Today the very talented author of Kids Yoga Stories, Giselle Shardlow, is back with a fabulous yoga sequence to use with kids, and it’s also available as a very handy printable. Enjoy!
Sun salutations are the core to any yoga sequence. Practicing sun salutes with your children will:
- Help calm the mind and help you focus
- Energize the body and boost endurance
- Increase strength and flexibility
- Introduce linking breath to movement
Sounds worth it, right? To make sun salutations fun and engaging for children, try adding a theme that takes them on a pretend yoga journey. Kids yoga teachers around the world create various poetic or themed sequences to capture children’s interest and imagination while flowing through sun salutations. Making the experience relevant and meaningful is a great way to introduce children to this ancient yoga practice.
Today, I am sharing a kid-friendly sun salute using a beach theme. Playing in the sand, jumping in the waves, and learning about ocean animals—that’s a ton of fun! While acting out beach activities using yoga poses, encourage the children to match their movements to their breath. Remember that children don’t need to focus on perfectly aligned poses like an adult would in yoga class. Simply encourage them to move with their breath while engaging their minds and bodies. Feel free to modify the sun salute below to suit your children’s needs, interests, and energy levels. Do what works best for you and your children.
To get started, clear a space large enough for everyone to move freely without bumping into obstacles or each other. Practicing in comfortable clothing and barefoot is recommended. You could spread out yoga mat (or towels if you’re on a non-slip surface), so that each child has a yoga space. Get out your beach books, beach props, beach clothing, beach music, or anything else that would get you in a “beachy” mood.
You might want to familiarize yourself with the beach sun salutation below beforehand, so that you feel comfortable practicing the flow with your children. Once you’re ready, explain to the children that you’re going on an imaginary beach journey. Brainstorm a list of things that you might see and do at the beach. Ask them about their prior experiences going to the beach. Then try the beach sun salutation sequence below!
Beach Themed Sun Salutation for Kids
The kid-friendly beach sun salute below invites flow from one pose to the next. Once you’re familiar with the yoga sequence, try linking breath to movement. The added “Say hello to…” statements are fun, but they’re totally optional:
Extended Mountain Pose – Look up at the sky.
Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body in Mountain Pose. Then inhale deeply, look up, and reach your arms up to the sky. Say, “Hello, sun in the sky!”
Standing Forward Bend – Pretend to be a jellyfish.
Exhale, bend your upper body, reach for your toes, and pretend your arms are the tentacles of a jellyfish. Say, “Hello, jellyfish in the sea!”
Lunge Pose – Pretend to be a sandcastle.
Place your palms flat on the ground, inhale, and step your right foot back. Keeping a flat back, open your chest, pretending to be a sandcastle. Say, “Hello, sandcastle on the beach!”
Downward-Facing Dog Pose – Pretend to be a dolphin.
As you exhale, step your left foot back to create an upside-down V shape with your buttocks high in the air. Straighten your legs, relax your head and neck, and look down between your legs. Imagine being a dolphin gliding through the waters. Take five deep breaths. Say, “Hello, dolphin jumping in the waves!”
Table Top Pose – Pretend to be a crab.
As you inhale, shift forward, drop your knees, and come to an all-fours position. Imagine you are a crab scuttling along the sand and say, “Hello, crab walking on the sand!”
Child’s Pose – Pretend to be an urchin.
As you exhale, shift back to sitting on your heels, keeping your palms flat on the ground out in front of you, and slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees. Then take your arms down alongside your body, take a few deep breaths, and imagine being an urchin floating in the rock pools. Say, “Hello, urchin resting on a rock!”
Now, reverse the steps to complete the sun salutation;
- From Child’s Pose come up into Table Top Pose,
- Lift up to Downward-Facing Dog Pose,
- Step your right foot forward to Lunge Pose,
- Bring the left foot to meet the right foot in Standing Forward Bend,
- Reach your arms up to Extended Mountain Pose (or Upward Salute),
- and bring your arms back down to your sides in Mountain Pose.
Do another beach sun salutation by repeating the steps on the left side.
After you’re comfortable with this beach sun salutation, feel free to make up your own beach yoga poses. Or you can look at our list of Easy Yoga Poses for Kids page to get ideas for alternative matching beach keywords (ex. beach umbrella, surfer, sailing, swimmer, seagulls, dolphins, sharks, anemones, seashells, and sea stars) with yoga poses for kids. Encourage your children’s creativity. Tip: My set of yoga pose cards is a handy resource to set in front of you so your children can see the sequence.
Enjoy the benefits of this beach sun salutation yoga practice while learning, being active, and having fun!
To download your poster: Click here to open a PDF version of the poster. Save or download to your own computer. Open the PDF and print. When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size (these have been created at A4 size). I printed ours onto matte photo paper. Personal, non commercial use only.
About the Author
Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga books for kids get children learning, moving, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the yoga stories found in her Kids Yoga Stories store or on Amazon worldwide. Find her award-winning Rachel’s Day in the Garden yoga book here. You can also connect with Giselle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.