Whether it’s for a party or a school lesson plan, sports-themed yoga can be a great way to teach children mindfulness, help them stay active, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
We how important it is to keep our kids active and engaged. One way to do this is by introducing them to yoga, which not only promotes physical health but also teaches mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Some kids are naturally prone to athletics and have high energy levels, which can also mean they’re just not that into doing yoga. They may resist trying yoga because it’s slow and “boring.”
But you can make yoga more fun and exciting for kids with a sports themed class or some fun athletic and higher energy poses.
If you are a teacher or a parent who is trying to help your kiddos get into yoga, a sports themed class might be just the right encouragement for them.
Five Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Kids who are Active and Athletic
Yoga Builds Strength and Flexibility
Yoga helps kids develop both muscular strength and flexibility, which can enhance their performance in sports and other physical activities. It can also help prevent injuries by improving their range of motion and maintaining the balance between muscle groups.
Doing Yoga Poses Increases Body Awareness
Practicing yoga helps kids develop a better understanding of their bodies, including their strengths, limitations, and potential. This awareness can help them make better decisions about their activities and prevent them from pushing themselves too hard or risking injury.
Yoga Enhances Mental Focus and Concentration
Yoga requires kids to focus on their breath and body movements, which can improve their mental focus and concentration. This skill can be applied to other activities, such as sports, schoolwork, and daily tasks.
Mindful Movement and Yoga Poses Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Participating in sports and other physical activities can be stressful for kids, especially when they are trying to improve their skills or compete. Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and self-awareness.
Promotes Overall Wellness
Yoga is a holistic practice that can benefit kids both physically and mentally. It can improve their overall health and well-being, which can translate into better performance in their activities, improved academic performance, and a more positive outlook on life.
So, you know your kids will benefit from doing yoga, no matter what other sports and activities they love. What better way to make yoga fun for your little ones than by incorporating sports-themed poses into their practice?
To get you started, here’s a list of 25 fun and silly poses young yogis will love to do
Sports Themed Yoga Poses
Baseball Pose (Yogi Squat): Pretend to be a catcher. Separate your feet wider than hip-width distance with your toes pointing out and squat down low. Place your hands between your knees and pretend to be ready to catch a ball.
Soccer Pose (Modified Dancer): Start standing tall with your feet hip-width distance. Place your hands on your hips and lift your left foot off the ground, bending your knee and bringing your heel towards your butt. Hold the stretch for a few breaths before switching sides.
Tennis Pose (Goddess Pose): Stand with your feet wide, toes pointing out. Bend your knees deeply and shift your weight side to side. Pretend to hold a racket in front of you and get ready to dash one way or the other for the ball!
Basketball Pose (Chair pose): Start in chair pose with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your arms up towards the ceiling and extend your fingers wide, pretending to hold a basketball. Jump up and down a few times while pretending to shoot baskets.
Football Pose (Warrior 1): Start with one foot forward and one foot back a few feet, bending deeply into your front knee. Hold your arms up in a goalpost position like your making a goalpost signal!
Athletic Themed Yoga Poses:
Runner’s Pose (Low Lunge): Place your hands on the ground by your feet and step one foot as far back as you can, keeping your knee off the ground. Bending your front knee and stretch your hips by balancing on your back toe and lengthening your spine.
Skateboarding Pose (Horse Pose): Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Hold your arms out and jump straight up and down a few times, and bend your knees more to squat low as you pretend to go down ramps and off jumps!
Surfing Pose (Warrior 2): Step one foot back far on your mat and turn those toes to the side, opening you hip to the side. Keep your other toes facing forward and bend your front knee to 90 degrees. Hold your arms out at shoulder height and shift side to side, forward and back as you pretend to ride the waves.
Skiing Pose (Chair Pose): Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Move your bend arms forward and backwards as if you are using poses to ski down a hill. Shift your knees side to side like you’re going through a slalom course.
Swimmer’s Pose (Locust): Lay on your stomach with your arms straight up from your shoulders. Lift everything off the floor and pretend to swim by moving your arms and kicking your legs straight up and down.
Track and Field High Jump (Camel): Stand on your knees and place your hands on your lower back. Lean up and back with your shoulders, pretending to arch over the bar of a high jump.
Diving Pose (Waterfall to Forward Fold): Stand tall with your arms reaching up over your head, palms pressed together, and leaning back slightly. Swoosh forward and reach all the way down as if you are taking a big dive into the swimming pool.
