If your children love animals and need a little more quiet, thoughtful time in their life, this might be the activity for you. There’s nothing quite like animal yoga in the forest. It’s relaxing, builds breath awareness and self-inquiry while being in a safe, calming and natural environment. It really connects your child to the earth.
If you didn’t know, yoga has a lot of benefits for children:
- It refines balance and coordination
- It develops focus and concentration
- It boosts self-esteem and confidence
- It strengthens the mind-body connection
( Visi Talik on Parents.com, 2014)
I believe if your child regularly participates in animal yoga, out in nature, it will also:
- Build animal empathy
- Strengthen their connections to place
- Enhance their knowledge of the natural world, and
- stimulate their senses
I asked my children, and the neighbours children, to choose an animal that represents them. I asked them to hold the pose and and then think about the animal they had become.
I suggested that if they were going to become a hedgehog then perhaps they could imagine curling tightly in a ball that no predator could get through their spiny defenses, or if they were an eagle they could imagine themselves flying over the Australian bush.
They each took turns to close their eyes and hold the pose for as long as they could. Then they tried each other’s pose. There were a couple of giggles, but mostly they took it seriously and really enjoyed the experience.
Try their animal yoga poses:
After the children had tried each other’s poses, we sat down and talked about what we’d seen, felt and heard. It was enchanting to learn what they each had visualised.
If you have some little ones that need to slow down, I would recommend this activity. If you can’t make it to a forest, try just going outside instead. It’s perfect for schools, childcare centers and home and a nice activity to relax your group before starting a new activity, rest time or bed!
Want another animal movement activity? Try our wildlife dice. It’s a lovely extension on this activity. Have your children ever participated in yoga before? Did they like it?