Inside: Get ready to unleash your child’s inner bear with these fun and active yoga poses that will bring the magic of bears to life!
Incorporating yoga poses into your day can have a transformative effect on your child’s well-being. Even a very short and simple sequence provides a sense of grounding, calms the nervous system, and generates positive energy.
If your child is not on board, make it more fun by introducing fun themes – bears, snow, chores, the possibilities are endless. Fun themes spark your children’s curiosity and encourage them to go through the sequence.
Today, I’m introducing a bear-themed yoga routine.
By embracing the enchanting world of bears, you are not only providing your children with a captivating learning experience but also offering them an opportunity to use their imagination and creativity.
A word about affirmations. Affirmations are just positive thoughts designed to make us feel good. I like to use affirmations to accompany each yoga pose.
Well, not only does it help the mind stay focused, but it also helps to cultivate the amazing energy to deepen the magic power of yoga.
To reap the benefits, tell your kids to silently say the affirmation to themselves a couple of times while in a posture. If a suggested affirmation doesn’t resonate with them, they can pick something that does.
You can’t go wrong with encouraging kids to repeat every chance they get: I am confident. I am brave. I am important. I am enough. My self-worth is not tied to my abilities. I am proud of who I am.
Cultivate a Positive Environment
Most importantly, have fun!
Don’t correct kids if you think they are not doing it correctly (unless you think they will hurt themselves). Instead, do the poses with them. Kids love looking at adults for cues, and they will eventually copy the movements you are doing.
I designed this bear-themed sequence with the idea of flowing smoothly from pose to pose. We start standing up, then move closer and lower to the ground until we finish on our backs.
We went through this sequence a couple of times to see how it feels in the body, and of course, I needed to get a first-hand idea of how kids react to it. I ended up simplifying and modifying it for a better user experience. (I’ve got your back 🙂
However, always be flexible and creative. Smile, turn on some really fun music (our favorite happy songs are here), and don’t be intimidated to modify or completely change postures to suit your child. You have permission to play! I hope this sequence will spark your creativity and hold space for pure, simple joy.
Ready to unleash your and your child’s inner bear with the poses that will bring the magic of bears to life?
Bear-Themed Yoga Routine
1. Climbing Bear Pose
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your weight balanced evenly on both feet. Feel the energy drawn from your feet up through your core. Feel powerful like a majestic bear. Now raise your arms overhead with your hands shoulder distance apart and palms facing each other. Alternate reaching each arm high to the sky like a bear reaching for a tree branch to climb. Say or think: I am powerful. I am open. I am ready to learn. Did you know a bear can climb 100 feet of tree in 30 seconds?!
2. Bear Hug Pose
Stand tall and bring your arms out wide. Cross your right arm over your left and give yourself a big bear hug. Hold and then switch sides. Feel the warmth and comfort of a bear’s embrace. Studies show that a 20-second hug increases a feeling of well-being by releasing oxytocin, also known as the cuddle or love hormone. I am loved. I am magnificent. I am healthy. I am joyful.
3. Tree Bear Pose
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one leg and bend it at the knee, placing the sole of your foot against your inner thigh. Bring your hands together in front of your chest and hold this pose for five full breaths, finding your balance like a bear standing on one leg. Switch sides and repeat. I never give up. Today, I choose to be confident. I can do anything.
4. Berry Bear Pose
Bend your knees and reach your hips back as if you are about to sit on a chair. Imagine that you’re picking wild berries in front of your feet. On the inhale, pick the berries. Bring your hands to your mouth on the exhale and pretend to eat them. Keep the tummy muscles in to protect your back throughout the whole pose. What berries are you eating? I nourish my body with nutritious foods. Every bite I take supports my well-being.
5. Bear Plank Pose
Get down on all fours and press your palms into the ground to activate your chest and shoulder muscles. Spread your fingers wide, imagining they are the paws of a bear. Slowly lift your knees slightly off the ground, keeping your back flat, and engage your core, legs, and gluteus muscles. Hold for five full breaths and then lower down. I am capable. In this powerful pose, we engage nearly every muscle in the body! Then, we relax them. Through repeated practice, we can learn the difference between tensed and relaxed muscles and turn on the relaxed state at will. I can get through anything. I will push through. I am capable of so much. I can do hard things.
6. Bear Walk Pose
Begin on all fours, then lift your hips high, keeping your arms and legs straight. Slowly walk forward and backward, mimicking the movement of a bear. Feel the strength and power of a bear as you move. Think, I am strong. Inversions, or poses that bring the head below the level of the heart have a restorative effect on the autonomic nervous system. I control my actions and my results. I believe in myself and my abilities.
7. Balancing Bear Pose
Sitting on your bottom, bend your legs at the knees. Hold on to your feet with your hands. Extend the legs outward. Keep your arms straight, your chest lifted, and your eyes focused between your feet. This move requires a lot of control, but it’s wonderful for strengthening the core and arms and stretching back muscles. I am proud of myself. I am in full control of how I respond to the experiences I have. Don’t worry if you lose balance and fall on your back. Get up and try again.
8. Bear Roar Pose
Sit on your knees with your feet tucked underneath you. Extend your arms and spread your fingers wide, making your hands into claw shapes. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, let out a loud “roar” like a bear. Feel a fantastic release as you let your roar out, just like a bear in the wild. What I want is within my reach.
9. Bear Roll Pose
Lie on your back. Hold onto your feet. Roll from side to side, imagining you are a playful cub rolling around in the grass. Feel the joy and freedom of movement as you roll back and forth. Not only does rocking strengthen the core, back, and hips, but it’s also soothing and relaxing. I’m creating happiness within myself. All I need is within me right now.
10. Bear Stretch Pose
Sit or stand, then reach your arms overhead and lean to one side, feeling the stretch along your side body. Repeat on the other side, imitating a bear stretching and reaching for the sky. I’m stretching the limits of who I can be.
11. Bear Breath Pose
Sit cross-legged on the floor and take a deep breath in. As you exhale, make a loud “huff” sound, imitating the breath of a bear. Kids can imagine that they are trying to steam up a window. Repeat this deep breathing exercise a few times, focusing on the bear’s calming presence. I am here. I am whole. I am well.
12. Bear Rest
Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and let your body relax completely. Imagine you are peacefully hibernating like a bear, resting and rejuvenating your mind and body. I accept who I am. I trust in my decisions. I choose my direction.
Now that you’ve discovered the joy and benefits of a bear-themed yoga routine, it’s time to explore why incorporating bear-themed activities into your classroom or homeschool can be incredibly valuable.