Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Yoga Squat or Malasana

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yoga Squat or Malasana

This weeks’ yoga pose is Yogi Squat or Malasana. When doing yoga squat with kids remember to never push them past their abilities and be very careful with this pose as it’s easy to get hurt by over stretching or losing one’s balance! 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! Since we were on the carpet, and due to the age of the children, we kept shoes on for added balance.

This pose may not be hard for children to do and if your child is like mine you may have already seen them doing this pose. That said, doing the pose unconsciously and trying to get there are purpose are two different things! Start by having the kids do a few other stretches, lunges, touching toes, or going up on toes are a few suggestions for balance and stretching muscles that will be used. Having the kids go up on their toes may be the best one as many kids will take a natural small step once on toes to bring them to their comfortable place of balance. For other stretches used, have the kids spread their legs just a little over shoulder with apart. I suggest demonstrating this with a rhyme like, “One step, two steps, slowly giving my feet a little creep!”

Now, have the kids reach their hands up toward the ceiling. Have the kids turn the feet slightly out at a 45 degree angle to make for easier squatting. Demonstration is great for this or using, “Heel, toe, heel, toe!” works too, just remember to stop on the toe so feet are at the angle needed. For kids with better balance and a higher ability to follow instruction have them slowly lower their bottom toward the floor at the same time they bring their hands together and slowly bring their hands in prayer to heart center. For other kids they can clasp hands at heart center, then bend the knees and see if they can lower their bottom until they are just about to sit on the ground. Another option for those needing help with balance is to have them place their hands on their knees to help them sit into the squat. Choose whatever is safest and within your child’s ability level.

Once in squat ask the kids what they think they look like! Write down in your kid’s journal what they say! Offer that you think they look like mushrooms or toadstools (kids seem to think the word toadstools is funny). Talk about what they can do in this pose, read, color, draw in chalk outside, pick something up, check out a bug, whatever you have seen or feel could be done in this pose. Your conversation keeps the pose going so the stretch can be felt by the muscles. Once, your done talking or after about 3-5 minutes have the kids slowly stand up using whatever method they came down in, meaning if they had hands on knees then their hands need to go back on their knees. See who can come up the slowest so no one hurts themselves by trying to stand up to fast or jump out of the pose.

Ask the kids how they feel once the pose is gone? Did they like the pose? Do they think they do this pose during their play? Write down all they say in the kid’s journal! Have the kid’s wiggle a little if anyone seems to feel tight or their limbs tingly as the blood flow is getting back to normal after they stand. Watch for light headedness as again, blood flow in the legs was slowed down in this posture. Take pictures whenever possible especially during the funnier poses as sometimes the weird things we capture in a picture makes it worth the thousand words we have for it. In closing, have fun, be safe, and make sure to laugh at least once a day from your belly; your heart will appreciate the work out and sudden burst of joy!




  1. I love the idea of writing down what the kids say. Kids are so creative. I bet you get some interesting answers! Great suggestions for those of us with young children

  2. I love this pose for kids with constipation, it is a natural position for pushing (sound familiar lamaze mama's?). Also, writing down what they say can bring memories of your own back or new idea's on how to describe things to the kiddo's! Thanks for the comment@Kristen!


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