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Kids these days have stressful lives.
The pressures of a technological age, not to mention the worries of the grown-ups in their lives over the likes of the Coronavirus pandemic, can have an impact on their developing minds. In fact, kids have never needed more of a reason to relax, to move about, and to get a little distance from the outside world, than they do now.
As adults, we know the benefits of yoga for the mind and body. Yoga increases flexibility and strength, while helping us find a healthy way to channel their stress. The breathing techniques used in yoga can teach children to focus too, a skill that can be translated to all areas of life.
It is thought that the breathing techniques kids learn through yoga teach them healthy strategies to deal with the overwhelming emotions they feel.
There are lots of other benefits to yoga, such as relieving anxiety, a focus on mindfulness, improved mood and better sleep. Yoga is a non-competitive activity, where kids learn to focus on themselves and their personal progress, rather than comparing themselves to others.
Kids have a lot of natural flexibility and yoga is the perfect practice to nurture this and keep their agility for as long as possible. Teaching them healthy coping mechanisms like yoga will only serve to help our kids in the future, and set them up to deal with problems in a manner that has a positive impact on their mental health. Kids yoga DVDs are a great way to introduce them to the discipline and practice of yoga.
But which are the best kids yoga DVDs on the market?
Relax. Adopt a comfortable position. Breathe deeply. We’ve assembled the best kids yoga DVDs on the market for you to choose from.
Top 5 Best Kids Yoga DVDs
OUR TOP PICK
Once Upon a Mat has won three awards and features a certified kids yoga instructor, Jessie Forston. That means you can be sure the positions are both correct and safely explained, and that your kids won’t be bending dangerously.
The DVD has a plain background, which helps kids to focus on the yoga poses to prevent injury. The only person on the screen is the instructor, which gives a personal sense to the yoga session, creating a one-on-one learning environment for your kids.
Jessie talks the kids through guided breathing and uses storytelling techniques to engage their imaginations. The DVD takes you through 9 chapters of 3-5-minute long routines, which can be played straight through, or mixed and matched to create a unique yoga adventure.
Once Upon a Mat: 9 easy-to-learn yoga adventures is popular with parents across the United States, and has gained lots of positive reviews from them. It has also won a Parent Tested, Parent Approved: Best Yoga DVD for Kids Award from yogadvds.net and a Parent’s Choice Silver Award.
The DVD is suitable for ages 2.5-8, and takes the kids on an imaginary journey through African safaris, thunderstorms and outer space exploration. These adventures are split up into nine chapters, each lasting between three and five minutes.
The DVD features real yoga poses and guided breathing that parents can join in with.
Its combination of an award-winning reputation with parents, a certified yoga teacher, the lack of visual distraction and the use of fictional adventures to stimulate children’s imaginations is what puts Once Upon A Mat at the top of our list of best kids yoga DVDs.
- Has won three awards in the field of kids yoga DVDs
- Works as a complete routine or can be customized to suit your kids’ abilities and focus
- Teaches kids guided breathing and real yoga poses
- The white background may not be interesting enough to hold all kids’ attention
- There is a lot of talking between routines if you watch the DVD straight through
Yoga for Kids, Vol. 2: ABC’s for Ages 3-6 is another kids yoga DVD which has found favor with parents across the US.
The video features six kids, plus instructor Marsha Wenig guiding the routine. Marsha Wenig is the founder of YogaKids and is an expert in the field.
The yoga flow is based around the 26 letters of the alphabet, each one corresponding to a different yoga pose. The poses are inspired by animals and nature, so that kids will be engaged with the subject matter.
The movements have been adapted to suit this age group and include actions such as clapping like a seal.
The video lasts for 40 minutes and contains some songs to go alongside the poses. It is a totally unique way to learn the alphabet that your kids will love – and they get the yoga poses too.
