Imagination and Movement: How Yoga Can Be Fun for the Whole Family

March 21st, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Live Well Omaha Kids spoke to Kwin Kunkle, M.Ed., RYT200, RCYT – author and founder of Well Beings: Building Blocks for Childhood Wellness about families doing yoga together. Her message aligns with Go Nebraska Kids’ 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® countdown, which recommends kids participate in at least one hour of physical activity a day.

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Most people have heard of yoga’s health benefits but might not know much about how to get started.  Yoga is an easy, approachable way for kids and families to meet the 5-4-3-2-1Go!® countdown’s recommended daily 1 hour of physical activity!

Yoga is something the whole family can learn together! We know sometimes it’s hard to get kids to try something new when adults are unfamiliar with it as well.  Yoga has evolved to include many different styles, so familiarize yourself with which approach will best fit your family.  Partner poses are always a great way to start out if you aren’t sure!  Try these things at home to get kids moving!

Partner Yoga

Partner poses are a great way to connect with your child while they are learning to move their bodies and build strength and flexibility.  Below are a few ideas to get you started!  After you try them, encourage the kids to come up with their own!  You will be surprised at how they will challenge themselves!  Remember falling out of balance can be a great way to learn about risks and laugh along the way!

  • Double Pretzel – sit with legs crossed, facing each other, twist and bring your right hand behind your back.  Then reach your left hand across and grab your partner’s right hand.
  • Seesaw – sit with legs extended, feet touching, linking hands, slowly moving forward and back
  • Wide Leg Seesaw – legs wide, repeat seesaw, move slowly and hold for 5 breaths
  • Rooftop – standing, facing each other, reaching arms high and palms touch, lean heart in
  • Warrior III from Rooftop – as you lean in, try sending one leg back, help your partner balance, try the same side or opposites
  • Tree Pose – stand facing your partner and place your hands on their shoulders, lift one foot and place the sole on the inside of your shin, try both sides. Can you balance if your partner does it too?
  • Back to Back Chair – with backs touching, link elbows, step feet away and bend knees like you’re sitting in a chair, support each other by pressing backs together
  • Lizard on a Rock – partner takes child’s pose, other partner sits near her feet and lays back to back over first partner. Communicate so that one partner is not uncomfortable. Then switch.

Imagination Yoga

This type is fun for the most creative of kiddos!  To start, choose a theme, it could be a story you’ve read together, or you can make one up as you go!  Stories with animals are often best for starting out, ideas will flow on other themes with more practice.  As you think about the story, ask the child if they can make their body look like a particular animal.  For example, say you’ve read a book about a jungle with a monkey, a leopard, a snake, and a snail.  What shapes can you find your body in to resemble these animals?  Can you make your body tall like the trees?  What would be a good shape for the flowers in the story?  Perhaps you’re taking an imaginary adventure!  For this activity, there are really no wrong answers!  Take turns making up movements and encourage sounds for even more laughs!

Keeping it light and fun will encourage kids to use their imagination as they move their bodies!  As you are getting started, many resources can be found online, you can contact a local yoga studio, or look for outdoor yoga events in the summer!  If you find you want to know more about kids yoga, you can contact Kwin Kunkle through her website,

Another great way to try yoga with the whole family is Yoga Rocks the Park in Omaha! Yoga Rocks the Park™ is a locally staffed celebration of commUNITY for the whole family promoting peace, giving and wellbeing on a local and global scale. Yoga Rocks the Park is held on Sundays at Midtown Crossing with an all levels yoga class starting at 4:00 p.m. The weekly event features live music, inspiring teachers, and Camp Yoga Rocks for the littlest yogis (ages 4-10).  Donation based, come as you are, all are welcome!  Find more detailed information at

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