One of the many wonderful things about practicing yoga with your little ones is that you have a pint-sized partner to try new poses with. Acroyoga has been making waves recently for its gravity-defying, mesmerizing partner poses.
If you’re still building up the skills to be the acroyoga base for an adult, AND want to introduce your kids to the fun world of acroyoga, these beginner acroyoga poses can be the perfect chance to do both.
1. Classic Airplane with a Twist
We all had the joy of balancing on our parent's feet as a kid. Letting your kids fly is a great way to pique their interest in doing yoga together, and it helps you build strength in the arms and legs too.
Try it out: Lying on your back, bend your knees so your feet lift off the floor. Have your child stand by your feet facing you. Ask your child to have a strong, slightly stiff body, like a board. Place your feet on or around your child’s hip bones, facing out. Then reach for their hands, and gently pull them towards you as your lift your feet. Your child should then be hovering over you with their face just above your own.
Variations: Once you’ve nailed the airplane, you can start to play around with these variations of the pose:
- Have your kiddo reach their hands behind them, “look mom, no hands!”
- The child bends at the waist so their head comes toward your belly for a gentle forward fold. It helps if the child’s legs are opened wide.
- Have the child place their elbows in your hands and rest their chin in their hands. Lift their elbows slightly to give them a nice stretch in the back.
Coming down: Holding your child’s hands, slowly lower them back down to the floor.
2. Big Backbend
This pose is essentially the same as airplane, but with the child facing away from you. It is a big backbend so definitely have the child warm up first.
Try it out: Again, lying on your back, have your child stand by your hands, facing away from you. Clasp on to their ankles. With your feet lifted, the child will start to stretch back and eventually land with their shoulders on your feet. You will reach your feet back towards your head to catch them.
Coming down: Gently push your child forward with your feet and tell them to deeply engage their core to pull themselves back to standing.
3. Lift Off
This pose is a progression from the pervious Big Backbend.
Try it out: With your child resting on your feet, start to lift off, holding the child in the air above you. You’ll extend your feet towards the ceiling as you lift your hands overhead. Remind your kiddo to stay strong to support their head and neck.
Coming down: Lower your arms and legs back down, and then gently help guide your child back to standing.
4. High Chair
This pose will have your child sitting on the tops of your feet in the air. It requires quite a bit of strength and balance for both parties.
Try it out: Laying on your back, bend your knees with feet flat on the floor. Have your child stand with feet on either side of you. Then, have them sit on your bent knees. Take one foot at a time into your hand, palms facing up. Then your child will start to stand up in your hands, using the engagement of the core and legs for balance.
Gradually lift one foot at a time and place them under the child’s bum for a seat. Your child can hold on to your feet or ankles for support, or reach their hands in the air.
Coming down: Come out of the pose the same way your came in. Have your child stand so you can lower your feet and have them come onto your knees.
5. Double Plank
Take your core workout to the next level with this ultra plank pose.
Try it out: Laying flat on your belly, have your child lay on top of you with their feet on your shoulders and hands on your ankles. You’ll then push yourself up into a Plank with a flat back. Your child will attempt to extend their arms and push into a flat plank themselves.
If it is too challenging to enter the pose this way, try starting with your child standing on the mat beside you. Once you are in Plank, the child can place their hands on your ankles, and gently place one leg at a time on your back. It might help to have a second adult assisting this pose the first time you practice it.
Coming down: Slowly drop onto your belly and have you child slowly drop down onto your back.
Getting into these poses with your little one is a great way to build strength, encourage trust, and most importantly, laugh and play together. Getting kids excited about yoga is a great way to set them up for a lifetime of healthy living and taking care of themselves. What better way to spend time together?!
Image credit: Aneta Gab