By Sara J. Weis
Love is in the air, and now is the time to let your heart shine. Yes, flowers and candy are a lovely thought for adults this season, but it is also a good time to open your heart and show acceptance and compassion for others.
These heart-opening exercises are especially beneficial for kids and adults who spend the majority of their day slouched in desks at school and work or with their heads bent over screens and books. These exercises take only minutes and will help improve posture and release back and neck tension as well as create an openness in your body and mind.
- Cat to Cow Pose: Begin on your hands and knees. Next round your back and tuck your chin into your chest as if you are a cat. Then look up, arch your back and open your chest into Cow Pose. This is a great way to strengthen your spine and begin to feel your heart opening.
- Updog Pose: Lie on your tummy. Place the palms of your hands next to your shoulders and look up. Slowly straighten your arms and open your chest. It is okay to keep arms bent as well.
- Bridge or Wheel Pose: Kids love trying to get into Wheel Pose, but this huge heart opener is not easily accessible for all. For an easier but still effective heart opener, try Bridge Pose. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arms alongside your body, tuck your chin into your chest, and lift your back to create a bridge.
- Camel Pose: Take this pose slowly and feel your heart open. Get on your knees, lean back slowly, and place your hands on your lower back or ankles. Tilt your head back, open your chest, and breathe.
- Bow Pose: Lie on your tummy, bend your knees, and lift your chest. Reach your arms back toward your toes and hold onto your feet. Let your heart shine!
Show the little ones you care about and give your own body some love by trying these 5 kid-friendly heart opening yoga exercises. These poses will help you open your own heart and mind, and by practicing them with kids you will also help them let their heart shine!
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Sara J. Weis, author of Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga With Kids and the creator of The Kids Yoga Challenge. She is a certified kid and adult yoga instructor and holds a master’s degree in education with over 18 years of teaching experience. Using all of her knowledge and experience Sara has created and kid-tested hundreds of yoga games, lessons, and movement ideas that will help instill the lifelong benefits of yoga in all kids. Find more information at gogogyogakids.com.