Cycling (Reclining Bicycle Pose): Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet off the ground at 90 degrees. Hold your arms up in front of you like you’re holding handle bars and pedal your feet like you’re on a bicycle!
Gymnastics Pose (Three-Legged Dog): Start in a downward-facing dog position. Lift your right leg up and back to stretch far behind you. Do a few kicks off your other leg if you want for a handstand prep.
Balance Beam (Eagle): Stand on one foot with your other leg crossed up and over at the knee. Twist your arms up in front of you and press your palms together to help you balance. Careful switch sides by stepping your foot down directly in front of the other like you are moving forward on the balance beam.
Dancer’s Pose (Dancer): Stand with your feet hip-width distance, and one arm up or slightly in front of you. Reach your other arm down and behind you, lifting the same side foot and grabbing your ankle. Press your foot and ankle straight back and up, coming into a balance while leaning slightly forward.
Sailing (Boat Pose): Sit on your bottom with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly with your back straight, arms reaching forward. Lift your feet to 90 degrees and balance your sit bones. Imagine you are a sail boat racing in a boat race across the water.
Ice Skating Pose (Warrior 3): Stand up tall and reach your arms out to the side. Shift your weight to one foot and lift your other leg straight out and back behind you. Balance and imagine you are skating across the ice.
Teamwork Partner Poses:
Football Huddle Pose: Stand in a circle with your legs far apart. Put your heads together and hold your neighbor’s shoulder, pretending to be a football team huddling before a game. Fold forward at the hips and try to keep your balance while stretching each other’s backs.
Cheerleading Pose (Extended Mountain): Stand with your feet together and lift your arms up towards the ceiling, fists in the air, pretending to be a cheerleader cheering on your team. Do a few hops or clap and hop with one fist pumping up at a time.
Ice Dancers’ Pose (Partner Warrior 3): Stand side by side with your partner, with one arm over each other’s shoulders. Start to lift one leg back behind you at the same time, slowly leaning forward as you do, supporting each other in a balance.
Tandem Bicycle Pose (Partner Bicycle Pose): Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, with your toes touching your partners’, laying on the other end of the mat. Lift your feet up and connect the soles of your feet with your partners’, pedaling back and forth by pressing on each other’s feet altering right and left.
Wrestling Pose (Partner Chair): Stand facing your partner and grip each others forearms. Lean back slightly until you support each other’s weight, and start to bend your knees at the same time. See if you can lower all the way down, and then come back up!
Double Downward Dog Pose: Start in a downward-facing dog position. Have your partner stand in front of your hands and place their hands on the floor. Then, they put their feet up your lower back, coming into an elevated downward dog.
Acro Yoga Pose: Have your partner lie on their back with their feet up in the air. Place your lower belly/hips on their feet and hold their hands. Slowly lean forward, resting your weight on their legs and let them lift you off the ground, balancing by holding their hands and lifting your feet back behind you.
Other Activities to Round out the Sports Themed Class
Small Motor Counting Worksheets
Try these cute sports worksheets for preschool to add in a little mathematics and small motor work for your younger kiddos in class.
Sports Themed Games for Kids Yoga Classes
Create an obstacle course in your backyard or park using cones, hula hoops, and other objects. Each station should have a yoga pose associated with it. For example, at the first station, the kids can do the “soccer pose,” and at the second station, they can do a “balance beam block walk.” The kids have to complete each station and its associated pose or movement before moving on to the next one. Time them and see who can complete the course the fastest!
Write down a list of sports-themed yoga poses on small pieces of paper and put them in a hat. Divide the kids into teams, and have one person from each team come up to pick a pose from the hat. Without speaking, they have to act out the pose for their team to guess. The team that guesses correctly in the shortest amount of time wins!
Choose one kid to be “Yogi.” The other kids have to follow Simon’s instructions, but only do the poses that have a sports theme, such as the “basketball pose” or the “volleyball serve pose.” If Yogi says to do a pose that is not sports-themed, the kids should not do it. If they do the wrong pose, they are out. The last kid standing becomes the new Yogi.
For more Yogi Says ideas, check out this post with a free printable list of prompts!
I hope you enjoyed this list of fun active and sport’s themed yoga poses for kids. Let me know what other ideas you have in the comments below 🙂