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Helping Children Calm Their Emotions!

Nice Poses To Help Calm Children Down

We have all experienced child tantrums on one level or another. Whether it’s our own kids, a niece or nephew, or while shopping at your favorite store, you can tell when emotions are running high. One way to help curb these emotions is with some simple yoga poses.

Read on and share these activities with your children or children you know

By Christine Burnette Imagine that your child has a friend over for a play date. They are busy playing together, when suddenly your child’s Lego structure gets knocked down. From your child’s facial expression, you see that she is about to explode. You catch her eye and give her the signal. Then she darts away to her “calm zone,” where you hear her counting down from five, while going through five yoga poses for kids. There’s a break of silence, and then after a little bit, your child comes back down to resume play. You look at each other and wink.

Brain research shows us that movement and breath help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Our bodies are designed to move—just think about how many miles a day the cave people used to run every day. Modern people lead mostly sedentary lives, and we almost have to relearn how to use movement to lead happy and healthy lives.

Managing Emotions through Yoga Poses for Kids

Introduce the idea of yoga and the yoga poses long before the tantrum starts, so you’ll be familiar with the routine when it’s time to take action. Your child will feed off your enthusiasm when you introduce this yoga-pose sequence. Explain that it’s good for their brain. You might find yourself practicing the yoga pose sequence to manage your own emotions, too!

As your child goes through the flow of these yoga poses, he can pretend to be a surfer, tree, or a dog. If he’s interested, he could also state the corresponding “I am…” statements. Once he is comfortable with the yoga-pose sequence, he can take a deep breath in and a deep breath out during each pose, to further help to calm his body and mind.

Depending on the age and needs of your child, you might practice only one yoga pose  and count down from five while in that pose. But let’s say your child is ready to choose more yoga poses. She could make up her own sequence or by following this yoga flow sequence.

Kids Warrior“I am strong.” Pretend to be a surfer.
To do Warrior 2 Pose: From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outwards. Take your arms up in parallel to the ground, bend your front knee, and look forward. Pretend to be a surfer and use your strength to catch tricky waves.

Kids Tree Pose“I am kind.” Pretend to be a tree.
To do Tree Pose: Stand on one leg, bend your knee, place the sole of your foot on the opposite inner thigh, and balance. Sway like a tree. Think of trees being kind by offering shade, creating oxygen, and providing homes to animals.

kid downward dog“I am friendly.” Pretend to be a dog.

To do Downward-Facing Dog Pose: Bend down and place your palms flat on the ground. Step your feet back to create an upside-down V shape with your buttocks high in the air. Straighten your legs, relax your head and neck, and look down between your legs. Think of being an eager and friendly dog.

Start slowly and focus on your child’s success.  Just like every strategy, nothing is a one-size-fits-all solution, so feel free to adapt and change the yoga method to suit your child’s interests and needs. Introducing the idea of using movement and breath to help their brains to re-boot and re-focus is what’s important.


Image Sources:

Warrior pose from
Tree Pose from
Downward dog pose Illustration by Kathleen Rietz and adapted from The ABCs of Yoga for Kid

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