A Mother’s Sweet Goodnight

YogaKids Teacher Julie Pate wrote this poem after a guided meditation taught at a YogaKids Transformations Training while on her journey to become a Certified YogaKids Teacher. Julie shares that her YogaKids journey transformed her life by transforming her career and relationships . Learn how you can transform your life and become a Certified YogaKids Teacher HERE

A Mother’s Sweet Goodnight
By Julie Pate

The sun has long since set on our day; we sit together as sleep approaches
It is dark, except for the soft glow of the bathroom light in the distance
The fan above gently brushes the warm air against our skin

Love floats through the room resting softly on his nose, and then my shoulder
So fully present in these moments; it feels as if the love can be touched, and held

With the day’s distractions gone, we can finally be here together
and savor each moment, like the last few tastes in a bowl of ice cream

His voice is young and full of wonder as he shares his triumphs and dreams
Tenderness passes from mother to son and back again
We close the day with a thankful awareness
and a hope for another day, to love some more.

A note from the author: “I hope this poem inspires you to cultivate a quiet moment with someone you love today.” And when you are in that moment, may you pause in awe of just how beautiful it is.


Become a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

Car Yoga

Family on Road Trip Together

My husband likes to take family rides in the car, as a way to spend time together and get out of the house. But, the minute I think of our three young kids cooped up in our mini-van, I immediately see into the future and hear “Stop kicking my seat,” “I’m bored,” “I’m hungry/thirsty,” or the ever so popular “Are we there yet?” This is where car yoga comes in!

Driving in the car is not an appealing adventure for our kids, unless there is an exciting destination. We can listen to music and play a few car games, but after an hour or so, their attention shifts and bothering each other becomes their primary focus. Car yoga helps to redirect their energy and calm their minds and bodies.  My kids are familiar with the YogaKids breaths and poses, so they can typically adjust them for the car as needed.

I begin by explaining why we need car yoga in that moment– and it is usually because someone is upset or bothered by their sibling. We might begin with “Peace Breath” and after a deep inhale, we exhale and whisper the word “peace.” We begin to imagine peace inside the car, peace between siblings and peace in the world.

We then want to bring our attention to parts of our bodies that have been still since sitting in the car. We might do “Eyes Around the Clock” to exercise our eyes; looking up and down with our eyes a few times, while keeping our heads still. Then looking left and right a few times. We can then start at the top of the ear and gently squeeze or massage down the curl of the outer ear to the lobe and back up. This is a great way to bring their attention to their ears and be sure they are listening to and respecting their siblings.

Keeping our eyes and ears open, we can do a modification of “360-Degree Owl” pose. We turn our heads slowly from side to side stretching our necks and wrap our arms behind us, so that we can open our chest. Followed by “Lizard Tongue,” we flick our tongues in and out as we pretend to catch a bug for a snack. This helps release tension in the jaw and bring our awareness to our mouths and our words – remembering to be impeccable with our word choice.

Lastly we do a seated “Lemon Toes” exercise. We imagine we are sipping sour lemonade up from the bottom of our feet to every part of the body and then breathe out and relax. Doing this a few times, helps release the physical tension that was build up in their bodies. With the kids’ attention redirected, we can keep driving and hopefully reach our destination before they get bored again!  Learn all these car yoga poses in the YogaKids book, available in the YK Shop!

YogaKids Poses:

  •   Peace Breath
  •   Eyes Around the clock
  •   360-Degree Owl
  •   Lizard Tongue
  •   Lemon Toes

Learn ALL the YogaKids Poses as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

The Importance of Connection

YogaKids class in Circle of Friendship Flowers Pose

YogaKids creator Marsha Wenig knew the importance of connection when she created the YogaKids program over twenty years ago. Marsha created 14 original Elements that YogaKids teachers weave into their classes to create fun, educational, creative lesson plans that are designed to help children thrive. Several of these Elements along with many poses, activities and techniques are designed to help children connect to each other, the world and to their own unique goodness.

Extensive research shows that having good-quality relationships can help us to live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems. A sense of connection helps children feel emotionally and physically safe and valued; they develop healthy social abilities and have a sense of sharing and caring for each other. The centerpiece of opening our heart is to remember that we belong to each other.

Professor Brene Brown says, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” The YogaKids program helps teachers offer children this sense of belonging and connection. Whatever we practice gets stronger and when children practice compassion and love, that part of them grows immensely and they tap into that part of themselves that is full of light, full of love.

