Parent + Tot/Preschooler Yoga


Pose Passport
Pose Guide
This is meant as a guide only; trust you body's sensations above all! Do not do anything that causes pain or discomfort without professional guidance. Asanas, or yoga poses, are about the process, not the product! With this in mind, encourage children to explore and adjust each pose as their imaginations see fit.

Airplane EASY/MEDIUM A) Lay on belly, arms out, core engaged, legs lifted (locust post) B) Balance on one leg, second leg extended backward with hips even. Lower upper body to it is parallel with elevated leg. (warrior III)
Boat MEDIUM Sit with back straight and knees bent upwards. Lift feet off ground and extend legs. Engage core to stabilize, bring hands to ground if needed.
Butterfly EASY Sit with your back straight and the bottoms of your feet together, knees relaxed and pointed out to each side. For children it may be helpful to lift their feet off the ground and touch toes together, and then bring feet down to the ground. Extend arms in "butterfly wings" that lift with the inhale and drop slowly with the exhale.
Bee EASY Sit on knees, back straight. Bring hands to shoulders as wings and roll shoulders to "fly." Buzzzz like a bee on the exhale.
Cat MEDIUM Come onto hands and knees, spine long and straight. Press back upwards so spine rounds towards the ceiling.
Chair EASY From standing, bend knees gently and drop hips back and down. Toes should be visible in front of knees if weight is shifted back.
Cobra EASY On belly, bring elbows, forearms, and palms to the ground in front of you. Gently press chest up so that upper spine is stretched. Gaze is forward or upward.
Cow MEDIUM (subtle coordination) Come onto hands and knees, spine long and straight. Let belly drop so spine hollows towards the ground.
Dolphin MEDIUM Come into a low plank (Iguana) with elbows, forearms, and palms on the ground. Lift hips towards the sky and backwards towards heels. (This is essentially dog with elbows on the ground.) For "Diving Dolphin" move hips forward and back.
Dog EASY From standing, bend down to touch the ground, bending knees to avoid strain on hamstrings. Step feet back one at a time so your body makes a triangle or upside-down V shape. Press hands into mat to stretch shoulders, wrists loose and light and fingers spread wide and strong. Lift one leg into the air to "wag tail."
Duck MEDIUM Come to Frog pose (feet hip-width apart, turn toes out, lower hips in-between feet. Feet flat, on toes, or heels supported by a rolled up towel may be helpful)... and add duck wings. ;)
Elephant MEDIUM From Dog, step one foot in-between hands. Lift body upright and straighten front and back legs (feet may with hip width apart or farther to help balance). Clap hands together like elephant trunk, bend down to "gather water" in trunk keeping hips stable and stretching back, and then gently lift body upright and extend "trunk" upwards, still extending spine.
Fish EASY Sit with legs extended. Lean back, but place elbows on ground under shoulder letting forearms, and palms rest on the mat. Head and neck can relax backwards without touching the floor.
Flower MEDIUM Sit in butterfly, and thread your arms under your knees and press palms against the floor. Engage your core and press into the ground to lift your legs off the floor (feet may come apart if more comfortable). Wiggle your fingers like flower petals.
Frog MEDIUM Bring feet hip-width apart and turn toes out slightly. Squat so that you are lowering hips in between your feet. Feet flat, on toes, or heels supported by a rolled up towel may be helpful.
Grasshopper  (low lunge) MEDIUM From Dog, step one leg in-between hands. Lift body upright and bend front knee to 90 degrees and drop back knee to floor (feet may be hip width apart or farther to help balance). "Hop" up and down by engaging back leg to lift knee off slow, and coming back down slowly.
Happy Baby EASY   Lay on your back, bring your knees in towards your chest, and extend your feet towards the ceiling. Hold onto your ankle, toes, or feet, and gently roll back and forth laterally on your spine.
Heron HARD Sit in butterfly and, keeping hips even on the ground, extend one leg up off the ground, foot moving towards the ceiling. Bring your hand to your knee, ankle, or foot, lengthening the spine.
Horse MEDIUM Come into downward dog, inhale, and on the exhale kick your legs into the air at the same time (as kids get comfortable with this, spot them so that they don't kick over... or help them kick over to a wall towards handstand).
