Little Yogie: Animal Series

As an Astanga certified yoga teacher, shame to say I haven’t practiced the entire primary series since my second pregnancy. It is a commitment – not just it lasts 90 minutes for a dedicated & serious practice, emotionally speaking I am concerned I may not be as good as I used to. However, as a long time yoga practitioner, yoga helped me to be good at work and be a better person in life. So, as I’ve regained my fitness level, I just started my own practice, and I would like to see my kids to start enjoying some fun poses & movements (and let’s talk about benefits next time).

To celebrate the national month of yoga & to practice mindfulness,  I would like to start by sharing some of our Animal Series practice, and I’ve invited Maia (my 2.5 years old) to demonstrate.  

Each pose I intend to show three forms of naming: 

a) Animal name that kids could easily associate with & let their imagination run!

b) Pose name you hear often at yoga studio.

c) Sanskrit: I am throwing in here to be authentic & insert my authority 🙂

  • Mountain (Tadasana): Mais is doing the version with player & hands in front of the heart center. Big toes touched. Stand tall and relax shoulders.
  • Wake Up, Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana): She is almost off the mat…but both hands reaching high as a big V.
  • Sea Lion, Cobra (Bhujangasana): Back & side view, gaze up, drop the shoulders, palms firmly place on the mat at equal shoulders distance, both legs extended to a small “V”.
  • Turtle, Child Pose (Yoga Mudrasana): Easy child pose, a bit rounded back likes a turtle, forehead touches the mat. Relax & take a long & deep inhale & exhale.
  • Meerkat (Meerkat-asana): Maia’s invention, so we decide to call it Meerkat-asana 🙂
  • Tree (Vrksasana): Technically speaking it is a falling tree here…Maia likes to take the tree pose to next level by closing both eyes, and counting to 20 in four languages (randomly and not completely)…so the tree is never sturdy.
  • 3-Legs Dog (Eka Pada Adho Muka Savanasana): Such a nature pose for almost every kiddo! Make sure palms are firmly placed and fingers are extended, to protect wrists. Switch leg although we all have a preferred side.
  • Lion (Simhasana): Ready…and Go! Roarrrr….Such a great pose to release stress (adult) and to be a lion (kid)!
  • Stingray, Bow (Dhanurasana): Help your kiddos to fetch their feet from outside. They’d love the sensation.
  • Stingray Upside Down, Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana): I say “Happy Baby”, Maia says “Sting Ray Upside Down”…after a few aquarium visits.
  • Lotus, Half Lotus (Padmasana): For kiddos, they could sit whatever you want – cross legs, butterfly (bottom of the feet together), half lotus or full lotus, whatever it is comfortable. Maia likes to close her eyes, counts to 20 (again), then gets out of the pose herself.
  • Sleeping Star Fish, Corpse Pose (Savasana): Everyone’s favorite, including kiddos, to play dead as a star fish. Palms facing up to receive energy, or down to be grounded (which most of the kiddos need). Usually the last pose, regardless of how many you have gone through.

Overall, when it comes to little yogi movement, don’t be too picky about the form, I only give my adjustments when Maia is ready to receive. So just get into it, start to move and have fun!

We will talk about baby yoga next time, and switch model 🙂

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