The Ecological Echoes Element connects children to plants, animals and the environment. This Element allows teachers to weave in fun facts while teaching poses. In Downward Facing Dog pose, children might learn that dogs have the ability to detect changes in the human body and are used to help diabetic and seizure patients. While in Tree pose, students might learn that California holds the record for the oldest living trees, with some thought to be 4,000-5,000 years old. Children get the physical benefits of these poses, but also learn to understand their connection to the world.

The Bridge of Diamonds Element teaches children that they are like a diamond: unique and brilliant in their own way. And every child can build a “bridge” from themselves to the larger world. Many YogaKids poses can be transformed into partner or group poses. For example, in Tree pose, children can hold hands and notice how getting a little help from their friend helps them find balance. Bridge of Diamonds poses and techniques give children the confidence to open their hearts and connect to others.

Connecting poses help children feel a sense of community. Many YogaKids activities offer children the chance to work together, while simultaneously celebrating their own unique qualities. In Circle of Friendship Flower (pictured above) children kneel in a circle, holding hands. They inhale and reach arms up, then exhale and fold down into Child’s Pose.  In this pose, when children rise up and back bend, it symbolizes opening their hearts to life. Often when we get hurt, we fold in to protect ourselves, and in the effort, we close ourselves off to life and love. YogaKids helps us to teach children to rise up and stay open to life, open to love and open to seeing their own brilliance.

Poet Thomas Merton said, “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” YogaKids helps children find their true destiny and bask in the beauty of their own true nature.

Discover all the YogaKids Elements in our Certification Program!



Count Your Blessings Craft

Gratitude Jars

It’s so important to count your blessings! Our Blessings Jar began several years back on November 1s. We would nightly write what we were thankful for on a slip of paper and place it in the “Blessings Jar” that rested on the kitchen table. We would watch our blessings grow as the jar became fuller and fuller. One evening, my daughter asked if she could write more than one blessing to be placed in the jar. Of course!  Write down all your blessings.   

On Thanksgiving ,we would read what everyone had written in the weeks prior. However, one Thanksgiving about two years ago, we visited our out-of-town family for Thanksgiving and didn’t bring our Blessing Jar with us. Upon returning home, my oh-so-smart daughter said “let’s not read them but wait till New Year’s Eve and watch the jar get fuller.”   

Our once Thanksgiving Blessings Jar is now an Everyday Blessing Jar. On January 1st we empty the jar to remember all our Blessings from throughout the year. I have to admit it was a GREAT way to start the new year. As we eat dinner each of us choose a “blessing” (slip of paper with a blessing written on it) from the jar, read it aloud then passed the jar to next person to continue till the jar was empty and our hearts were full.   

I was in complete awe listening to what others found important, blessed or special in the months prior.  There were even days and events that I had forgotten. Not only was this a great way to “count our blessings” but also a nice revisit to the special and everyday events we all encountered.  

When we were finished revisiting our blessings, I place the small blessings paper in a special envelope marked “2013 Blessings.” In the years to come, it will be fun to return to the envelop to listen to our blessings and see our child’s handwriting, vocabulary and spelling evolve.

I look forward to watching the jar fill, grow and runneth over with love and gratitude for all our blessings.

Join our tradition of the Blessings Jar.

  • Choose a jar of your choice – mason jar, recycle jelly jar, pretty jar from the store…  look for something that speaks to you.
  • Decorate your jar with your favorite colors, ribbon, yard, stickers. Be creative. Make it yours.
  • Place paper and pen next to your jar to record your daily blessings.
  • Or place a stone, marble or trinket into the jar every time they feel blessed to watch their blessing grow.  

Make this project yours. We would love to hear what you do or see a photo of your blessings jar. May you be blessed with love and gratitude,

Get all our Great Ideas as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

Losing Daylight: Help Children Stay Positive During this Season of Change

losing daylight - child playing in fall leaves

It’s finally fall! While the season brings with it exciting things like pumpkin patches, cider, candy apples and Halloween, it also means it’s beginning to get darker outside earlier. Losing daylight has the potential to impact kids and their mental well-being.

The term that accompanies the sadness which corresponds to the change in seasons and loss of sunlight, is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Known as S.A.D. for short, it affects the young more often than the elderly. S.A.D. is identifiable through negative thoughts, an increased amount of time sleeping and isolation once grey skies appear, and can lead to more serious depression.