- Teaches kids the alphabet in an interactive and immersive way
- Six kids and an instructor feature in the video, to show potential errors and how to pose safely
- Some of the letters have songs to go with them for added mental stimulation
- The instructor switches quickly between poses, so the video may need to be paused to allow kids to catch up
- As the poses are based on letters of the alphabet, the flow is not as smooth as on some other DVDs
Our third pick is Yoga for Kids: Dino-Mite Adventure, suitable for kids aged 5 and up. The DVD features instructor Jodi Komitor, founder of one of the first children’s yoga studios, and three kids performing the routine.
This allows your kids to see how to hold the poses correctly, and Jodi shows parents how to correct their kids if they are in the wrong position.
The DVD mixes educational content about dinosaurs with physical exertion to create a unique learning environment.
It is made up of four sections with different dinosaur themes: Baby Brontosaurus; Dino-Mite Yoga; Dino Dig and Dino Duo. These sections are interactive and exploratory.
The final section is partner poses, allowing your kids to interact with one another and showing the importance of collaborative working.
From narrative storylines, through letters of the alphabet, to dinosaur themes, each of our best kids yoga DVDs take a different approach to engaging the kids in their content, to give the yoga a kid-friendly context.
Dino-Mite Adventure combines imaginative subject matter, correct yoga poses, and the example of other kids holding the poses to deliver an effective introduction to junior yoga.
- The instructor uses the session to teach the kids about the dinosaurs through movement
- The DVD is an interactive and exploratory experience, encouraging kids’ creativity and imagination
- Perfect for young children
- Aimed more towards younger audiences, so older kids may not be interested
- Slower paced than some of the others which can cause kids to lose focus
Next on the mat of excellence is Yoga for Families: Connect with your kids, led by celebrity yoga instructors Ingrid Von Burg and Tom Morley. The instructors are joined by a family following the flow, making it easier to copy along at home.
The flow is suitable for ages 4+ and the whole routine lasts around 30 minutes, so there’s less chance of kids getting disengaged or bored. That’s important because of the DVDs so far, Yoga For Families is the least centered on using kid-friendly content to keep them engaged.
That said, there are animal noises to make as the DVD goes on. Sharing this activity with the family – rather than, for instance, just running the DVD for your kids and doing other things – is part of the engaging factor here.
The flow is suitable for all abilities and includes partner stretches which get the family involved with one another, creating a bonding experience.
The routine can be played straight through, or you can select sections to do individually. The sections are short enough to retain kids’ attention and the use of animal noises makes the routine engaging, in lieu of narrative elements.
- Suitable for parents and kids alike, with poses good for all yoga abilities
- Includes partner stretches to get the family working together
- You can do a whole flow or select sections to work through
- The routines are simple and are better catered towards beginners
- The routine only works one side of the body, so the video needs to be paused to work both sides
Last on our list, but by no means least in the crowded market of kids yoga DVDs is Yoga for Kids: Outer Space Blastoff, for ages 5+. It’s another Jodi Komitor DVD and she is again joined by children in the studio working through the flow.
The routine lasts 50 minutes and is made up of four segments. The first, Outer Space Blastoff, is 13 minutes long and focuses on some astronauts and how they are feeling.
Section two lasts 16 minutes and is called Solar System. In this section, Jodi goes through the names of the planets and their identifying characteristics, encouraging kids to engage their minds as well as their bodies.
The third section focuses on affirmations alongside yoga poses and lasts 13 minutes. The final section, Space Balance Balls, is 10 minutes long, focusing on your kids’ posture and using a balance ball.
The routine is diverse and engaging and is sure to teach your kids a thing or two. It mixes mind and body in a DVD that keeps kids engaged with narrative, but gives them genuine yoga knowledge as they go.
- Four interactive segments with different themes
- Three children and an instructor are in the video, to show how to hold the poses correctly
- Educational content mixed in with the yoga flows
- The instructor switches quickly between poses and so the video may need pausing to allow your kids to keep up
- One of the segments requires the use of a fitness ball
Best Kids Yoga DVDs Buying Guide
When looking at kids’ yoga DVDs, you need to keep a few things in mind. Call it an act of consumer mindfulness, if you like.
