These basic and fun partner yoga poses for kids are perfect for Mommy and Me yoga sessions at home! Teach healthy habits while spending quality time exercising together. Don’t miss the yoga vocabulary, yoga books for kids, and some recommended yoga gear at the bottom too!
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When I was younger, I can’t really remember a time where I went hiking, biking, or did anything active like that as a family. Things look a lot different in my household now that I am a parent, and I’m always looking for new ways to introduce healthy habits.
I want to be sure to instill values of physical, mental, and overall health and wellness in the lives of my children.
There’s no better way to do that than to partake in the journey together while also finding fun and playful ways to do so! Today, I wanted to share one of the many fun ways to get moving while also spending quality time with your little one: mommy and me yoga!
Yoga for little ones has so many benefits! As a yoga mom, you get to model mindfulness, deep breathing, and other strategies your child can use beyond the mat. For your little yogi, the gentle stretching within the yoga poses allows for increased flexibility and improved balance.
My daughter Aren is in gymnastics, so these benefits are really important in order to not only help her excel in a sport that she loves, but also to prevent injury.
Also, it is crazy just how much vocabulary you can pack into a ten to twenty minute yoga session. One of the best things about yoga with your little ones is that you can sneak a workout in while also keeping your children occupied!
Related: Fun Home Workouts for Kids
I almost forgot the most important part – matching outfits! Aren’s idea, not mine, but I rolled with it and now it needs to be a recurring thing. The leggings we are wearing are from K.Deer and I love them because they are comfortable and have enough give to move with you as you move through your poses. I think our next purchase will be these butterfly leggings inspired by this beautiful Spring weather!
Mommy and Me Yoga Poses
Aren is now a preschooler, so I have included some yoga poses that are fun for us at this age, but these can be easily modified for mom and toddler yoga poses, too. If you have older kids, including them in the fun is another great option. I hope you enjoy trying out some of my favorite family yoga poses!
1. Mountain Pose
Sanskrit name: Tadasana
How to do Mountain Pose:
- Start by standing with your feet together and hands at the sides of your body while standing back to back with your little one.
- Make sure to encourage standing with even weight moving through both grounded feet.
- Lift the top of your head to the sky as if you are balancing a crown on your head.
- Tighten those thighs and think ‘long’ while you lengthen your spine. See which one of you can stand as tall and strong as a mountain!
- Remember to breathe! Nice, steady focused breathing will help you both get centered and ready for more complex moves to come.
Benefits: The mountain pose helps you to focus on steady breathing and mindfulness all while strengthening major parts of your legs like the knees, thighs, and buttocks. This pose is simple yet effective, and you will soon note positive changes in your posture as a result.
2. Seated Feet Forward
Sanskrit name: Paschimottanasana
How to do Seated Feet Forward:
- Sit on your bottom facing your little partner with legs outstretched.
- Flex your feet so your toes are reaching up to the sky.
- Sit up straight and lengthen that spine!
- Lean in and hold hands as you stretch.
- As you exhale, lean deeper into the stretch on the exhale.
Benefits: This position will help you get a deep stretch through the back of your legs, which will lead to increased flexibility.
3. Downward Dog
Sanskrit name: Adho Mukha Shvanasana
How to do Downward Dog:
- Start in a table top position on your hands and knees with your weight spread evenly.
- With your palms planted, spread your fingers to create a wide base.
- Push down through your hands while you curl your toes under and elevate your bum upward.
- Make sure your feet are hip distance apart.
- Keep everything tight, hands facing forward, rotate those biceps forward, too. From here, you should feel your elbows almost squeeze towards each other.
- Be sure to push through your hands with even weight and keep the shoulders away from the ears.
- Lift your belly button toward your spine.
- Your neck should be relaxed and your gaze should be toward your feet.
Benefits: Downward dog is one of the many yoga poses that builds mindfulness and helps you to focus on connecting your breath with your movement. Remembering to breathe throughout your may seem like a simple enough task, but when you really start to focus on it, it is amazing how often you might find yourself breathing in a shallow way. Try this exercise as an example: take some deep inhales and exhales. Now, make a fist. Did you forget to keep breathing through this? Most people do! The downward dog has always helped me focus on the rhythm and flow of my breathing, and I now focus on it off the mat, too. For my little ones, teaching them the art of breathing has been a really valuable tool for those ‘big emotion’ moments that is often overlooked. Give it a try!
Try this stacked double downward dog pose for a fun variation that’s sure to bring giggles to both of you!