It’s important for us to help children fight through S.A.D. and find ways to stay positive and motivated throughout fall and winter. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ways to ensure kids are as happy as possible, no matter the weather outside.

Make Home Cozy

As the weather becomes colder, people spend more time indoors at home. Embracing the seasonal change and making home a comfy haven is one easy way to promote happiness in kids. Having your home be a relaxing place to spend time can have a tremendous impact on a child’s mood. Have plenty of soft blankets around to cuddle under while watching T.V. or having a movie night. With constant adult supervision, light a few candles to create a cozy atmosphere. Check any negativity at the door and ensure you and the kids have a calm space to bask in and forget the weather.

Keep Active

When the weather is dark and grey, it’s easy for kids to feel less motivated. Don’t let that impact the time they spend being active. Activity is not only healthy for their bodies, it’s also beneficial for mental health. Exercise, in any form, helps release endorphins and feel good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to help regulate moods and fight sadness and depression. One great exercise to start is yoga. Combining the physical poses and stretches with the mental focus and meditation, makes yoga a great exercise for children’s happiness.

Aid in Restful Sleep

Sleep is always important, but it becomes even more so when battling sadness and depression. We want to make sure kids are getting the right kind of sleep. This means a good and restful nine to eleven hours per night, depending on age. To help kids accomplish this, make sure they’re comfortable in their beds. This all starts with a good base; your kids mattress should foster a good night’s sleep and benefit the way they like to sleep. Then look to their surroundings. Instead of allowing them to sleep with the T.V. on for noise and light, buy a white noise machine and night light. Listen to what their preferences are and work with them to create it. Beware of oversleeping though, as this is a sign of S.A.D.

Get Creative

When they’re feeling sad, give kids an outlet to express themselves. Children are inherently creative, so giving them the tools to showcase this helps to grow that skill while also teaching them to channel their feelings. Have a dedicated craft box filled with supplies for your child to turn to when they’re feeling sad and need something to uplift them. This also offers the perfect opportunity for you to spend time together working on a project. Having your child explain their craft to you can also give you insight into their feelings so you’re able to understand why they’re sad and think of more ways to help.

Set an Example

You are a child’s biggest role model. In their eyes, you have all the answers and the ability to make anything better. Set an example as the seasons change and show your kids how to be happy. Embrace the fun activities that come along with fall and winter, instead of focusing on the increased grey skies and darkness. Spend more time with them to make them feel less lonely and talk to understand how they’re feeling. Being a positive presence in their lives during this time of year can truly make a difference in the way they view the outside.

Learn more ways to help kids as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

Spring Time Yoga Poses

girl in butterfly pose

Spring is such a magical time… and here in the Magical Garden, we LOVE IT so much! The weather gets warmer and flowers begin to bloom. It’s a time for bunnies, butterflies, and flying kites. Join us in celebrating spring with some of our favorite YogaKids poses!


Reach for the Sun

  1. Begin in by standing tall in Mountain pose.
  2. Breathe in and reach up high with an outstretched hand.
  3. Grab a piece of sunshine and pull the power into your solar plexus, your inner sun.
  4. Exhale with a “HAH” breath.
  5. Repeat with the other arm.
  6. Alternately reach with the left and right arms.
  7. As you practice, increase the force of your breath.


 Circle of Friendship Flowers

  1. Kneel in a circle with a group of your friends. Hold hands.
  2. As you inhale, reach your arms up, lift your buttocks off your heels, and stretch back arching your back and neck.
  3. As you exhale, continue to hold hands and fold down into Child’s Pose.
  4. Repeat a few times imagining all the different flowers that you could be.


Butterfly with Antennae

  1. Begin in L-Sitting pose, with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bring the bottoms of your feet together, with your heels close to your body and your knees out to each side.
  3. Stretch your neck and the top of your head toward the sky and make your spine longer.
  4. Place your hands at the sides of your head and stick up your pointer fingers to make antennae.
  5. Pull your arms back like they’re your wings.
  6. Breathe in and out as you flap your wings forward and back, up and down.



  1. Begin by standing tall in Mountain pose.
  2. Come onto your tippy toes and stretch your arms up and out to the side like tree arms.
  3. Lean to one side and stretch a leg out to the other side.
  4. Change sides.
  5. Play with your balance as you find your way and move with the wind.
  6. Feel your body flying like a kite!


