Yoga for toddlers has become incredibly popular as a way for toddlers to have fun whilst they’re mindfully exercising. There are many yoga poses that your toddlers can practice, and there are so many benefits, both physically and mentally!
The primary focus of yoga is to create unity between the mind, body and breath while boosting physical and mental wellbeing. For toddlers it is great way to have more structured activity within their day. Yoga can help to improve concentration, increase body awareness, mindfulness, boost their mood, reduce stress or anxiety and help develop strength and flexibility.
Your little ones are frequently busy and always on the go, so it’s great to find a way for them to slow down, relax and maintain their focus.
One form of yoga that is perfect for toddlers is Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as the yogic sleep or sleep-guided meditation. Yoga Nidra, however, is not akin to the sleep we experience at night-time, but instead focuses on letting go or surrendering, and being “in the moment”. It is also believed that Yoga Nidra assists with lowering the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol allowing our little ones’ bodies to relax, while their minds stay alert and focused.
It’s also handy to know that there is no incorrect way to practice Yoga Nidra, as all you need to do is listen to the person guiding you – either in person or on a recording. It’s even okay if you fall asleep, rather than remain in a meditative state!
How to practice Yoga Nidra with your toddlers at home:
The first step is to create a conducive environment for yoga, this means finding a quiet area, away from distracting sounds and electronic devices, and without bright lighting (although not too dark, either).
On a comfortable, flat surface, have your toddler lie down on their back with their arms by their side. Ensure that they are in a comfortable position as they’ll be lying there for around half an hour. To help your little one stay free from distractions, a face washer or hand towel can be placed over their eyes.
The next stage involves guiding your child to focus on their breathing. Provide them with prompts to inhale and exhale slowly while counting to three. Once your little one is settled with a steady breathing pattern, prompt them to focus on tightening and relaxing body parts individually. Guide your little one to tighten and relax each body part three times before moving on. Once every single muscle in the body has been exercised, gently prompt your little one to slowly sit up as the practice is finished.
This Yoga Nidra sequence is great to practice with your toddlers when they feeling stressed, sad or even need some extra help to calm down.
For further guidance for yoga with your toddler, check out our recent Toddler Yoga IGTV series, where Nikki from Little Warriors Yoga provides a guided Yoga Nidra sequence and the fun Yogi Pokey sequence for you to follow along with at home.