Top 5 Kids Yoga Tips for Greater Flexibility
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
Twitter or Facebook using #ssykidsquestions
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.
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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:
Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App
Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD
Sing Song Yoga® school program
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