Bunny Breath

  1. Get comfortable in a seated pose.
  2. Make your neck and back as long as you can, tucking in your chin slightly and letting your lower jaw relax.
  3. Take short, quick breaths in through your nose.
  4. Twitch your nose like a bunny. Then breathe out through your mouth with a long, smooth sigh.
  5. Repeat, increasing the number of inhalations and the length of your exhalations as your breath power gets stronger!

Learn more Spring Time poses as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

Help Children Experience More Joy with Lemon Toes

Lemon Toes pose

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) was developed by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, and is a technique in tensing and relaxing the muscles. This technique leads to an increase in relaxation throughout the entire body, essentially, physical tension melts, which in turn relaxes the mind and emotions. YogaKids creator Marsha Wenig developed the Lemon Toes technique to take a very adult practice and make it kid-friendly. In this version of PMR, children imagine their toes are straws, sipping sour lemonade up from their toes to every part of the body. Children sip, pucker, breath and relax.

Cultivate Contentment

Santosha is one of the niyamas, yoga’s observances, and it means contentment. Life can be very challenging, and Lemon Toes helps kids understand that pain comes and goes. Children develop tools to cultivate contentment even in challenging times. In Lemon Toes, we experience the sensation of constriction, tightening and compression in the entire body, followed by a feeling of ease. This can be very comforting to children as they begin to trust that pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is not. Living a joyous life is less about avoiding challenges, and more about how we deal with and think about life’s challenges. Lemon Toes helps kids experience tension and realize that they are still OK. It gives them trust in the universe.

Author and happiness expert Shawn Achor says that only 10% of happiness is based on our external world meaning where we live, what fun “stuff” we have, the weather etc… 90% is based on how our brain processes what happens to us. We could be sitting on a beach in Hawaii sipping a fruit drink while someone rubs our feet and still be miserable — or we could be walking in Chicago on a cold dark windy April morning and experience much joy. Lemon Toes helps kids process discomfort as a natural part of life, and helps them to experience less fear and anxiety around discomfort.

Welcome Opposites

When we experience pain, it is important to also find the opposite of that — or ease. Dr. Deepak Chopra spent time in a monastery in India, and part of their practice was to go out into the streets barefoot and beg for their food. Deepak told his teacher that walking barefoot was extremely painful and his teacher told him to focus on the foot that is in the air. In Lemon Toes, kids experience constriction and then the opposite of that, extreme ease. The ease is much sweeter after the constriction than before. Children are able to notice their being more easily and the practice is very mindful. Welcoming the opposite of sensation improves focus and concentration.

Body Sensing

Mindfulness refers to staying in the present moment; it leads to a deeper sense of peace. When we shut of the mind’s constant stream of thoughts (many of which are negative), we tap into that place in ourselves that is full of peace. Body sensing is a mindfulness technique used to draw focus inward. We can’t sense the body and think at the same time so thoughts begin to melt away. Lemon Toes draws the attention inward, and children improve focus, concentration and reduce stress.


Lie on your back. Imagine that your toes are straws, sipping sour lemonade up from the bottom to every part of your body. Hold your breath as your toes curl and pucker. Breathe out as you relax your toes. Work your way up your legs, belly, chest, and arms, sipping, puckering, breathing and relaxing. Make a sourpuss face. Tighten up your nose, eyes, cheeks, teeth and forehead. Let our hair curl. Hold it, squeeze it tense it. Release. Finally, tighten your whole body at once. Hold it for 5-10 seconds. Completely release, relax. Feel the difference between sour, tight and ten

Learn ALL the YogaKids poses and their benefits as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!


Spring Is in the Air (a free YogaKids class plan!)

butterflies and flowers

What better way to celebrate the spring season than with a fun-filled YogaKids spring-themed lesson plan? Perfect to use in the home, studio or classroom, this FREE class plan includes a spring craft, a We All Win yoga game, an original yoga flow, poses perfect for the season, and much more!


  • name tags
  • crayons
  • sharpies
  • coloring pages
  • ping pong balls
  • straws



Spring is March 20 to June 21. When it’s spring in the northern hemisphere, it’s fall in the southern hemisphere (Australia). Share fun facts about spring as you do the following poses together:

  • Reach for the SunWe are closer to the sun in the spring.

Begin in Open Mountain pose. Breathe in and reach up high with an outstretched hand. Grab a piece of sunshine and pull the power into your solar plexus, your inner sun. Exhale with a “HAH” breath. Repeat with the other arm. Alternately reach with the left and right arms. As you practice, increase the force of your breath.

