Did you know that one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people?
Tall, grounded and strong - the mighty Tree benefits our world in many ways. The tree is kind to the world, animals and to humans. Through this pose, it is great to teach kids about kindness - how to be kind to others and to the environment. The Tree Pose reminds us that as our roots grow stronger, we are able to stand tall and stretch our branches to the sky.
Pose: Tree Pose
Ages: Young kids / teens (younger children can modify this pose by bringing the arms to the heart and slightly bringing up one foot)
Mantra: I am kind
This pose is great for balancing and improving concentration. Stability comes from tightening and lengthening the core. Hold the Tree pose and promote quiet time. Quiet the mind and imagine being a tree. Gaze out into the forest and focus on the grounding of your leg. Tell kids to imagine their foot being the root, growing deep into the Earth.
For kids who are having trouble with balance, let them extend their arms out to the sides. Ask the kids to pretend their arms are strong branches in the tree. Reach out far and wide!
Younger kids can modify the pose by bringing the hands to the heart and forming a triangle with one leg. Alternate on the other side.
For additional modifications of this pose, try swaying left to right like a tree in the wind. Or try the pose outside, and discuss with kids how trees gain energy from the Sun through photosynthesis. Watch the other trees and talk about how trees benefit the world, provide habitats for animals, and create oxygen. Talk about the different types of trees, and ask kids to modify the pose based on trees in your area.
- Stand up straight and tall in mountain pose. Take in a deep breath.
- Look ahead and find a point (this can be an object, a wall, or window) to focus on.
- As you breathe out, slowly bring up your left foot. Bend your knee, and place your left foot on the inside part of your right leg.
- Relax and straighten the left leg on the floor, shifting your weight into the foot. Ground it – imagine it being a tree root, weaving through the Earth and hold steady.
- Inhale and bring your hands to your sides. Reach out like branches on a tree.
- Exhale and bring the hands together in front of your heart. Then lift them strongly overhead. You are a growing tree!
- Hold the pose and gaze ahead. Imagine being a tree. What type of tree are you? Are you in a grove? In the middle of a meadow? In a park? Think about where trees live.
- 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 how trees are kind to the world. Try to list all of the ways trees benefit the world.
- Talk about the many different species of trees. Ask questions about trees – What type of tree are you? What is the environment like?
- Go outside and look at various trees. Talk about the anatomy of the tree – the roots, branches, twigs, leaves, crown and trunk. Discuss the cycle of trees.
- Get creative! Draw a tree and the environment. Encourage kids to add animals that might live in trees.
- Create a Kindness Tree. Cut out a tree trunk out of brown construction paper or felt. Cut out a handful leaves and fruit from construction paper or felt. On each leaf, write down a way you can be kind. Add the leaves to the tree.
- Develops balance
- Increases concentration
- Strengthens the legs, thighs, groin and core
- Strengthens posture