Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Everyone Ought To Know About Yoga For Kids

Yoga can be done by anyone, young, old, even kids. With a little help, even toddlers can do it. A simple introduction to yoga done with a little bit of game playing and poses named after animals, can do wonders to children's minds, bodies and inner spirit.

A few benefits of kids yoga are:

•To be healthier and help obesity in children. By taking yoga class, kids are triggered to move. Nowadays, because of the computer games, kids move less than they ought to.

•To control their stress. Yes, children can get stressed out, too. Being over scheduled, tough competition in school, peer pressure, all are the cause of your kids’ strain. Yoga can help them to get relaxed. Their ability to control their breathing can be applied to deal with problems they face in real life.

•Better concentration. Controlling breathing is a way to learn how to focus. And yoga can be a very good way in learning that. Some studies have shown that kids who practice yoga, especially those with special needs, such as those with ADHD, are able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
Yoga also can be a way for them to express themselves and develop their self-esteem. To those with special needs, it can be a way to learn how to socialize.

The method is flexible. Yoga for kids mostly is modified with game playing, singing, storytelling, drawing, simple breath meditations and rest. Poses are balanced between quiet and active ones.

Children follow the teacher’s instructions by learning the names of different body parts, their locations and function. That way, their yoga improves very quickly.

Yoga for kids should be enjoyable. Try to put your kids in a yoga class and see how they can grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. And, they can have lots of fun. Ask them to name their favorite yoga pose, and it is usually Lazy Lizard Pose!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Flamingo Pose

Flamingos like to congregate in a large, shallow body of water, all preening their pink feathers, resting in the sun and standing on one leg for hours at a time.

Scientists are not exactly sure why flamingos stand on one leg so regularly.But it's an impressive ability, considering flamingos'­ legs are longer than their bodies, and most of their weight is oriented horizontally. Humans are oriented vertically, with almost all of their weight in line with the center of gravity. It really should be easier for humans to stand on one leg than for flamingos. But most of us have trouble standing one leg for 10 seconds, let alone for hours like flamingos do.

To encourage your child to focus and be present have them try flamingo pose, maybe even try it along with them or by yourself. Here's how:

Stand with your feet together and focus your eyes on something (that is not moving) out in front of you.  Take a deep breath in and place the bottom of your right foot on your inner left ankle or calf. Breathe out and place your hands on your hips.  Imagine your pink wings out to the side while you balance on one foot.  Take a few deep breaths and then lower your foot to the ground. Now repeat on the other side with your left foot up.

I often encourage children to start with a count of 5 on one leg, and then backwards from 5 on the other.  Once they start to feel more comfortable ask them how long they may be able to stay, give them a goal to achieve, but let them know every time they practice flamingo pose it is different.  If they fall out encourage them to take a deep breath and start over again, you can even put an object in front of them to help them focus.

Flamingos even sleep on one leg, give your child a challenge once they feel comfortable in flamingo pose with their eyes open to close their eyes and pretend to be a sleeping flamingo.  

Try it yourself you may be surprised how challenging it can be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hip Hip Hooray, New Lazy Lizards Yoga Mats Arrived Today!

Have you been feeling blue because the blue Lazy Lizards Yoga Mats have been out of stock?  Well today is your lucky day.  New colors have arrived today, Ocean Blue, Moss Green, and Lovely Lavender.

Lazy Lizards Yoga Mats are new and improved!  The old Lazy Lizards Mats started out as a vinyl mat with a small print from a local printer in Denver, Colorado.  The mat then evolved to a more eco friendly material made out of PER, but the print was still too small.  Now the Lazy Lizards Yoga Mat, is an eco friendly TPE material that is non toxic, PVC free, and recyclable, is a soft foam like material with a non slip grip.  Not only does the yoga have great eco friendly benefits, the 12 kids yoga poses printed on the mat are larger and more bold to make it easier for children to follow, the mat is also just the right size for children 3 to 8.  The new colors have arrived just in time for the holidays, what color will your little yogi want this year? Visit lazylizardsyoga.com to order yours today!

Here's some pics from some great girls in the neighborhood enjoying their new mats today!

Showing off her new yoga mat.

Roaring like scary lions!

Resting in Lazy Lizard Pose....

Sisters in enjoying yoga together!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If I Were A Tree I Would Be.....

children's yoga poseA pineapple tree, a willow tree, an apple tree, a palm tree, a rainbow tree!  These are just a few examples of how you can have kids interact with their yoga poses and feelings.

At Lazy Lizards Yoga, we modify tree pose to be a little easier for younger children and make it fun. How do you do tree pose?

 Have your child stand with their legs wide, explain to them how their feet are like roots and they plant and grow into the ground, and how their tree trunk is strong and long.

Next have them extend their arms like tree branches.  Ask them to close their eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out.

After they start to notice their breath, have them imagine to themselves what kind of tree they would be today.  You can then guide them into weather patterns.  For example there is a gentle breeze out side, how would your tree be?   It's bright and sunny out, can your tree stand taller.  You can also guide them through seasons.  For example, it's fall outside, what happens to your leaves?