  • Moo and Meow  – Many animals have babies in the spring.

Begin in All Fours Pose. Line up your wrists under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and arch your spine to the sky. Loosen your neck and drop your head down. Breathe out long as you meow. Now lift your chest forward and look up with big cow eyes. Dip your belly down and tilt your sitting bones up. Your back will sink down like a cow’s. Make cow lips and moo deeply from the back of your throat. Go back and forth, meowing and mooing.

  • Polar BearAnimals such as bears who hibernate start to wake up and become active.

Begin in Heel-Sitting pose. Open your knees wide apart, toes touching behind you. Bend forward at the hips and slide your chest along the floor. Place your chin on the floor and put your paws over your nose to keep yourself warm. Breathe in and out.

  • Finger-Dancing/Salutations to MeDuring April, you will see more rain showers.

Sit on your heels or cross-legged. Begin at the top of your head and gently stimulate your hair and skin by lightly dancing your fingers all the way down your body. Allow the self-touch to feel good, as it wakes you up, stimulates your skin and lymph system and makes you feel alive. Do this technique along with Salutations to Me. Each time you touch a part of your body say a silent affirmation or kind statement to that place: toes; skull, hair, face, ears, neck, throat, chest, breasts, belly, bottom, legs, arms, feet, etc.

  • Circle of Friendship FlowersMay the flowers will start to bloom.

Kneel in a circle, holding hands. As you inhale, reach your arms up, lift your buttocks off your heels, and stretch back arching your back and neck. As you exhale, continue to hold hands and fold down into Child’s Pose. Repeat a few times imagining all the different flowers that you could be.



Do a Planting Seeds Yoga Flow together!

  • Mountain Stretch your arms up overhead and say “hello” to the sun and pluck some “seeds.”
  • Ragdoll Dig a little hole and plant the seeds.
  • Standing Half Forward BendLift halfway and pretend to pour water on the planted seeds.
  • Ragdoll Pat down the dirt around the planted seeds a bit more.
  • MountainClasp hands overhead, making a “sun” with raised arms.
  • Repeat the previous poses one time.
  • Low SquatIt’s time to see if anything has sprouted! Squat down low. I see something!
  • Mountain
  • TreePlace one leg on the shin and grow your branches up. What kind of tree are you?
  • Repeat the transition from “squat” to “tree” on the other side.

Celebrate springtime activities with the following poses:

  • Kite

Begin in Mountain pose. Come onto your tippy toes and stretch your arms up and out to the side like tree arms. Lean to one side and stretch a leg out to the other side. Change sides. Play with your balance as you find your way and move with the wind. Feel your body flying like a kite.

  • Wind Chimes

Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart. Swing your arms back and forth in harmony with your breath. Be sure to keep your feet planted. You are a wind chime moving with the wind. Now separate your feet into a wide stance. Bend forward and take your right hand to your left leg. Lift your left arm to the sky and look up. Now lower your left arm and take it to the right leg. Twist your torso towards the sky and look up. Go back and forth several times.

  • Roller Coaster – Amusement parks are open in the spring, and many towns host festivals!

Sit down in a line with your legs spread wide. Clasp your hands around the person in front of you. As the roller coaster climbs up the hill, lean back. Then lean forward as you speed downhill. Be brave and raise your hands as you lean from side to side

  • Butterfly with Antenae

Begin in L-Sitting pose. Bring the bottoms of your feet together, with your heels close to your body and your knees out to each side. Stretch your neck and the top of your head toward the sky and make your spine longer. Place your hands at the sides of your head and stick up your pointer fingers to make antennae. Pull your arms back like they’re your wings. Breathe in and out as you flap your wings forward and back, up and down.

  • Bridge – Some people take trips in the spring to visit family!

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Place your feet hip-width apart as close to the sit bones as possible. Press your feet into the ground and lift your hips to the sky. Place your hands however it’s comfortable to support your lower back and pelvis. Lift your chest and arch your spine.



Play Ping Pong Ball Breathing. Give each child a straw. Blow a ping-pong ball around the circle by blowing.



Print or draw flowers with 4-8 petals and have the students color in the flowers with a light color crayon, then write something they love about themselves on each petal.



