This simple yoga experience uses relatable poses that the children can explore and benefit from in many ways.  They can develop body awareness, manage stress and breathing, build concentration, increase their confidence and have an opportunity to tune out in a busy early learning environment.

The Science

New neuroscience research, shows that active learning—“where the learner is doing, moving, acting, and interacting”—can change the way the brain works and can accelerate kids’ learning process.

Suggested Resources

Comfortable clothing for children, a yoga mat, some sunshine if you plan to do it outdoors

Experience

Children can gain enormous benefits from yoga. It can enhance their flexibility, strength, coordination, body awareness and concentration. It can also help them connect more deeply with their inner-self which may contribute to their sense of Being, Belonging and Becoming. During yoga exploration, remind the children to slowly breathe in and out promoting a relaxed state of mind. Below are a few basic poses the children may like to try:

 

Downward Dog: Begin on hands and knees, with their knees underneath their hips. As they press into their hands and feet, straighten legs, and lift the pelvis into the air. The children might like sticking one leg in the air, or placing their head on the floor. See how many different dogs they can imitate from tiny little yappers to big woofers.

The Tree: Stand with both feet together. Bend the knee of one leg (right) and place the sole of the foot on the other leg (left). Press palms together above their head, they can then practice swaying their branches in the wind trying not to blow over.

The Warrior: From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outwards. Take your arms up in parallel to the ground, bend your front knee, and look forward. Pretend to be a surfer and use your strength to catch tricky waves.

Educators can encourage children to try new poses such as; the boat, the sandwich, the bow or the aeroplane. This can be done through researching other yoga experiences in Tot Tok's Curriculum Planner (request a demo by completing the form on the right).

Potential Extensions

Count numbers slowly with children when you hold the poses. Children can pretend to be anything they can imagine. Encourage them to come up with fun names / letters for poses based on what it feels and looks like to them. Take a yoga journey by making up a story with or about the poses. Make it fun by adding some humour, suspense and action!

Ideas for Reflection

Did they recognise letters that their favorite poses started with?
Did they count as they held on to the poses?
How were the children’s opinions included?
Were the children able to achieve and maintain focus?

Possible Framework Links

Identity Demonstrate an increasing capacity for self-regulation: Yoga can provide the children with tools on how to calm themselves and regulate their emotions. The relaxed breathing techniques used in yoga can be considered the most beneficial self-regulatory tool that can be given to a child. It is something that can be used anytime and anywhere. The weight bearing poses can give a strong, deep pressure feeling in the muscles and joints. This may give the children a sense of tension release.

1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency

Connection and Contribution Are empowered to make choices and problem solve to meet their needs in particular contexts: In yoga, the children are encouraged to participate, but it should not be compulsory. The decision to participate and for how long should be up to each individual child. The children are also invited to input their ideas and suggestions into the yoga session. They can request certain poses, games or suggest that relaxing music to be included. The children may need to compromise their ideas to ensure that it is fair for all involved.

2.3 Children become aware of fairness

Wellbeing Are happy, healthy, safe and connected to others : Children can gain enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it can enhance their flexibility, strength, body awareness and coordination. They are also encouraged to respect and pay attention to their bodies, making sure each pose feels good and coming in and out of positions when they feel ready. As the children participate in yoga, they can exercise, play and connect more deeply with their inner selves.

3.2. Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing

Learning Follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration : Each yoga pose has a name that the children may be able to relate to e.g. aeroplane or dog. This may result in a new interest or rekindle an old one. The children may want to extend their interest through exploring different animal habitats or by adding transport related resources to their block play.

4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation,
confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination
and reflexivity

Communication Listen and respond to sounds and patterns in speech, stories and rhymes in context : During yoga the children are encouraged to listen to the instructions of their Educators and peers. This is in relation to determining which pose they will be undertaking. The instruction may be simple and direct or the children may need to listen closely to the name of the pose mentioned in the story.

5.2. Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts

This kind of experiential learning, in which children acquire knowledge by doing and via reflection on their experiences, is full of movement, imagination, and self-directed play. If you are keen to incorporate yoga into your curriculum, and would like access to more resources, request a Tot Tok demo. Access to free resources limited to sign-ups before 20th of July 2017.

“Like reading, yoga allows us to go on a magical journey using our imaginations.”

~Betty Larrea,

Did you know you can view many more learning experiences relating to Physical Development on Tot Tok? To learn more, Request a demo



Centre DirectorEducator

Samantha Kyretses

Author Samantha Kyretses

Samantha is an Early Childhood Education author and creates inspiring resources to assist Early Childhood Educators to incorporate the Early Years Learning Framework into their programs and practices.

More posts by Samantha Kyretses

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