Hummingbird (bird of paradise)HARD Stand in warrior II ("Surfer"). Bring the arm by your front leg under your thigh, and your other arm (by back leg) to the sky, then behind your back. Clasp your hands or fingers together. Relax your spine down towards the ground. Turn the feet parallel and start to step them closer together. Gently lift the leg the arms are wrapped around, shifting the weight into the opposite leg, and straighten the body, hands still clasped together.
Iguana (plank)MEDIUM Lay on belly and bring elbows, forearms, and palms to the ground. Tuck toes and engage core to gently lift legs, core, and trunk off the ground.
Jack-in-the-Box EASY Sit on floors with knees pointed up and hug them to your chest. Inhale ("smell your soup") and as you exhale ("blow on your soup") Pop! your body out, extending your arms and legs.
Kite EASY Stand strong in Queen and bring hands together above your head. Gently wave body back and forth.
Lion EASY Sit on knees. Inhale, and rock back gently. Exhale and rock forward onto hands and knees, rooooaaaaring like a lion.
Mouse (child's pose)EASY Sit on knees and gently lower forehead to the mat. Extend arms back towards toes. It may be comfortable to spread knees apart.
Nightingale (standing pigeon) HARD Shift weight onto one foot and slowly lift the other foot off the ground. Gently bend the standing leg and bring the foot to rest on top of the thigh.
Otter (upward facing dog) MEDIUM Laying on tummy, bring palms to the mat slightly in front of shoulders. Breathe in and gently lift upper body, extending arms fully and keeping spine long and strong. Tuck toes and lift legs off mat if comfortable.
Owl EASY Sit on your knees and gently turn your head to look over each shoulder.
Octopus (goddess pose) EASY Step feet as far apart as is comfortable, and slightly lower down and back up. Wiggle fingers like octopus tentacles as you move.
Peacock EASY Sit on the floor with legs extended in a straddle stretch. Inhale and lift your arms up, following the path of peacock wings. Exhale and lower them back down.
Queen (mountain) EASY Stand strong, lift toes, spread them wide and press them down into the mat. Actively extend arms downwards towards the ground.
Ragdoll EASY From Queen, inhale and reach up to the sky, exhale and flow arms down to floor -- let upper body and knees relax so that hands meet the ground.
Surfer (Warrior II) MEDIUM From downward dog, step one foot between the hands. Lift upper body up, bending front knee and straightening back leg. Turn back foot so it's parallel the short side of the mat, and turn body (hips) to face direction it's pointing. Front foot points forward, and hips turn so they are squared to the side.
Swan MEDIUM From Cobra or Otter, bring the toes towards the head and the head towards the toes.
Teapot (triangle) MEDIUM Come into Surfer but keep front leg straight. To pour out the teapot, reach down to touch the front toe (or a block) while keeps the hips square to the side as much as possible. Other arm reaches towards the sky.
Train EASY Sit with legs extended in front of you. Bring arms to your sides and make train wheels circular motion.
Tree Shift weight onto on foot and gently lift the other foot off the ground. Balance that foot against the angle, calf, or thigh (not the knee, the joint does not support the pressure). Press the foot and standing let together.
Unicorn Come onto hands and knees and bring your hand to your forehead like a unicorn horn. Lift one leg out behind you like a flying or hopping unicorn to add a balance challenge.
Volcano Inhale and rub your hands together, as you exhale bring the palms together in stillness and press them up the centerline of your body into the air. Break them apart in the air like a "volcano" exploding.
Waterfall From Queen, inhale and stretch the arms high into the air. Come into a gentle backbend, looking up and drawing the hands behind the gaze above your head, and though water is rush off them behind you.
X Pose Standing in Queen, give yourself a big hug, making an "x" with your arms on your torso.
Y Pose Partner pose: adult stands in Chair, holding child's hands (or for more security, you can hold each other's wrists). Child engages core and steps one foot onto their upper leg (above the knee), and then the other. Child keeps body straight and strong ("standing up"). Both lean back into a counter balance.
Zero Pose From Queen, inhale and draw arms overhead in to a "0."