Ready to teach a Valentine’s Day yoga class to kids? Or bring a little more love into their daily movement and mindfulness?
Or are you hoping to entice your little ones to get involved in your yoga practice and need some fresh themed yoga pose ideas?
The holiday of love is just around the corner. And Valentine’s Day is another great holiday to use as a theme for your kid’s yoga classes.
My students love themed yoga classes. We do a lot of the same yoga poses every day, but most of the time we switch our theme every week. This works great for kids ages 4 to 14!
Using a theme with yoga poses is a great way to keep kids interested and involved in the yoga poses, and help them be a little creative too.
There is a big list of awesome themes that work great for kid’s yoga classes here.
How do you incorporate a theme into your kid’s yoga class?
It’s a good idea to always start class with a little mindfulness, usually listening to a singing bowl and taking some deep breaths. You can often change the breathing technique to match your theme.
After mindfulness, a Yoga Flow is a good sequence to do to help kids quickly get moving and warmed up. You can follow the normal sequence once or twice, and then go through it again and add some theme-specific poses to change it up a little.
During activity time, you can use a themed book to talk about a yoga concept or add some yoga poses to get a little more movement.
If you’d rather, change up a yoga game that your students know and make it fit with your theme that way. I often ask my students what game they think would work and they come up with really good ideas.
Arts and crafts activities are also a great way to add some variation to your kids’ yoga classes. Mindfulness-based crafts like a Mindful Glitter Jar, Mindful Affirmation Rocks or a Mindful Zen Garden are really easy to implement with a specific theme for a class.
How to talk about Valentine’s Day for Kids in a Yoga Class?
Some kids may shy away from the concept of Valentine’s Day because they think it is all about love and kisses and grownups.
Others may purely be excited about it for the candy!
However, around this holiday, it is important to mention all the different types of love and kindness we have as people. We use our hearts to share happy and loving feelings with lots of different people in our lives, including ourselves.
Valentine’s Day can be a great time to celebrate friendships, self-care, and family.
Yoga and mindfulness have a lot of benefits for kids to help them bring awareness to their bodies and emotions.
With focused awareness of our movement, muscles, and breath, we start to notice the different feelings and emotions held in our bodies.
We can also start to help some hidden feelings open up, like love and appreciation. We can do this especially in yoga with backbends and forward bends, also called heart-openers, that focus on the heart chakra.
Heart-opening poses, as we call them in yoga, are poses that focus on stretching the muscles around the chest and upper back. You can “open the heart” on the front side of the body as well as the back side.
Adults tend to hold more tension in their chests and shoulders than children do, but heart-opening poses can still be beneficial for kids.
More than that, heart-opening poses are often really fun for kids that are particularly flexible and enjoy backbends.
Either way, enjoy a kids yoga class focused on heart-opening poses for Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day Yoga Class for Kids Ideas
Mindfulness: Heartfulness Breathing
Sit up tall with a long spine, and shoulders relaxed. Bring your hands together in front of you, with your palms pressing together. Rub your hands gently to create a little warmth and energy.
Then form the shape of a heart with your hands, with your thumbs pointed down like the tip of the heart and the tops of your fingers curled together.
Hold that warm energy in front of your heart. Take a breath in, and reach your heart-shaped hands out away from you. As you breathe out, bring your hands back to your chest. Do this for several breaths, imagining sending your love out to others.
Yoga Flow and Heart Opening Yoga Poses
Doing a yoga flow sequence with kids is a great way to help them warm up their bodies before getting into more flexible and strength building poses. You can add in a few more backbends towards the end as they are ready for them.
Most of the poses listed below are a backbend with a counter pose of a forward fold.
It’s a good idea to follow backbends with forward folds, but only if you are going slowly and taking deep breaths. If you go from one to the other too quickly you can comprise your core and hurt your lower back.
Hold each pose for 3-4 deep breaths for the best benefits.
Here’s a video of the poses that I made for my middle school students. Enjoy! (Poses and images included below as well)
Waterfall → Forward Fold
Baby Cobra → Child’s Pose
Cow Pose → Cat Pose
Up Dog → Down Dog
Reverse Warrior → Extended Side Angle
Camel → Child’s Pose
Half Bow → Crocodile
Valentine’s Day Themed Yoga Poses
Here are a few poses that could fit the theme of love and friendship for your kids and students:
Partner Heart Pose- Open your heart and support your partner in this pose
Partner Heart Pose 2 – If you tilt your top hands down you can make a heart shape!
Vase for Flowers – Lots of flowers get sent on Valentines Day. Get a vase ready for yours!
Cupid with Arrows – Use your back arm to pull back and shoot arrows of love at friends or someone you are thinking of!
Bow and Arrows Be the Bow and Arrow that Cupid is Sending. Where are you going to spread love?
Box of Chocolates – Make a heart shaped box of chocolates. Imagine all the yummy flavors, which one is your favorite
Yoga Games and Activities for Valentine’s Day
Love it or Leave it?
