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Yoga with Hopscotch

When it comes to kids yoga, tapping into fun and creativity helps. Children learn through play. Much like adults, the yoga conjured in many minds of children stirs up thoughts of sitting still, holding uncomfortable poses, maybe even some chanting. Though all of those are amazing tools in the practice of yoga, the heart of asana (the physical practice of yoga) is all about "yoking" and harnessing energy to get to the point where our minds and bodies can stay still.

One way with children can use the familiar game of hopscotch. Here's how it goes:

Step 1: Find some chalk. Any old chalk will do, and if conditions aren't best for outdoor play, consider printing blank paper to draw poses on for an indoor version.

Step 2: Make a hopscotch pattern. One block, then two blocks. Really however you would normally do this. Instead of numbers in the blocks, draw a picture of a yoga pose. Older children can practice writing the name of the pose with the picture.

Step 3: Grab some dice. If you cannot find any dice on hand, there are easy, free apps which mimic a dice, as well.

Step 4: Roll the dice. Hopscotch to the number indicated on the dice. If the number is past your allotted squares, simply turn around and begin to hop back.

Step 5: Practice the pose on the square in which you land. Hold that pose and breathe for the same amount of counts as your dice rolled.

And that's it! After playing this game for several rounds, take a seat, and reflect. Ask the children which pose was their favorite, which pose was most challenging, and/or which pose was most difficult to hold. Have them close their eyes and notice their breath- is it faster now? Is it slowing down? Ask them how they feel. Tune in. And relish in the power and beauty of yoga! #kidsyoga #mindfulnessforkids #yogaforchildren #gamesforchildren

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