This Loving Kindness Yoga for Kids routine encourages students to send loving kindness out into the world – to both themselves and their friends and family.
I have developed the routine to combine a sequence of yoga poses for children with the phrases included in a Loving Kindness meditation.
For those unfamiliar with this meditation style, a Loving Kindness meditation is a compassionate meditation sequence that invites participants to send loving and kind thoughts to first themself and then out into the world – to family, friends, acquaintances, and in some cases, even to someone that one might be experiencing difficulty with.
I have simplified this sequence to include just two parts – compassionate thoughts for oneself and one other person, with the suggestion that this is a friend or family member.
Of course, when working either one on one with a child or a small group, the adult facilitator can always extend this to encourage the students to send their loving and kind thoughts to those in all of the previously listed groups (or just some of them).
This version of a Loving Kindness meditation includes the prompts;
Say to yourself,
“May I be happy.”
“May I be healthy and strong.”
“May I feel safe and loved.”
Now bring to mind a friend or family member you would like to send some loving kindness thoughts. Say to yourself;
“May you be happy.”
“May you be healthy and strong.”
“May you be safe and loved.”
And I have included a yoga for kids pose with each of these prompts.
Tips for Yoga for Kids
To make this super simple to use at school, in community groups or at home, the poses and prompts are also included on a free, printable poster to guide you (download instructions can be found at the very bottom of this post).
The sequence includes a combination of simple yoga poses, with some that are more challenging, making this a great routine to use with elementary or primary aged children.
If you have a younger child or one who is struggling with stability with the more difficult standing poses, you can invite them to use a wall for additional support.
Before you get started, clear a space so the children can move around safely, without bumping into any obstacles. Follow along with the seven Loving Kindness themed yoga poses below. Don’t worry about practicing the perfect postures – simply give it a go and have fun!
Loving Kindness Yoga for Kids
The seven yoga poses have been sequenced to flow from one pose to the next:
May I Be Happy: Cobbler’s Pose
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front and a tall spine. Bending your knees, slide your feet closer to your body, bringing the soles of your feet together. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Sit up tall, resting your hands on your ankles. Breathe slowly and say to yourself, “May I be happy.”
May I Be Healthy and Strong: Flower Pose
Sit on the floor with your back straight, knees bent and the bottoms of your feet together. Slide your hands underneath your legs, palms up, and hold your ankles. Lift your bent legs, balancing back onto your sitting bones so that your feet are raised slightly off the floor. Hold this pose for two slow breaths and say to yourself, “May I be healthy and strong.” Then gently lower your feet back to the floor.
May I Be Safe and Loved: Seated Forward Bend
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Stretch forward, reaching your fingers towards your toes. Hold your toes if you can. Take two slow breaths and say to yourself, “May I be safe and loved.” Then sit upright slowly.
May You Be Happy: Triangle Pose
Stand with your feet wide apart and your arms out to your sides. Turn one foot so it is pointing to the side. Bend at the hips to the same side as your pointed toe. Rest your lower hand on your thigh or ankle, keeping your upper arm stretched up to the sky. Hold for two breaths and thinking of a friend or family member, say to yourself, “May you be happy.” Then return to standing. Repeat on the other side.
May You Be Healthy and Strong: Warrior II Pose
Stand tall with feet wide apart and arms by your side. Stretch your arms out to shoulder height, with palms facing down. Turn one foot out, from facing front to the side, and then bend the knee of that leg. Look beyond your fingertips on the same side. Hold for two breaths and thinking of a friend or family member, say to yourself, “May you be healthy and strong.” Return to stand facing the front. Repeat on the other side.
May You Be Safe and Loved: Dancer Pose
Stand tall with feet slightly apart and arms by your side. Bend one foot up behind you and hold it with the hand on the same side. Keep your body upright and raise your free hand above your head. Hold for two breaths and thinking of a friend or family member, say to yourself, “May you be safe and loved.” Release your leg and return your hands to your sides. Repeat on the other side.
Extended Child Pose
Kneel on the floor with big toes touching. Sit back on your heels and open your knees until they are as wide as your hips. Slowly bring your head down and rest it on the floor in front of you. Stretch your arms in front of you. Relax and breathe.
You can also follow along with the sequence in our video version of the sequence;
Download Instructions: Loving Kindness Yoga Poster
Click here to download:
Loving Kindess Yoga Posters
. Save the Zip file to your computer. Double click on the file to unzip. Open the folder to print the poster you require – this file includes this poster in three sizes – US letter, A4 and A3. Please carefully read any further printing instructions included within the document.
Having trouble accessing or downloading the file? Please try a different internet browser.
Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.
For more like this, be sure to check out our other kids yoga resources;