Lion pose is a great stress reliever! If you can, try to do lion pose with your child, because children under 3 years, largely learn new movements by copying actions. Research is showing that toddlers and young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and communication, but also through movement. For adults, lion pose will give you an great opportunity to release the tension on your upper shoulders and back.
How to do lion pose
Before you start the pose, make sure you and your child are on a non-slip mat or carpet.
Start by doing Lion Yoga activity yourself, so that your child can copy you.
Sit cross legged or back on your heels on the floor.
Stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Show your child how you are keeping your elbows straight.
Bend your wrists to lift up your hands with your palms are facing outwards towards your child – your ‘lion claws!’
‘Roar’, gently at first, with your tongue pressed down on your chin.
Now encourage your child or toddler to do the Lion pose with you!
The benefits of lion pose
Progress balance skills Lion pose is a great way for your child to develop their balance skills, step by step. Start by encouraging them to do the pose sitting cross legged on the floor, then sitting back on their heels, then in kneeling, with their bottom off the floor, and finally in the ‘half kneeling’ position – with one leg in front.
Activate and strengthen ‘core’ muscles As your child does lion pose they will be strengthening their hip, tummy, and back muscles, but especially their shoulder muscles. Strong, active shoulder muscles will help your child to write. They will be able to use these muscles to support the weight of their arms and their delicate hand muscles can be used to grasp their pencil accurately.
Develop hand skills In lion pose your child will activate their ‘wrist extensor’ muscles – as they bring their hands up towards them. The ‘wrist extensor’ muscles are important for writing and ball skills. As your child stiffens their hands to make their ‘lion claws’, they will be strengthening their finger muscles.
Boost confidence Lion pose is great for your child’s confidence. It encourages them to feel strong and brave just like a lion! So that your child feels they are a strong lion encourage them to start doing Lion pose in sitting before they try the kneeling positions.
Progress speech skills If your child is a little shy to talk out loud, roaring like a lion will help them to activate and stimulate their speech muscles in a fun way.
A more challenging lion pose
To make lion pose more challenging, encourage your child to have a go at it in the kneeling position with their bottom off the floor.
Then see if they can bring one foot in front – this is called the ‘half kneeling’ position.
Lion pose games
Make your own jungle at home
Scatter a few cushions on the floor, making sure they are on a non-slip surface. Bath mats make great jungle grass!
Fold a piece of fabric on the floor to make a narrow bridge.
Now go on a Lion hunt! Download the Tatty Bumpkin Lion song
Toddlers and young children will love stepping on and off the cushions and mats.
Older children will enjoy the challenge of walking down the narrow bridge.
Make your own lion mask
Use part of an egg box or a paper plate to make your own scary lion mask… then go creeping through your jungle once more!
Tatty Bumpkin Classes
Remember, for you and your child to gain the full benefits of Children Inspired by Yoga classes and multi-sensory activities, find out about your local class.
Or, ask your child’s nursery if they are doing Children Inspired by Yoga activity sessions as part of their day. Our qualified teachers are fully trained in aspects of child development and yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, yoga teachers and musicians.
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