A couple of days ago, I posted a video of myself playing with one of those breathing balls. I'm sure you know the ones that I mean. The super colourful expandable ball that can entertain any child (or adult) for serious amounts of time. And not in the way that the Ipad "entertains" them, but in a way that actually creates focus and encourages deep breathing.
In case you have you no idea what I'm talking about, here's some of my little yogis using the ball:
Anyway, after posting this photo, I got a bunch of emails and comments asking where you can buy one of the balls, and since the parents and teachers that I work with are always asking me for recommendations for kids yoga resources to use at home and school (or in today's quarantined world, home-school) so I thought I'd put together a little list and a guide of how to use my favourite resources to make sharing kids yoga and mindfulness, effortless.
1. HOBERMAN SPHERE (also known as the colourful breathing ball :) ). This one is super simple but so entertaining.
Ask your little yogis to close their eyes and breath as the ball moves. It comes really naturally to them so it needs almost no explanation, but basically, as they open the ball, they inhale, and as the ball closes, they exhale. Simple, focused and so very very calming (I suggest getting two because I guarantee you'll want one too). You can find them here
2. YOGA PRETZEL CARDS.
If you want to do some yoga poses and movement with your little ones during quarantine (or any time really) but have zero knowledge of yoga poses or you don't know how to make it interesting for them, try using these cute and easy-to-follow yoga pose cards.
There are so many ways to use them! Personally, I love to place them in a 'magic bag' and ask the kids to choose one at a time. Or you could hide them around the room and go on a treasure hunt, doing the poses as you find each card.
There are a lot of different variations of yoga pose cards out there, but these are my favourite because there is a wide variety of fundamental poses that are safe for any age or ability, they're focused on the adult and child doing it together and the illustrations are just so cute! You can find them here
3. KIDS YOGA MATS.
Now, in all honesty, as a kids yoga teacher who moves from one school to another hour-by-hour, (and one country to another, week by week), I'm happy to have the kids do yoga on any kind of mat, carpet, grass or floor. But, I am asked SO often by parents, about child-sized yoga mats - and lets be honest, they are cute.
Personally, I am very attached my yoga mat and I take it to all the studios that I teach and practice at - even if their mats are actually better than mine.
There is something special about having your own yoga mat. Your own dedicated space for yoga and meditation. Your own place that just brings a sense of calm, groundedness and soothing, as soon as you step onto it.
So why not give that to kids too?!
There aren't that many brands doing child-sized yoga mats, but here is one that not only has really beautiful designs (and by that, I mean dream catchers, dinosaurs and unicorns), BUT it is double-sided, with yoga poses on the other side, so that kids can do there own yoga practice and be there own little teachers - and what 5-year old doesn't love that! If you want to check out these cool little yoga mats, you can have a look here
So, they're my top 3 recommendations for making yoga at home, or in school, easy, engaging and completely effortless (and what parent or teacher doesn't love that!)