Fly high and free! The Airplane Pose is a great balancing pose and helps develop concentration. This pose strengthens the legs, chest and arms. While doing this pose, think to yourself “I am free.” Imagine soaring through the sky as an airplane.
Ages: Young kids / teens (younger children can modify this pose by reaching their arms out to the side and letting their back leg lift just slightly, or by holding onto a wall or partner)
Mantra: I am free
Teens: you may have a rounded spine due to your limbs growing long faster than your spine grows strong. That’s ok, let’s help you work with it. You can focus on moving your heart and eyes forward to lengthen your back. You can also do this pose with your arms extended, hands flat on the wall at hip height. Make your back nice and straight, and bend your knees slightly. Your body will be in the shape of an upside down letter L. Make sure it's not hurting and trust yourself! Big kids and teens, you can journal about how it felt to fly in this pose. You can draw an image of yourself doing the pose, Use color and language that helps you remember the experience so you can come back to it later. Or even teach a friend.
For younger kids that are having trouble balancing, they can modify in any way that works for them, such as arms out to the side, back leg against a wall, holding onto a partner, or just barely raising the back leg. Ask the kids to try to stay balanced and if they get silly and fall down on purpose, make sure you find a way to offer them the focus of this balance pose by promising an opportunity to fall down later. We encourage kids to act like an airplane in this pose! Fly through the sky and make airplane noises as a breathing exercise. And for additional fun, sing this song while doing the pose (in the tune of I’m a Little Teapot):
- Stand up straight and tall in mountain pose. Take in a deep breath.
- As you breathe out, extend the arms to the sides at shoulder height like airplane wings. Your airplane is about to take off!
- Take in another deep breath and begin to lean forward with your chest. Step one leg back behind you.
- On the back foot, come to your tippy toes. Lean your weight forward and your back leg becomes weightless. See if you can lift it up!
- Look in front of you and fly – make airplane noises and hold the pose!
- Toddlers and preschoolers, hold for just a quick moment. Big kids, see how long you can stay in the pose!
- When you feel done, return your leg to the ground and arms to the sides. Now repeat with the other leg to be balanced.
Additional Exercises with Kids:
- Talk about the need to be grounded before and after you fly. What does being grounded mean? Offer them time to color or journal.
- Big kids and teens can journal about how it felt to fly in this pose. Draw an image of yourself doing the pose, Use color and language that helps you remember the experience so you can come back to it later. Or even teach a friend.
- Make airplane noises as a breathing exercise while in the pose
- Talk about where they would like to fly. Pull out a map and mark off your adventure
- Talk about what they see on their flight – did you see any animals or landmarks?
- What language do they speak where you flew? What kind of animals live there? What is the culture like?
- Strengthens the back side of the body
- Improves balance and posture
- Enhances concentration and calmness
- Helps kids take safe risks
- Kids are encouraged to do what feels right rather than to be perfect (self-awareness)