Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Middle Split Yoga Pose or Prasarita Padottanasana

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Middle Split Yoga Pose or Prasarita Padottanasana

This weeks’ yoga pose is middle split. When doing middle split with kids remember to never push them past their abilities and be very careful with this pose as it’s easy to get hurt! Each week, 2-3 days, we do a 15 minute yoga work out in my home daycare. Kids from 1 1/2 to 4 do this and while each does as much as they are able and in a way they are capable of they all get a nice stretch, a scheduled work out time, and some fun new body movements. We do the sun salutations and then add a few jumps, hops, new yoga pose, and teacher assisted summersaults at the end.

This pose should not be done with babies! In doing these poses always consult a doctor first, only attempt what is in your child’s ability level, and do what is comfortable for your and their body. These are only suggestions and like any exercise you and your children try them at your own risk, I am not there to show you and see what your body is saying so I can only offer these on a very basic level. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move in, have a yoga mat to work on and do not wear socks because of the risk of slipping! Lastly, always remember to smile.

Let me start with saying that for this pose requires some additional stretches before you have any child attempt it, once you’ve done some work out movements like touching toes, knees to chest, or a half squat plus some running, jumping jacks or other exercise to warm up the muscles you can get started. Again, only do this if your doctor and pediatrician say that it’s alright. Start with feet together. Have the child slowly inch their feet out, maybe sing a song like, “Inch worm, Inch worm, how long are you? Inch worm, Inch worm I am that long too! Inch worm inch worm just a little bit more! Inch worm, Inch worm look how close I am to the floor!” Use this one to help the kids go down repeating along the way if needed and let them say stop when they are as far as is comfortable for them! From here take a minute praise them for however far they got and let them brag for a minute, this will help the stretch take affect and lengthen those muscles.

From here, if needed hold the child’s hips, as they fold forward to touch their hands to the floor. Depending on the child you may need a full tissue box, wipes box, or step stool for them to place their hands on for stability and to help lengthen the back muscles. Take a minute to remind them to take a slow deep breath and release it, than talk about how close they are to the floor again and ask if the floor needs cleaning (be aware most kids will say yes and describe the worst sounding thing you’ve ever heard of as what they see where their hands are, typically they will laugh unless the floor really is needing cleaning)

Assisting the child as needed to straighten back up make sure to be near in case of light headedness as even when we are reminding kids to go slow sometimes they go faster than they should. The next thing to do is get those feet back together! Try a different rhyme for this one like, “Toe, heel, toe, heel, clop, clop, clop! Toe, heel, toe, heel, this is where we stop!” Making sure to “clop” as much as needed to get the feet back together. You have finished the pose! Add a wiggle session to get out the wiggles as kids tend to move a lot so being in one place this long can build a few wiggles up!

Talk about how the pose made them feel. Did they like the pose? What did it remind them of? Write anything insightful or just plain funny in your “Kids” journal! Feel free to make up your own rhymes or have the kids help make up rhymes to get the feet apart for additional learning! Take a minute to model the pose before beginning so the kids have an idea of what they are trying to do and have fun! In closing, have a light heart and be aware of how clean your floor (life) is because kids are often our verbal reflection when they are little and aren’t afraid to tell us what they really see when they are little!


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