After the child visualizes their tree, ask them afterwards what kind of  would they be?  Ask them why and how it makes them feel.  You may be surprised of what you learn.

To find out more yoga poses for kids, check out Lazy Lizards Yoga today!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Natural Beauty

I recently took a trip with my family to the Grand Canyon.  My husband, 9 year old son, 72 year old father in law met at the Grand Canyon, hiked 7 miles down to the bottom and 10 miles up to the South Rim.

While I was hiking and enjoying the beautiful sites within the Canyon that most people don't get to see (only 1% of all Grand Canyon visitor's hike to the bottom)  I was amazed how this beautiful area was created naturally.  It wasn't created by man, just years of nature letting it take it's course, and it created one of the Wonders of the World.

As my mind wandered, I thought about how this creation related to yoga.  Letting go, letting your body, mind and breath just be as it may and flow through your yoga practice naturally, without force or expectations, just doing what feels good, and letting go. As I was hiking down the Canyon, in 105 degree weather, carrying a backpack filled with water and snacks to carry us through, I took one step at a time, enjoying my breath, not letting this experience and time with my family get to fast.  Watching my footsteps one at a time going slow and mindful with each step. Everybody going at their own pace, and enjoying every minute.

Even though the hike was challenging, we all enjoyed ourselves and can't wait for our next adventure.

I encourage all of you to let your next yoga practice happen naturally without force, and just let go and see what happens.  You may be surprised.

kids yoga

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Busy Summer? Slow Things Down With Legs Up The Wall.

Summer sure has been busy, time flies when you are having fun.  Vacations, pool, having kids over to keep your kids busy, sports, camps and being out of the school year routine can be hectic.  Take time for yourself and your kids and try legs up the wall pose.  A great yoga pose and"time out" for all ages.

Pick a space where there is wall space and no outside distractions, turn the music, TV and computer off.

1.  Sit up against the wall with one shoulder and your hip on the wall.

2.Next lay down, next to the wall.

    3.  Turn around and put legs up the wall. Make sure your bottom is touching the wall and your back is touching the floor.  If not use a neatly folded up blanket under your back, you can also use the blanket under your head, to ease tension in your neck.  Stay for a few breaths, or 5 to 20 minutes.

If you are wondering, how will my child stay still for this, here's a few tips.

With younger kids, practice counting, ABC's, or reading a book while you and your child's legs are up the wall.  I did this with my son when he was 2 1/2 years old, and it helped him go to sleep easier and longer.

With older children, have them count their breath, do the pose along with them and ask them to stay for 6 breaths, when that becomes not long enough, stay for longer. You can also play soft music to encourage relaxation, encourage them to close their eyes, maybe use an eye pillow.

Legs up the wall pose has numerous benefits, helps your sleep cycle, refreshes tired legs and feet that you have been on all day, helps circulation and digestion, and also helps relieve lower back pain.

Try legs up the wall pose with your kids before bedtime,  after they go to bed, give yourself a treat and try it on your own.  You may just notice your entire family will sleep better, rested kids and parents are happy people!

lazy lizards yoga

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Yoga for Kids

Now that summer is here, why not take the kids outside to practice yoga?  Some may say, "It could be distracting." Others may say, "How do I control the group while they are outside?" But I say, "That sounds like fun."

I teach at several preschools and elementary schools, so I decided to try teaching kids ages 3 to 5 outside.  I first had to establish rules and guidelines, but also let the kids have fun with being outside and enjoying nature.

Here's 5 tips to bring your kids yoga class outside, whether you are a teacher, parent, or grandparent.

1.  Establish the "rules" first.  Let kids know their boundaries, a yoga mat is a great way to create a boundary,  let the kids know they have to stay on their yoga mat, it is their space, unless you tell them that they can come off of their yoga mat.
children's yoga

2.  Use your surroundings, the grass, the sounds, the sun, the flowers, maybe even a few bugs come the kids way.  Use it as a learning experience.  The first time I taught my group outside, things were going great, but then a spider came onto one of the little girls mats.  Chaos ensued for a little while and class turned into a learning experience about spiders, how we shouldn't hurt them, they were just passing our way, I also told the story how my Mom told me if I killed a spider it would rain for 7 days.  Do you want it to rain for 7 days? What would a spider yoga pose look like? And everyone took a turn. Where would you go if you were a spider?  Use the chaos as an opportunity, if it may come.

kids yoga3.  Practice yoga poses that have to do with summer and nature.  Sunflower pose as a group pose is great one.  Have all the kids sit down with their legs out in front, feet touching, and have them reach for their feet, explain how the sun flower opens and blooms with the sun, as they stretch their bodies out long and into the grass, have them close up the sunflower by reaching for their feet again.  The kids love this one, they usually will ask to do it over and over again.

4.  Have the kids close their eyes and listen to the sounds outside. Let them share their findings after their "quiet" time. You may be surprised with what they come up with.  I have heard everything from cars to robots.

5.  Last but not least, have fun!