Yoga For Kids To Sleep Better
When children sleep better, it gives a profound sense of peace to the parents. Yoga is considered a natural stress fighter which enables good sleep.
Yoga helps and calms your breathing, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, reduces tension in the body and clears the mind. Yoga induces good sleep and having good sleeping habits help the child to have a deep sleep and also reduces stress. Yoga also helps children in relaxing their mind and the body.
Although, you will have to make sure that the yoga poses your kids do should be sequenced in a proper manner for the children to practice properly. And, the yoga poses can include some backward bends, forward bends and some simple inversions. Standing and sitting poses can be grouped together to form a proper sequence.
You can add yoga as a sleeping ritual for the kids to make it a daily practice and for you to have a peaceful sleeping pattern in return. Also, some fun stories can be added about the yoga asanas to make the kids happy while practicing these asanas.
Let’s discuss what all yoga asanas can be performed by children before going to bed for a better sleep:
#1. Yoga for Kids to Sleep Better: Sun Breathing Accompanied By Tadasana
Get the child to stand in Tadasana pose to practice the proper breathing technique. Doing this yoga asana can help your kid to sleep better.
Steps to Practice Tadasana
- To practice Tadasana in standing position, tell your kid to stand straight and keep the legs slightly apart from each other.
- Raise hands above the head and look straight while focusing on one point in front of you.
- Interlock the fingers of both the hands and turn them upwards in such a way that the palms face towards the ceiling/sky.
- Take a deep breath, stretch your arms, chest and shoulders upwards.
- While practicing Tadasana, the gaze can be adjusted to look a little above while stretching.
- Raise your heels in such a way that all the weight of your body is on the toes.
- Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds.
- Retain your breath while stretching.
- While exhaling, come down to your original position.
- This completes one round of Standing Tadasana.
Sun Breathing for Kids to Sleep Better
- While standing in Tadasana, maintain a normal breathing.
- While inhaling deeply, keep your arms above the head.
- And while exhaling deeply, bring your arms down.
- You can practice the same yoga asana with your kids and have them improve their breathing habits while practicing the yoga asana.
- You can practice 4 to 5 rounds of sun breathing with your kids.
#2. Doing Garudasana or the Eagle Pose Yoga Can Help Kids Sleep Better
Steps to practice Garudasana or The Eagle’s Pose:
- Get in Tadasana or The Mountain Pose on the floor or on a yoga mat.
- Keep your arms at your sides close to your thighs.
- Bend your knees slightly.
- Now from this position, to practice Garudasana or The Eagle Pose, your kid should balance the entire body on the right foot and cross the left thigh over the right.
- Fix your gaze at a point in front of you. Try to close your eyes while maintaining the balance, if you can try and stay in this pose for a few breaths.
- Hook the top of your left foot behind your right calf while practicing Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- For Beginners, who find it difficult to hook the legs initially, can skip the foot hook and cross the leg over the top of the standing leg. You should not rest your other leg on the ground even if you are a beginner.
- Extend your arms straight in front of your body.
- Now, bring your left arm under your right to get into Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor while practicing Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- Wrap your arms and hands, and press your palms together or as close you as can you can while practicing Garudasana or the Eagle Pose.
- Lift your elbows high above your head and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling.
- Keep your shoulder blades toward your waist while they press your back down while practicing Garudasana or The Eagle Pose
- Beginners, who are unable to touch their palms together, they can bring and press the backs of your hands together or they can use a strap as well to bring the hands together.
- Place the palms together to resemble an eagle’s beak.
- Turn your abdomen inwards and upwards while practicing Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- Slowly bend the left knee and lower the body until the tip of the right big toe touches the floor. Keep the eyes focused on the fixed point.
- Breathe smoothly and evenly while practicing Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- This is the final Garudasana or The Eagle Pose.
- Hold for up to one minute, or for as long as you can.
- Keep focusing on your breath and keeping your gaze fixed and soft.
- To release Garudasana or The Eagle Pose, gently and comfortably unwind your arms and legs and return to Tadasana or The Mountain Pose.
- Repeat Garudasana or The Eagle Pose from the opposite side.
- You can practice 3-4 rounds of Garudasana or The Eagle Pose for the kids to sleep better.
- However, this yoga asana can be modified for the children to make it easier.
#3. Adho Mukha Svanasana or The Downward Facing Dog for Kids to Sleep Better
- To practice Adho Mukha Svanasana, stand on Floor or on the yoga mat.
- Kneel on the yoga mat or floor in such a way that the whole body is supported with hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are in straight line with the hips in this position.
- Make your palms spread on the yoga mat and make sure that the maximum force is exerted with the index finger on the floor. Your forefingers should turn a little parallel. While exhaling, lift your knees far from the floor in such a way that the knees come in line with the thighs and they are not bent.
- In the beginning, if you face any difficulty in keeping the knees straight, you can keep them a little bent and heels lifted from the floor.
- Try to raise you hip bones inside and try to draw your legs into the crotch.
- In this position, make the highest point of the thighs push back and let your heels touch the floor.
- Try to lift your body far from the ground while keeping your arms and legs straight.
- Keep your shoulders very firm and open up your chest in this position.
- Keep your head between your arms and make sure you are looking downwards and your head does not drop in this position.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana is also a part of Surya Namaskar and it is a very helpful asana to stretch all the muscles of your body and make your kids sleep better.
- Stay in this position for a few breaths or for a few seconds.
- Maintain your breath while being in this position.
- Get back on your knees to release the asana and move your head to look upwards.
- Practice the same asana for 5-6 times.