Students get to choose if they LOVE or would LEAVE an item that is stated and show their answer by doing a yoga pose.
Star pose for LOVE and Child’s Pose or Ragdoll for LEAVE. They can hold the pose for 2-3 breaths.
Let the teacher start and then give students a turn after a dozen or so.
Examples: chocolate, mud, aliens, dragons, unicorns, pizza, snow, rain, ice cream, smelly socks, apples, Pokemon, strawberries, broccoli, Frozen, soccer, hot dogs, birthday parties, snow, snakes, etc.
Share the love! Sit in a long train and give a gentle back rub or massage to the person in front of you. Listen to some nice music and switch directions after a few minutes.
As the teacher, make sure you go give a little massage to the student at the back of the train as well.
Make sure you talk about consent first, asking the person in front of you if it is okay to put your hands on their back. Then, be sure to massage gently and with kindness. Make sure you give kids the chance to opt of this as well.
Here’s a lovely hearts song that works well with this activity by kids yoga teacher, Bari Koral.
Who Do You Love?
This game is a spin off from the game I call “A Wild Wind Blows”.
Each child starts on their own yoga mat, standing. You can have them do a yoga pose too, if you like, or just stand in Mountain.
Remove one yoga mat from the circle or space and that person is the starter and goes to the middle (the teacher is a good person to start).
All the kids chant on 3, “WHO do you love?”
The person in the middle responds by saying, “I love _____” and it can be a person or a thing or an animal. Anything they choose!
Any other student who ALSO loves that same thing must leave their yoga mat and quickly find another mat to stand on. You can have the rule be to walk, hop, crawl, or skip if you like. The person in the middle also goes to an empty mat.
Once everyone is on a new mat (all by themselves, no sharing!) there will be one person left over in the middle. They are then asked the same question, “WHO do you love?” and get to respond with something new. Also works with “WHAT do you love?” 🙂
Candy Heart Mindful Tower (or Minute to Win it!)
This list of fun Minute to Win it Games from Happiness is Homemade that are Valentine’s Day themed is so clever.
I love doing these challenges with students, though we usually don’t make them a race. Our goal is to do them mindfully, but they are still fun.
Try the candy hearts tower, (The Heart a Stack!) or the Love Connection (matching all the broken heart foam pieces back together again.)
We almost always have a mindful coloring activity for our longer class days. Check out these nice Valentine’s day themed coloring pages for kids.
I love Me, Mindfulness Affirmation Rocks
Help your students or children build positive thought habits with mindful mantra and affirmation rocks. Choose some lovely rocks, paint them and add calming words or positive affirmations. Paint pens and permanent markers work great and don’t take as long to dry as paint does.
Check out the full post with directions and ideas for making mindfulness affirmation stones here.
Books for a Valentine’s Day Yoga Class Activity
Using a Valentine’s Day themed book for a kids yoga class is a great way to add a little more love and kindness theme to the lesson.
Here are some books that work well with this theme and yoga poses, mostly because they have lots of animals in them, or other items that can be turned into yoga poses.
Hug Time! By Patrick McDonnell
An adorable kitten is filled with so much love that he travels around meeting animals that he can give hugs to.
The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
A young girl catches falling hearts from the sky and sends them as Valentine’s to all her animal friends.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! By Laura Numeroff
The same mouse who gets a cookie discovers the fun of making valentines and has to give one to all his friends.
Little Blue Truck’s Valentine by Alice Schertle
Little Blue Truck is happily delivering valentines to all his farm friends, but wonders if he will get one of his own?
A Little Spot of Love by Diane Alber
The Little Spot books are so good for yoga and mindfulness classes, not necessarily because they are conducive to yoga, but because they talk a lot about noticing and recognizing emotions. This one is a great wind-down book before savasana.
Savasana for Self Love and Sending Love to Others
Lay on your back if you feel comfortable, or gently on your side. Take a deep breath in, and let it go nice and slowly. Let out any last wiggles, then try to keep your whole body nice and still. You can close your eyes if you like, or just try to focus them on one spot very gently.
Begin to bring your awareness to your heart. You can place one hand on your heart, and one hand on your tummy. Notice how your heart feels. See if you can tell how quickly it is beating, and what quality it has.
Bring some gratitude to your heart for keeping you healthy. Let that gratitude gently spread all throughout your body like a warm light.
Now bring to your mind the name of someone that you care about. Someone that you maybe see every day, or someone that you don’t see very often. Try to picture their face in your mind, and notice how that makes you feel. Say their name silently in your mind, or maybe just barely a whisper on your lips.
Breathe in love that you have for them. And on your exhale, send that love out into the world, specifically for them. Inhale and expand with love, exhale and send it to them.
Do that a few more times and just settle into a rhythm. Notice how it feels and hold onto a nice warm feeling in your heart.
Bring your knees into your tummy and give yourself a nice hug. Roll to your side and rest your head on your arm before carefully sitting all the way back up.