The Cherry Blossoms – “My friend Rengetsu was returning from a pilgrimage when she stopped in a town to rest for the night. Although she appeared tired and hungry, each door she knocked on refused her lodging. As the sun began to set behind the hills, she hiked up to a cherry orchard on the hillside. There she made a little bed of leaves under the trees and fell asleep. But something stirred her in the middle of the night. A beautiful scent fell over her. Pulling herself up from the sleep, she saw the loveliest of sights, the black sky behind dozens of trees with pink cherry blossoms, all blooming radiant and shimmering in the moonlight. Rengetsu took in the beautiful experience. Then she turned toward the town, gave a little bow, and said, ‘Oh people of the village, thank you so much for turning me away tonight, for if you did receive me, and give me a place to rest in your home, then I would never have been able to witness such beauty!’” Imagine you are lying in the cherry blossom.



  • Fountain of Oms

Everyone chants OM at their own pace and rhythm. Start together, but everyone’s duration can be different. Let the OMs keep coming at various intervals; some short, some long. Feel the Fountain of OMs wash through and around you. The sound and vibration is very powerful. Keep your eyes closed and keep chanting. Keep the OMs flowing and allow the sound to cease with its own natural conclusion.

  • Namaste

Put your hands together at your heart and bow to each other.


Learn to write and teach your own YogaKids lesson plans!

Yoga Tools for Temper Tantrums

child screaming

When my son was 3, he was diagnosed with a dairy allergy. Not long after the diagnosis he had a meltdown over a Sponge Bob ice cream cone at a local zoo. Despite my efforts to entice him into a non-dairy treat, he insisted on the ice cream, and as the discussion continued, we both became more and more agitated. Eventually the incident ended in a full out screaming fit with my son lying down on his back and kicking his feet, while making balls out of his little fists. As a small crowd of people watched, I tried desperately to calm him down, eventually getting so angry myself that I picked him up and dragged him back to the car literally kicking and screaming.

Most parents of toddlers can relate to this story. Shortly after the zoo incident, I started yoga teacher training with YogaKids. In the ,training I learned many techniques to calm the body and the mind. I soon began to incorporate what I learned with my own children and it led to a harmonious journey into peaceful parenting the YogaKids way.


Take Steps to Prevent Tantrums

Setting clear boundaries, offering rewards for good behavior, and staying away from triggers will help to prevent tantrums. My son’s ice cream meltdown could have been prevented if I had steered clear of the ice cream stand in the first place. It would have also helped if, as a family, we avoided ice cream when together. Finding special non-dairy treats that my son liked and having those at-the-ready would also be a helpful tool to promote peace and happiness.


Stay Calm

During a temper tantrum, it is very easy to get angry and frustrated yourself, but this will only fuel the situation. If you stop and observe how you feel during the tantrum, you may find an inner calm present behind the stress that eases the tension in the situation. If you find calm, that energy will help to calm your child. Your child will come to understand that they can trust you to be peaceful and calm no matter what, and will find this comforting. Observing your breath is a great tool to focus on while the tantrum is happening. Once your child has calmed down, speak softly with kindness and empathy. Let your child know you understand why they were frustrated, and practice peaceful breathing or a mindfulness technique after the tantrum is over. This will build your child’s “peace muscle,” your child’s ability to tap into that part of them that is full of ease and joy.


Tantrums Can Help Your Children Get Their Feelings Out

As long as your child is safe, tantrums can help them to release frustrations. Small children often have a hard time articulating how they feel, and they may not have developed coping skills to handle life’s everyday stressors.  It is very healthy to release tension instead of keeping negative thoughts in. Crying, jumping up and down, or lying down and kicking can help to release tension. If we don’t express frustrations often, they lay dormant and can block positive energy and affect our ability to enjoy life.


YogaKids Tools for Temper Tantrums

YogaKids offers many tools to help kids release excess energy, move their bodies in healthy ways, and calm down and find peace.

Volcano – This pose offers a healthy outlet for tension.

Begin in Mountain pose; bring the fingertips together at the chest. Jump the feet apart. Place your palms together at the center of your body. Breathe in. Watch your hands as you raise them over head. Breathe out as you explode your arms outward. Lower them to your sides and return your hands to heart. Erupt and release again and again. Make big, exploding volcano noises.

Rocket Ship is another healthy way to blow off steam in a fun way.

Begin from a Squat, inhale and shoot your hands and body upward to the sky and make blast off noises. Come back down and do it a few more times.         