- Relax in Balasana for some time after completing the practice.
#4. Performing Simha Pranayama or Lion’s Breath Can Be Beneficial for Kids to Sleep Better
- To start practicing Simha Pranayama, sit in Vajrasana pose, i.e. bend on your heels such that the hips rest on the sides of feet.
- Widen your knees in Vajrasana and place your hands backwards such that they are seated straight between the legs.
- To perform Simhasana, close the mouth and seal the tongue against the hard palate.
- Inhale deeply while keeping the tongue against hard palate and try to relax the shoulders.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to the third eye while inhaling.
- While exhaling, open the mouth, stretch all the muscles of face and protrude the tongue as far as possible and make “haaa” sounds like a lion’s roar.
- The mouth should be opened as wide as possible.
- This is Lion’s Breath. Maintain the final position for 20-30 seconds before inhaling again.
- Practice Simha Pranayama for 3-4 rounds.
- In the end, bring the tongue back into the mouth and relax your throat and facial muscles.
- Take a few deep breaths.
#5. Baddha Konasana or The Butterfly Pose
- Getting your kids to do Baddha Konasana or the butterfly yoga pose can be beneficial to help them sleep better.
- To practice Baddha Konasana, sit with your legs straight and outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- While exhaling, fold your knees in such a way that your heels come near the pelvic area.
- Join both the heels together and bring them as close to the pelvis as possible.
- Hold your toes with both the hands or clasp both the hands to the respective ankle if you are unable to hold your toes while practicing Baddha Konasana.
- Drop your knees towards the floor and push both your feet together.
- Lengthen your spine from the front of the torso to the sternum in such a way that you are pulling your body down towards the floor.
- The aim of this asana is to touch the knees to the floor or the yoga mat and to bring the head in front of your feet while having your torso flat over the legs.
- Do not force your knees to touch the floor or your head to bend forward completely on the ground. Release the thigh bones towards the floor. When you do this the knees will follow.
- Gaze at a point forward or towards your nose.
- Stay in this position for 1 to 5 minutes or for 15-20 breaths in Baddha Konasana.
- Maintain a constant breath while practicing Baddha Konasana.
- To release Butterfly pose, first unclasp the hands from the toes and then lift your knees and extend your legs on the floor in Dandasana.
#6. Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose for Kids to Sleep Better
Steps to practice Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose:
- To practice, Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, lie on your back on the ground or on the Yoga Mat.
- While inhaling deeply, fold both of your legs from the knees and bring them as close as possible to your belly.
- Press the folded legs into your belly if your body is flexible enough. Make sure that you do not ever stretch your body while doing this. Go only as far as your body allows. Exhale deeply in this position.
- While inhaling deeply again, hold the outside part of your feet with your hands. Bring your knees to widen a little more than your torso and bring your knees to push into your underarms. You can also use a yoga prop like a strap or a scarf to stretch your legs if it is not possible for your hands to reach your feet.
- In this position, your ankle should be positioned a little above your knee and your shins should be perpendicular to the ground.
- Gently open up your hips to intensify the stretch.
- While practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, tuck your chin into the chest and make sure that your head is always touching the floor.
- While you press your heels up with your hands, press the sacrum and tailbone into the ground while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose.
- Also, press the back of neck and shoulders into the floor. While practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, the back should be lying straight on the floor.
- Breathe normally and stay in this pose for a few breaths or for as long as your body feels comfortable.
- Release the pose while exhaling and by leaving the grip on your feet in such a way that the legs are stretched straight on the floor.
- Relax in Shavasana for a few seconds and proceed to the next asana.
#7. Marjariasana or the Cat Stretch Pose for Kids to Sleep Better
Steps to practice Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose:
- To get into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose, you must get into Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose first as mentioned above.
- Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Lean forward and place your hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Make sure that your hands should be in line with the knees while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- The arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- The knees may be together or slightly separated while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- This is the Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose starting position.
- Inhale deeply while raising the head and depressing the spine in such a way that the back becomes concave while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Hold the breath in this position for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Exhale deeply while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- While practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose, at the end of exhalation contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
- The head will now be between the arms, facing the thighs.
- Hold the breath again in this position for 3 seconds in such a way that you are accentuating the arch of the spine and the abdominal contraction while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- This completes one round of Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Practice at least 5 to 8 rounds of Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
- Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
- After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1 to 2 minutes.
#8. Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose for Kids to Sleep Better
Steps to practice Vajrasana or the Thunderbolt’s pose:
- To practice Vajrasana, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Kneel down while bending your lower legs backwards in such a way that they are kept together and the big toes of both the feet are crossing each other.
- To practice Vajrasana, gently lower your body on the lower legs in such a way that the thighs are resting on your calves.
- Keep your hands on your knees and set your gaze on a point and look forward while keeping your head and neck straight.
- Maintain your breath while practicing Vajrasana. You should inhale and exhale deeply while sitting in this position.
- Close your eyes while breathing and focus on the eye center and try to calm your mind.
- Beginners should try to stay in this position for 5-10 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
#9. Shavasana or The Corpse Pose for Kids to Sleep Better
Steps to practice Shavasana or The Corpse Pose:
- To practice Shavasana or The Corpse Pose, lie on the floor on your back.
- Keep your feet a few inches apart and let them fall loose sideways.
- Let your arms lie alongside your body with your palms facing upwards.
- Now, gently close your eyes and let your whole body relax, slowly starting from your head to toe. Feel every part of your body getting relaxed.
- Take deep breaths and relax yourself in this pose for a considerable amount of time.