4. Butterfly Pose
Sanskrit name: Baddha Konasana
How to do Butterfly Pose:
- Sit on your bottom with your legs out in front of you.
- Bend your knees bringing your feet together, sole to sole.
- Allow your knees to relax and fall to the sides.
- Focus on your posture and elongate your spine.
- As with most yoga poses, focus on your breathing! Sit up tall on the inhale through the nose, and lean deeply into the stretch on the exhale out the mouth. Imagine you are butterflies and describe the different flowers you visit.
Benefits: The butterfly pose serves as a great tension reliever for the spine and lower back. Additionally, this is another great move for deep stretching of the leg and hip muscles.
5. Tree Pose
How to do Tree Pose:
- Start in the mountain pose. This might be a little bit tricky for your child, so consider sticking close by a wall or sturdy piece of furniture to grab onto for balance.
- As you find a point to focus on visually to help with your balance, slowly bring one foot off the floor.
- Bring your foot to the opposite ankle and rest it there. While you gently press in with your foot, provide counter pressure and push back with your ankle.
- Lift your arms to the sky and keep your palms facing each other.
- If this is easy, good job! Feel free to check out these variations:
- Bring your heel up to the inside of your calf.
- Bring your heel up to the inside of your thigh above your knee.
- Try a partner tree pose like we did here!
Benefits: Tree pose is a great move for increasing balance, for adults and children alike. You’re so focused on balance, that you won;’t even be realizing just how engaged your core is too! What I love most about this move is how it builds resilience with your little one. You have a chance to show them how important it is never to give up even when things aren’t perfect, and that hard work will pay off!
6. Double Bow Pose
How to do Double Bow Pose:
- You (the adult) will lie face down on your belly on the floor. You child will do the same, except on your back (if they fit!)
- Put your hands at the level of your shoulders with your palms down flat on the floor.
- On the exhale, bend your knees bringing your heels toward your buttocks.
- Reach back with your hands and grab onto your ankles.
- On the inhale, tighten the buttocks and leg muscles while you lift your thighs off the floor. Do this while lifting your chest and head off the floor.
- Make sure once again that you aren’t scrunching your shoulders to your ears.
- Be gentle with this posture and be sure you’re not pulling your knees out wider than the position of your hips.
- Hold the flexed position for 20-30 seconds, and remember to breathe!
Benefits: The reason the bow pose is so great is because it stretches while strengthening. It’s amazing for increasing flexibility in the thoracic spine – something we all need after sitting at a computer most of the day. You’re getting a blissful stretch through the front of the body while working on strengthening those posture muscles of the back of the body!
7. Front bird
How to do Front Bird Pose:
- The adult will start by lying flat on the ground. The child will stand at the feet of the adult.
- Raise your feet to the child’s hips and lock hands.
- From here, you will lift your child off the ground as if they are superman! Hold the pose for as long as you’d like.
- Ok, now switch roles. Just kidding!
Benefits: It’s fun! Also, it builds trust as well as spatial awareness.
More of our favorite Mommy and Me Yoga Poses
Cat and Cow Pose – great for stretching the mid back!
Happy Baby Pose – we just like it because we enjoy being silly and having fun
Warrior 2 Pose – we pretend we are strong warriors!
Double Plank Pose – a great core challenge for me, while Aren just loves to crawl on top of Mommy!
Square pose – a super fun partner pose that we love! See how many shapes you can create with your bodies (try triangle pose, too).
Partner Child’s Pose – this feels so good on my back! The added weight of Aren (she’s only about 40 pounds) helps to open up my hips a little more and the pressure actually deepens my stretch. The only pose better than child’s pose is Savasana, haha.
Related: Stretches to Help Muscle Pain
Yoga Vocabulary Words for Kids
Here in the Seghetti household, we work hard and we play hard. We also try to work smarter, not harder. So, while you’re getting some exercise along with family bonding, why not work on language and hit some key vocabulary words while you’re at it?
- Not to mention, all of the body parts and muscles you’re working on! You’d be amazed at how quickly young children can pick up on pelvis, quadriceps, inner core, and other technical terms.
Remember, mom and kid yoga is supposed to be fun and a great opportunity to bond. Don’t take things too seriously! It’s okay to get a bit silly and it doesn’t have to be quiet the whole time like a typical yoga class.
Aren loves yoga with mom so much we have even incorporated yoga into our bedtime routine! Check out our favorite kids books about yoga – plus some of our favorite yoga gear for kids too!