6 Yoga Poses Kids Can Do for Better Sleep

6 Yoga Poses Kids Can Do for Better Sleep
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by Janet Ashforth

Yoga for Better Sleep

Yoga before bedtime works like a miracle. Your kids can do yoga for better sleep, but some poses may energize them more, especially if your kids are already wound up from a stimulating day. These six yoga poses will calm them before bedtime and make the transition to sleep easier. The purpose of yoga is to prepare the body for meditation and increase mindfulness. So after you do bedtime yoga, take the opportunity to teach your kids to meditate. The yoga-meditation power duo will be your new bedtime superhero.

A good night’s rest will affect how your kids relate to the world. It will decrease anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and heart rate. Great sleep will increase your child’s ability to handle stress and give them a more positive outlook. They’ll have a better memory and an increased ability to problem solve.

Prep Tips

There’s no need for special equipment to do yoga with your kids. Just wear comfortable clothing and keep your feet bare. The carpet works great if you don’t have a yoga mat for each family member. Turn off all distractions like cell phones and television. If you want some type of sound, music that’s relaxing is the best choice. But there’s nothing wrong with silence.

All of the poses should be held for at least 30 seconds. As your family gets used to the poses, you can increase the time up to a few minutes. Just make sure you listen to your body and teach your kids to do the same. Kids most likely will not have the tightness in their bodies that you experience as an adult.

Animal Poses

These yoga poses will calm your child down and prepare them for sleep. Many of them are named after animals. Animal poses make yoga fun and easy for kids to understand. While yoga at any time of day can permit better sleep, try these poses with your kids right before bedtime. Do them in order to gently transition your kids toward a great night of sleep.

Cat Yoga Pose to Reduce Anxiety in Children

1. Cat Pose

Cat pose mimics a cat arching its back, so it’s easy for kids to learn and have fun with. This pose will stretch the muscles in your back and neck. It also helps to relax the mind, which can reduce anxiety and ADHD symptoms.

Sea Turtle Yoga Pose to Improve Child's Sleep

2. Sea Turtle Pose

Also known as Child’s Pose, Sea Turtle mimics the rounded hump of a Sea Turtle’s back. It relieves stress and gently stretches hips, back, thighs and ankles. This pose also helps with insomnia and makes falling asleep easier.

Fish Yoga Pose to Reduce Anxiety in Children

3. Fish Pose

Fish Pose leads to better emotional and physical health, which can help reduce anxiety in you and your kids. It also allows more oxygen and C02 to enter the lungs and brain. C02 acts as a natural sedative to the nerves. This pose also slows the breath to a rate that is more conducive to sleep. Fewer than 12 breaths per second are optimal. As a bonus, Fish Pose will also stretch the neck and spine.

Butterfly Yoga Pose for Child's Relaxation

4. Butterfly Pose

This great hip opener mimics the flapping of butterfly wings. Your kids will get a kick out of pretending to be a butterfly. This pose helps open up your child’s hips after sitting in school all day and is a great preparation for seated meditation.

Rabbit Yoga Pose to Alleviate Depression in Children

5. Rabbit Pose

Rabbit Pose is a relaxing posture that also alleviates depression and anxiety. It stretches back and neck muscles. Kids love this pose and can easily get into the full expression of the posture. Rabbit calms the mind and relieves tension around the neck and upper back, making sleep easier.

Doing Savasana with Kids

6. Savasana

Savasana may just become your favorite pose. Don’t be surprised if your kids start to fall asleep during the pose. If they get really sleepy, have them do this final pose in bed followed by meditation. The purpose of Savasana is to lie flat on your back and do nothing but breathe, which is harder than it sounds. Savasana shifts you into your parasympathetic nervous system, which is necessary for restorative sleep. You may find that your kids fall asleep before they are finished with meditation. They won’t even remember trying to fall asleep.

This bedtime yoga session will take you roughly 30 minutes depending on how long you hold each pose. 30 to 60 minutes before bed is the ideal time for your kids to do their bedtime yoga. When the yoga starts to feel too easy, do each pose twice.

Janet Ashforth is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and licensed Massage Therapist. She first studied to be a Personal Trainer in 1997 and since has worked at several popular gyms and owned her own fitness company. As a health and fitness expert, she’s helped countless individuals maintain or regain their health and wellness. Janet has raised three kids into happy and successful adulthood and now has her first grandchild. She also writes about food, nutrition, cooking and baking and is a “real food” advocate.

References:

1. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/cat-pose
2. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/child-s-pose
3. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/bound-angle-pose
4. https://arogyayogaschool.com/blog/health-benefits-matsyasana-fish-pose/
5. https://www.normalbreathing.com/diseases-sleep.php
6. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/learn-sasangasana-rabbit-pose
7. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/7-yoga-poses-thatll-help-you-fall-asleep-faster


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