education, Kids Yoga at Home, Parenting, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
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Crossing the Midline and Kids Yoga


Do you ever wonder why small children seem to lack coordination and tend to perform tasks slowly and somewhat clumsily? This is due to the fact that they are in the process of building neural networks –  “roads” – in the brain.

You have likely heard of the terms cross-lateral movements or crossing the midline.  The midlines are invisible lines dividing the body in half. When a leg or an arm from one half of the body crosses over to the other half of the body this is crossing the midline. This helps the brain communicate in greater depth by connecting both halves of the brain via the network of fibers, called the corpus callosum. This integration of the two sides of the brain determines the speed, flexibility, adaptability and depth of the brain’s thinking. When children are allowed to play freely over the years of childhood, they naturally cross these midlines just by being kids and playing in limitless ways.

Sometimes, however, children will show up to school without having had many of the necessary experiences for this to have occurred with the necessary repetition. When the midlines aren’t fully developed, cross-lateral movements might feel unnatural to a child. Educational researchers, educators, occupational and physical therapists have come up with activities to attempt to make up for lost time, so to speak.  By getting children to move in specific ways within deliberate activities it can make midline crossing a regular occurrence to help achieve the repetition necessary to help build these roads in the brain. The handout below says “Think of it as doubling up on the brain’s processing speed and power as it draws on the strengths of both the left and right sides to create ‘whole-brain’ thinking.” Authors of A Moving Child is a Learning Child say that crossing the midline not only streamlines movement, it supersizes those superhighways across the corpus callosum. As such it plays a critical role in preparing children’s brains for formal learning.

Kids’ yoga is one of the many activites that can provide cross-lateral experiences for children. And if done regularly, along with other rhythm and movement activities, it might assist in building the brain for optimal development.

The handout below explains midlines in a new way for me. Prior to this learning I only divided the body in two halves, the left and right.  But this author divides the body in two additional directions: the top and bottom and the front and back, thus making it midlines – plural. This opens the doorway to many more physical movements meeting the requirements of cross-lateral movements and is worth exploring further. I always love learning new things!

For some occupational therapy activities for crossing the midline see OT Mom Learning Activities.

Thank you to Free Spirit Publishing and authors of A Moving Child is a Learning Child, Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy, for allowing me to share this handout through Learners’ Edge.

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Related Posts:

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.

Top 5 Tips to Help Kids Yoga Balance: 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.”

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.

For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website


This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2015.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Education, Parenting, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kids Yoga in Schools: Getting First Graders Ready to Write

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.”

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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.

Brain Break Sequence shown in Canvas. Press Play to begin video.

Brain Break Sequence shown in Canvas. Press Play to begin video.


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!


We would LOVE to hear from you – how you’re using yoga in schools or questions of how to begin.  We are on Twitter @singsongyoga  and Facebook  and really look forward to connecting!

#ssykidquestion green room


For more info:

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

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.
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Top 6 Kids Yoga Poses for Bedtime: a calming sequence

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 T
















Sailboat begins the series during which your child will twist around the straight spine, which has a neutral effect on the nervous system.


Half Butterfly T
















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 T Still Image
















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 T

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!


Dead Bug T















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 1 T











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!

Sing Song Yoga Kids Yoga App video animation







This entry was posted on Saturday, June 21st, 2014.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Kid's Yoga Sequences, Parenting, Sing Song Yoga.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sing Song Yoga Kids Yoga App Awarded Top App of the Year 2014

We are feeling the love and are grateful for the honor as our Sing Song Yoga kids yoga app has been named the “2014 Top App of the Year Award” in the “Apps for Healthy Habits” category by Creative Child Magazine!  Thank you heaps to the over 100 reviewers, made up of educators and parents, who put their hearts, time and expertise into reviewing our app.  We love that others are finding such value in our first-of-its-kind kids yoga app, which makes our beloved Sing Song Yoga program completely customizable for the user.

Sing Song Yoga iPhone & iPad App

The Sing Song Yoga App allows the user to customize his or her own yoga experience by selecting either:

  • one of the 39 preprogrammed Sing Song Yoga Sequences or
  • individual kids yoga poses

kids yoga app Sing Song Yoga App

Each of the preprogrammed SSY Sequences have an end in mind.  Some of the more popular sequences are the “Bedtime Sequence,” the “Athlete’s Sequence” and the “I am Powerful Sequence.”

The free download includes one free sequence and 6 free poses.  This helps the user know if it’s a good fit for them before purchasing either a package, sequences or poses.

One fun feature to highlight is that kids love saving their own sequences with their names in them:

kid yoga app Sing Song YogaThank you for checking out our kids yoga app.  You can search kids yoga or Sing Song Yoga in the Apple App Store or simply click on Sing Song Yoga app here. For more information on our kids’ musical yoga program go to our Sing Song Yoga for kids yoga website.


Thank you Creative Child Magazine for the recognition!  We are truly grateful for the honor!  See this post for the process that goes into selecting the award winners.












This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014.
Posted in Parenting, Sing Song Yoga.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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