Peace Breath – Once stored energy has been released, Peace Breath is a great way to calm the nervous system.

Close your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Let your skin drape over your bones like a soft blanket. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Repeat 3 to 6 times

Swim Ducky Swim is a technique that can be used at the end of a yoga practice, at bedtime or anytime you have 5-10 minutes to calm down and help to increase focus.

Lie down on your back. Place a rubber ducky on your belly. Breathe gently in (your belly button rises) and out (your belly button sinks down.) As your belly rises and falls like the waves, your ducky surfs the waves as you inhale (breathe in) and floats as you exhale (breathe out). Give your ducky a slow and gentle ride with your breathing. You can used any small stuffed animal or favorite toy for this exercise.

Learn ALL the YogaKids poses and their benefits as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!

Helping Kids Choose Happiness

children in pedal laughing pose

I recently saw an interview on TV of a new mom with her baby. The reporter asked her what she wanted for her child.  “I just want her to be happy,” replied the mom, an answer that probably most of us would give. As new parents we give our baby their basic needs to satisfy their happiness. As toddlers, we find that instant gratification in the form of a toy or treat works to bring happiness.

There comes a time when a child can learn that happiness comes from within. Our feelings are never wrong; we just need to learn how to understand and cope with our emotions. As parents, teachers, and child advocates we can help kids choose happiness over unhappiness.

We can foster happiness by displaying positive emotions like empathy and gratitude. Surround the child with people who lift her up rather than bring her down. We can also reflect on our own attitude towards happiness. In yoga, we practice Santosha, or contentment. Would a bigger house or new vehicle truly make us happy?  If we often complain about material possessions, then the child will associate that with attaining happiness.

It is also valuable for a child to understand that being sad is okay too. The loss of a pet or a friend moving away will make us sad, and sometimes only time can help.

I feel so blessed to have YogaKids in my home and community to help nurture happiness within. When I teach a class, my intention is always to have the student leave feeling happier than they did prior to class. When I notice that a child in my YogaKids may be grumpy, here are some poses I incorporate:

 Volcano: This pose safely releases emotions. Fill your volcano with something you love!

Begin in Mountain pose. Bring your fingertips together at the chest. Jump your feet apart. Place your palms together at the center of your body in Namaste Position. Breathe in. Watch your hands as you raise them over your head. Breathe out as you explode your arms outward. Lower them to your sides and return your hands to Namaste. Erupt and release again and again. Make big, exploding volcano noises. Jump your feet back together when you’ve finished erupting.

 Untie the Knots: This pose loosens up your whole body to relax, shake, and feel great!

While standing, untie your neck by rolling your head around. Untie your shoulders by moving your shoulders up, down and all around. Untie all your knotted muscles and joints from head to toe. Massage and stroke them after you’ve untied them. Untie them until you feel nice and loose.

Tarzan’s Thymus Tap: This is a great pick-me-up for tired or cranky kids. The taps promote blood flow to the brain.

Start in any of the base poses, seated or standing. Make two fists and pound your chest. Pound and tap under your arms, too. Howl, yowl and yodel. Feel the power and vibration of your sounds.

Peace Breath: Send peace to all the parts of your body, especially your heart.

Close your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Let your skin drape over your bones like a soft blanket. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Repeat. As you say the word, feel the peace inside you. Send peace to the animals, trees and plants. Send peace to your family and friends. Send peace to countries in the world that are at war. Send peace to all the people you love.

Pedal Laughing: Laughter can be the best medicine! If you fake laugh long enough, it will eventually turn into a real laugh!

Lie on your back. Bend your arms and legs like you’re riding a bicycle in the air. Pedal forward and laugh. Pedal backward and laugh. It might be hard to really laugh at first, but once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Have fun and be silly with this one. Form a pedal laughing chorus. High-tone laughters are sopranos and lower ones are bass. Medium-low laughters are toners and medium-high are altos. Make music with your laughter!

In YogaKids classes we often incorporate books and music.  I love a book called The Feel Good Book by Todd Parr. It’s perfect for ages 4-7, but I find older kids enjoy it too. Of course, the popular song “Happy” by Pharrell is fun and sends a positive message too!

After Savasana, the time of relaxation and renewal at the end of yoga class, I love to incorporate quotes. A favorite of mine is from Dr. Seuss in his book Oh the Places You’ll Go!

“You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose
Choose happiness!

Learn ALL the YogaKids poses and their benefits as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!