The most important thing to consider is how engaging the routine is. Kids have short attention spans and can quickly lose interest if the routine is not stimulating.
Stories, fun music and bright colours will draw your kid’s attention and make them want to join in. For some kids, engaging visuals will encourage participation, but for kids who are more easily distracted, a video with a plain or simple background is a good idea.
Choose the style of visual and narrative elements most likely to hold your particular kid’s attention.
The audio on the DVD is another thing to consider, as sound plays an important role in kids’ understanding. If there is a mellow soundtrack as you’d expect in adult yoga, it is unlikely kids will remain engaged.
If the yoga flow is set to upbeat music and the instructor motivates children to move and fully immerse themselves in the experience, they will likely get a lot more out of the DVD.
It is also important to consider the ability level of your kids when choosing a DVD. Most have rough age ratings, and you can use those ratings as a guide.
Kids have different levels of flexibility and strength as they grow, and a DVD suitable for older kids may not be appropriate for their younger siblings. Different levels of fitness can also impact kids’ yoga abilities.
A good DVD will explain the poses clearly and demonstrate how to get into poses safely, to avoid injury. The DVD instructor should explain to the kids how their bodies should be feeling in each pose, to ensure they are performing the flow correctly.
Yoga can be used to encourage kids’ imaginations and instructors will likely give the poses more kid-friendly names such as snake pose and tree pose. This gives kids a better understanding of what is being asked of them, and they are more likely to engage fully if they feel like they are playing a game, rather than doing an exercise routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Hindu discipline that combines breath control, meditation and posing to increase relaxation, physical and mental health. It has been practiced across the world since its beginnings 5,000 years ago and has become a staple of modern life.
What are the benefits of yoga?
There have been many studies on the effects of yoga on physical and mental health. It has been shown to improve muscle strength, flexibility and balance in people who practice it regularly.
Yoga can also help manage the symptoms of common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Due to the slow nature of the discipline and the focus on stretching your body gently, yoga has been shown to help people with mild aches and pains.
There is some evidence to suggest yoga is also useful for people suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease.
Are there different yoga styles?
Yes, there are three main types – Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda. Different styles place emphasis on different aspects of yoga, and it is important to find a style that suits you and your kids.
What is a good length of yoga session?
Most yoga sessions will last between 30–90 minutes, including a warm-up and a cool down. It is important to participate in both to prevent injury to your muscles.
Doing two or three sessions of yoga per week should get your kids the benefits we’ve described, but it is also important to take time off to allow your kids’ bodies to rest and recover.
Can yoga help prevent injuries?
To some extent, yoga can help prevent injuries. This is because yoga improves lower body strength and as a result, makes your balance better, so you are less likely to fall and injure yourself.
However, it is possible to overstretch and injure yourself while doing yoga, so it is important to listen carefully to what the instructor tells you and to stop immediately if you are in pain. Check with your kids regularly that they’re not overstretching.
What else do I need to buy?
While yoga can be practiced with no equipment, it is safer to buy a non-stick yoga mat to use during the workout. This provides a cushioning, soft surface for your child to move around on, while ensuring their feet don’t slip.
This will not only prevent injuries, but the routine of getting out the mat and setting it up creates a space that your kid knows is specifically for exercise and mentally separates their yoga practice from the rush of day-to-day life.
What should my kids wear?
Yoga is often performed barefoot, to give a better grip on the mat and prevent injuries. Comfortable clothing such as workout leggings and a loose-fitting top are advised. These give your kids a wide range of movement and allow them to focus solely on the yoga practice.
Should I feed my kids before yoga?
While yoga is not a high-intensity activity like running, it involves a lot of contortion and moving your body. Because of this, it is not a good idea to eat directly before a yoga session as this could cause digestive issues and potentially could make your kid sick.
A good timeframe to leave between eating and a yoga session is two to three hours.