Considering introducing your toddler to the world of yoga? Are you a yoga lover hoping to turn your toddler into a fellow yogi? Or, maybe you don’t know much about yoga and are looking for resources that will help you guide your little’s practice?
Yoga can have such a positive impact on the toddler brain and body. It’s so much more than just exercise for both us and our toddlers. But, what’s the best way to go about teaching yoga to someone so little?
In this post, we will talk about the benefits of yoga for toddlers, cover 5 simple ways to teach your toddler yoga, and learn about the top 5 toddler yoga mats.
**This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
Benefits of Yoga for Toddlers
Yoga can have such a positive impact on your toddler’s mind, body, and spirit. It’s so much more than just burning off some of that crazy toddler energy; Yoga for your toddler:
- Builds strength and flexibility: Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for your toddler. They can build muscle and strength through standing poses and improve their flexibility through basic stretches.
- Encourages concentration: Balancing poses and proper breathing techniques promotes concentration. Your toddler will learn to focus through achieving various poses.
- Promotes language development: Kids yoga usually includes some kind of story, song, or pretend play. This provides your toddler with the opportunity to learn new words and improve their language skills. Connecting new words with movement can make a huge impact in their learning process.
- Develops body awareness: Yoga also helps develop body awareness and coordination. Your toddler will learn how to listen to their bodies and make a connection between their mind and movements.
- Boosts confidence: Conquering new poses can help boost your toddler’s self-esteem. They’ll find joy in their inner self through practice, mindfulness, and role play.
- Relieves stress: The simplest changes can be stressful for toddlers. Even just transitioning from waking up to meal time. A little bit of meditation, poses, and controlled breathing can create a sense of calmness for your toddler in their crazy world. Yoga provides a safe outlet for them to release their stress and frustration and reduces tantrums and meltdowns.
- Helps them wind down: Yoga is a great way to help your toddler clear their mind, relax, and just wind down. It’s a perfect addition to your nighttime routine to help your toddler fall asleep.
5 Simple Ways to Teach Your Toddler Yoga
If introducing yoga to your toddler seems like a daunting task, then you’re just over-thinking mama. Yoga doesn’t have to be anything formal. You can do it wherever or whenever!
Just keep it simple, easy, and fun. And, if your toddler isn’t interested, just leave it be. I’m sure they will come around when they are ready. Just continue to incorporate yoga into your daily routine.
Don’t worry if you’re no yoga-guru. There are so many resources out there to help you introduce simple toddler-friendly poses to your little.
1. Lead by Example
Remember, your kids are always watching you, and they learn best through example. If you start practicing yoga on a regular basis in front of your kids, then they’re bound to join in sooner or later.
Set a good example for your toddler by practicing new poses, breathing techniques, and meditation with intention and confidence. Now, you might end up with your two-year old on your back, but just keep it fun and embrace this special bonding time with your little.
2. Take a Mommy and Me Yoga Class
Many yoga studios today offer mommy and me classes for babies and toddlers. This is a great way to introduce yoga to your toddler, as they can watch and connect with other toddlers along the way. Plus, getting out of the house is great for your mental and physical well-being as well mama.
Do a quick online search to find yoga studios in your area that offer mommy and me classes. Another great way to find classes is by asking in local mom groups on Facebook or just other moms you may know. I’m sure there’s a class not too far away.
3. Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
If you’re worried about not being creative or silly enough to make yoga fun for your toddler, DON’T BE! There are videos and apps out there to provide all the songs and story-telling for you. All you have to do is hit play and practice with your toddler.
One of our favorite ways to do yoga is through Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on YouTube. There are so many episodes to chose from, many of which are under 15 or even 10 minutes long, which is the perfect length for the toddler attention span.
The instructor, Jaime, is enthusiastic and just loads of fun. Here are a few of our favorite Cosmic Kids videos:
1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
2. Betsy the Banana
3. Pedro the Penguin
4. Simple Poses Book Series
If you prefer to go screen-free or want an even shorter practice for your toddler, then you might want to check out the book series, Simple Poses for Little Ones. This little series introduces basic yoga poses by having your toddler pretend to be animals.
Each page has a different animal on it with a cute little phrase to go along with. The last page has all the different poses on it, each with its proper yoga name and a description of how to perform the pose.
We have Yoga Bear and Yoga Bug so far, and can’t wait to get Yoga Whale. Our toddler asks to practice these books almost every single day. They’re perfect for helping her spirited self wind down before bed.
