Is there anything better than traveling to a new country—exploring, learning, and connecting with a different culture? And no doubt, you’re excited to share the gift of travel with your family, too!
However, the thought of sitting in a lounge chair in the sun while listening to the crashing waves can be halted by the actual stress of getting to your destination. While traveling, we endure hours of sitting still on planes, trains or automobiles. We often have to deal with late flights, lost bags, lack of healthy food and impatient family members.
When we travel, we might crave movement, connection, and tranquility—without ever actually realizing it. And that’s where family yoga can make a massive difference to everyone in your travel crew. Try these five partner yoga poses with kids to move your bodies, have a laugh and bring you back to center. What’s more, they are fun for the whole family.
Partner Yoga Poses to Move, Connect and Stay Calm During Your Travels
While practicing these yoga poses, focus on having fun with movement rather than maintaining a perfectly aligned pose. Be safe but also be light-hearted and enjoy yourselves. The purpose is to connect through movement. Wear comfortable clothing and take off your shoes, if possible. As you practice these poses, imagine being in a forest with trees, bears, rocks, deer, and clouds. If you haven’t tried partner yoga before, don’t worry—just give it a go!
1. Partner Tree Pose – bring your focus to balancing on one leg and to connect together
Stand next to each other, either holding hands or with your arms around each other’s waist. Stand tall with your shoulders back, head up, spine straight and legs firmly planted into the ground. Then shift to stand on your leg closest to your partner—you’ll be creating a mirror image with your partner. Bend your other leg, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh or calf (just not on your knee), and help each other balance. If you feel steady, take your outer arm and reach up to the sky. You could also sway together like trees in the wind. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
2. Double Downward-Facing Dog Pose – turn your world upside-down and build strength in your body after hours of travel
From a standing position, bend down and place your palms flat on the ground. Step your feet 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. Once you are in a comfortable position, your child can join you by practicing Downward-Facing Dog Pose underneath you or next to you. Take a few deep breaths. Pretend to be bears or another similar forest animal.
3. Double Child’s Pose – breathe together and take a moment to slow down
Once your child is out from underneath you, drop your knees to the ground and come to all-fours. Then shift back to place your buttocks on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in between your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body and take a few deep breaths in Child’s Pose. Once you are in a comfortable resting position, pretending to be a rock, your child can slowly place their buttocks on your lower back and begin to recline so that their back is lying on your spine and their head rests on your upper back. Your kid can pretend to be a lizard lying on a rock. Encourage your child to open up and relax completely. To come out of the pose, gently lift your torso while helping your child to slowly stand up. Another option is for your child to climb onto your back and practice their own Child’s Pose on your back. Either way, take a few deep breaths in your chosen position.
4. Partner Seated Twist – twist away toxins built up in your body during your travels
Photo credit: namaste.tv
Come to sitting back-to-back cross-legged with your palms flat on your knees. Ensure that your spine is straight and your chest is open. Inhale together. At the same time (on an exhale), twist your upper body to the right. Take your left hand to your right knee and your right hand back behind you to rest on your partner’s knee. Pretend to be deer sitting in a meadow. Repeat on the other side.
5. Double Easy Pose – take a few moments to bring yourselves to the present moment and release any stress from your travels
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. You might like to sit on a cushion or bolster and place blocks under your knees. Once you are comfortable in Easy Pose, your child can sit on your lap. Take a few deep breaths together. Close your eyes and pretend to be clouds floating through the sky. Imagine letting go of the tension and stress built up during your travels. Bring yourselves back to the present moment to appreciate the gift of travel.
Would you like to take your kids on a yoga holiday? Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler yogi, and mom to write the yoga stories found on Kids Yoga Stories and on Amazon. Find Giselle on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.