One of the best ways to get children engaged in yoga is by using animal yoga. From the peaceful butterfly to the familiar downward dog, there is a variety of animal yoga poses for kids of all ages. When children practice yoga regularly, it helps with:
- Deep Breathing
Add some animal yoga to your yoga for kids resources!
Animal Yoga Poses for Kids
Yoga is great to work on at home or in school. Here are some of our favorite animal yoga poses for kids, along with the instructions to do them.
Fill out your information below to grab our free yoga cards and posters with 8 animal yoga poses!
Bring your feet together while sitting on the floor and place one hand on each ankle. Gently bring the knees up and down.
Have your hands and knees on the ground. Arch the belly while looking down.
Have hands and knees on the ground. Dip the belly towards the ground and look forward.
Lie on your belly with your legs stretched out behind you. Place your hands on the floor beside your shoulders and push your arms up to lift your head, chest, and shoulders off the floor.
Start on your hands and knees and kick back with one foot, then the other. Make sure to have plenty of room for this one to avoid children kicking one another, or other objects!
Downward Dog Pose
Put your hands on the ground in front of you and walk your feet backwards until you’re in a triangle. Keep your head between your arms and look toward your legs.
Stand straight up, cross one foot over the other, and hook it behind the other calf. Bend your knees. Cross your arms at the elbows and twist your arms to touch your palms together with your fingertips pointing up.
A simpler version is seated eagle. Sitting with your legs crossed, reach your arms outward and hug yourself. Then reach out again and put the other hand on top to hug yourself.
Stand straight with a wide stance, bend down with your knees, and put your hands on the floor between your feet. While keeping your hands on the floor, straighten your legs and then bend them again.
Start with your hands and knees on the ground. Lift one arm high up over your head. Look up at your hand and then repeat with the other side.
Stand with your feet wide apart and turned slightly outward. Bend your knees. Lift your hands over your head, or alternately, place your palms together in front of your chest.
Lie on your back and lift your arms and legs. Gently sway them in the air.
Stand with your feet apart and bend down, placing your hands on the ground. Then straighten your back and place your hands on your lower back.
Puppy Dog Pose
Start with your hands and knees on the ground. Walk your hands forward as far as you can and lower your head to the floor.
Kneel on the ground and clasp your hands behind your back. Lean forward and rest your forehead on the floor in front of your knees. Lift your arms up behind your back or hold onto your feet.
Salutation Seal Pose
Sit on the floor with legs crossed and a straight back. Place your palms together in front of your chest and hold them there. This is a great ending pose to finish a yoga routine.
Lie flat on your belly with your forehead on the floor and your arms by your side. Raise your arms up behind your back and make fists with both hands. Lift your head, chest, and legs off the floor.
Kneel on your hands and knees and then extend your legs out behind you. Bend one knee and cross that leg in front of you, with the ankle on the ground. Drop your hips toward the ground and then lift your chest and head.
Kneel on your hands and knees and lift one leg up into the air behind you, keeping it bent. Repeat with the other leg and roar like a tiger.
Sit down with your legs spread far apart. Place your feet together and slide your hands under your ankles. Lean forward as far as possible.
Lie flat on your belly and place your palms on the ground under your shoulders. Straighten your arms and lift your head and torso off the floor.
Animal Yoga Video
After introducing some of the animal yoga poses and getting your children or students to learn them, you can even put them together to make a sequence of yoga poses – a yoga flow.
We’ve put together a yoga flow you could do during circle time, PE, at home, or any other time. Here’s an animal yoga video that will help your kids see the poses and do them too.
If multiple children are doing this with you, I do recommend spreading kids far apart for this so they don’t accidentally kick one another. You especially don’t want anyone’s legs near someone else’s head! This animal yoga flow uses downward dog, cobra, cat, cow, and giraffe.
Start by standing up and reaching for the sky. Take a deep breath in at the same time. Then it’s time to bend over and have them touch their toes while breathing out.
Plant the hands in front and have children walk back into downward dog. Stretch nice and big. Optionally, raise up one leg to do the 3-legged dog pose.
Come down to the ground and transition into cobra. Encourage children to look up and keep their shoulders square. Take a deep breath in and let it out very slowly.
Transition to table and practice doing cat and cow. With the cat, they’ll arch their backs and look downward. On the cow, they’ll bring their bellies down and look straight ahead. Feel free to encourage mooing or meowing too.
Lastly, have them raise one arm up for a giraffe. Maybe the giraffe will take a bite of a tasty leaf. Bring that arm down and turn the other arm into a giraffe. Once they’re all finished they can sit in hero pose or criss-cross applesauce.
Animal Yoga Cards
We have created some free printable animal yoga cards and posters for you to practice several of these animal yoga poses for kids. It includes butterfly, cat and cow (doing the poses together), cobra, downward dog, giraffe, jellyfish, rabbit, and shark.
The animal yoga posters have descriptions of each pose, and there are animal yoga cards too so that once you have the poses figured out, you can just show the card as a visual to help children remember how to do the pose.
I also like to have the animal yoga cards laminated and available for children to use. We put them in a calming corner for the children to use throughout the day.
I hope you find these animal yoga poses for kids helpful and can bring more peace and calm to your day!
Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Yoga Poses for Kids
Children as young as toddlers can start doing these animal yoga poses, but yoga is great for all ages.