5. Daily Practice
Toddlers thrive on repetition and routine. A predictable schedule helps toddlers feel more secure and keeps tantrums and meltdowns at bay.
If you include yoga in that daily routine, you can double the stress relief for your toddler. The physical exercise of yoga helps relieve stress by releasing endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. The daily structure helps order your toddler’s day and lets them know what they can expect next. This is huge, since toddlers lack sense of time.
Choose a time or two during the day as your set yoga practice. Make sure there is an activity before and after your toddler’s yoga as well, so they know what’s coming. For example, brushing our teeth at night is the cue that our yoga books are next, and our yoga books are cue that it’s time to lay down after that.
The Best Toddler Yoga Mats
Now, of course you don’t necessarily need a yoga mat for your toddler. You could always just use a rug, the grass, or those floor foam squares.
But, having a space of their own can certainly make yoga more enticing. Plus, it will help keep your toddler from crawling all over you. A yoga mat is also just nice to have for classes or to create a designated yoga space in your home. Here are my top 5 picks for toddler yoga mats:
Your toddler will love all the fun prints that come with the Gaiam mats, and you’ll love that they’re completely non-toxic. Your toddler can choose from dinos, rockets, seahorses, owls, or even a hot zebra print.
The Gaiam Kids Mat has a non-slip design, providing a secure grip for your active toddler. They could be a bit thicker however. Each mat also comes with a downloadable yoga class, specifically designed for kids to help you introduce them to the world of yoga.
Dimensions: 60″ L x 24″ W x 3mm
Rating: 4.5 Stars
This adorable yoga mat is perfect for practice, play time, or even nap time. It’s a great size for toddlers, but can be used for years to come.
You’ll feel safe knowing it’s free of latex, phthalates, PVC and BPA. It’s also made with double layered TPE foam, so it’s nice and cushiony.
It’s designed for easy cleaning and blocks away moisture and bacteria, which is perfect for grummy little toddler hands. Only downside is that it doesn’t come with a carrying strap.
Dimensions: 52″L x 24″W, Extra Thick 1/4 Inch
Rating: 4.5 Stars
This kids yoga mat is the perfect size for toddlers. It’s lightweight and easy to roll up when not in use. It has rounded edges and a non-slip design to keep your toddler safe while practicing.
You can choose from three cute designs, and use the prints to guide your toddler’s hand and feet placements. The mat is phthalate-free, but many moms have found the smell to be quite strong right out of the packaging. I’d probably let it air out for a few days before letting your toddler use it.
Dimensions: 60 ” x 24″ x 1/4″
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The Phresh Chi mat is perfect for guiding a new yogi . Use the shapes and symbols to help tell your toddler where to place their hands, feet, and other body parts.
Each mat comes with an easy to follow how-to poster and access to free online videos and an IPAD app detailing each of the exercises so you can help your toddler achieve proper alignment.
I love that this mat is eco-friendly, durable, and easy to clean. It’s a perfect starter mat. However, it is a bit more pricey than some other kids mats.
Dimensions: 60” x 18.5” x 5mm
Rating: 4 Stars
If you’re worried about your toddler hurting themselves, this is the mat to get. It’s extra thick and cushiony, which is perfect for young toddlers just learning how to control their body.
It’s lightweight and even comes with a carrying strap, so your toddler can carry it into yoga class by themselves.
This mat is durable, easy to clean, and is sure to be nice and comfy. However, without all the fun prints, yoga might be less enticing for your toddler, and you may find it more difficult to guide their body placements.
Dimensions: 60”L x 24” W x 1/2″
Rating: 4 stars
A Toddler Yogi
Yoga is a great way to take the time and step out of our busy world and nurture our toddlers’ growing minds and bodies. Not only is yoga a great way to burn off your toddler’s energy, but it also relaxes the mind, reduces stress, improves body awareness, and enhances language development.
And luckily, you don’t have to even be a yoga-guru to introduce yoga to your toddler. There are several books, videos, and classes out there to help you teach your toddler yoga. A daily practice can even be an excellent way for you two to bond.
So, roll out your mats and start striking some poses. Your toddler will be a yogi in no time!
What About You?
Do you enjoy doing yoga with your toddler? What are some of your favorite ways to practice yoga with your little? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other toddler moms.
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