Children inspired by yoga
If your child is about 4 years old or younger, they will learn new movements by looking at and copying others. Therefore it is best to do Volcano pose with your child or toddler so they can see what to do.
Volcano pose will give your own shoulders and chest a wonderful stretch too.
How to do volcano pose
Find a clear space and encourage your toddler or child to stand opposite you.
Together, curl up really small on the floor, as a ‘sleeping volcano’.
Sleep for a few seconds “1, 2, 3…” (count out loud with your child)
Then, suddenly, ERUPT! Come up onto your knees and spread your arms out wide!
Move from one knee to the other or gently twist from side to side to as your volcano continues to shower it’s lava everywhere!
The benefits of volcano pose
1. Strengthen arm, leg & core muscles
The movements of this pose promote whole-body strength.
2. Improve balance skills
As you get up quickly up from the floor in volcano pose, you will challenge your balance skills, through stimulating your body senses i.e. your proprioceptive and your vestibular sense. These balance reactions are important not only for sporting activities like football or dance but also for sitting in a good position to write. Children develop mature balance skills at about seven years of age. If your child is younger they will largely be using their sight to keep their balance. It is by moving around and quickly changing position that children progress their abilities so they need not have to rely on looking so much to keep their balance. Unfortunately our own sense of balance slowly deteriorates as we age. We can help to control this by doing activities such as Volcano pose.
3. Gently stretch chest, shoulder & arm muscles
Volcano pose will give you both an opportunity to stretch out your arm, shoulder and chest muscles, just like our growing flower pose last week. Remember this type of pose is great for your child after they have been sitting down for a while.
4. Let off steam!
The explosive movement of volcano pose allows your child to express their emotions. Hence this activity will make a great ‘movement break’ if your child is getting frustrated with a complex task or problem. Be careful though, do not do the pose too many times as then your child may then find it hard to calm down!
5. Develop imagination & creativity
As your child imagines what shape and colour their volcano will be, they will use their imagination & develop their creative skills. You might ask some questions to help fire their imagination further:
What is the weather like at the top of your volcano today?
Can you see the horizon from up there? What is the landscape around your volcano?
A more challenging volcano pose
If your child is older, guide them to start by squatting on the balls of their feet as a ‘sleeping volcano’. Then quickly come up into standing to erupt!
Try to encourage your child to do this without putting their hands on the ground to further refine their balance skills.
Calming down after volcano pose
Volcano is an energising pose! Sometimes children can find it difficult to calm down after their volcano has ‘erupted’. Help counteract this by suggesting that your volcano goes back to sleep.
Show your child how to use their hands to push/stroke firmly downwards along their body & limbs as ‘flowing lava’. This will provide a calming and regulating deep touch, stimulating their proprioceptive sense.
Move slowly from a high, volcano pose back down into a curled-up, dormant volcano pose (similar to mouse pose).
Suggest to your child that their dormant volcano is now being squashed under a heavy rock and encourage them to imagine this by squeezing themselves into a tight ball.
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