Frog Jumps -- Fun in the Sun
The weather is warm again! The sun is out and so are many little animals. Kids love to embody animals through yoga. It's fun for adults too! For all ages, Frog Jumps are also a way to burn off excess energy, making more relaxing poses that can follow more accessible. Yogis of all ages can also feel a bit more connected to nature through moving like animals. Let's look at how to practice Frog Jumps!
Tips: Adult bodies can regulate temperature more effectively than children's bodies. If you're doing these Frog Jumps with children, perhaps in a larger yoga sequence or class, watch for red cheeks and signs of fatigue. That means it's time for some cooling breaths, more restful poses, and perhaps a break for a cool drink.
Additionally, two year-old children can practice Frog Jumps, but they will likely jump their whole bodies up rather than just their lower bodies (with hands staying on the ground). Their bodies likely aren't ready for the kinesthetic organization happening here. That's okay -- they're still getting many of the benefits of the movement, and their bodies are beginning to learn that organization (even if it doesn't look like it).
Pose: Frog Jumps
Ages: appropriate for toddlers and up
Mantra: "I can fly high."
- Come to a Squat, knees lined up over your toes.
- Lift through your chest and pelvis (rather than just "plopping" down). Look straight ahead (you could tell children that they're looking around for a fly to catch, and their bodies are ready to jump!).
- Place your hands firmly down on your mat or on the ground, pressing through the whole hand (you could tell children to try pushing the ground away -- it'll help you jump high and strong!)
- On a breath out, jump your pelvis up, legs following. You can "ribbit! ribbit!" with the children as they jump.
- Try that four more times.
- Check in. Take a restful moment (perhaps in a "criss-cross" applesauce seat), or do more if the children want to and they don't seem like they're starting to overheat. Gauge the energy (within yourself if you're practicing alone).
- Ask the children what the jumps felt like for them. If practicing alone, reflect for yourself.
Exercises with kids:
- Frog jump around a pond -- have all children jump around a large blue carpet, paper cutout, or other barrier to represent a pond. They can say hello to frog friends and share flies to catch!
- Frog legs rest -- have children rest on their backs after the jumps, legs in a diamond shape (feet together, knees falling to each side). Guide children to extend their legs and then come back to the diamond shape, making a kind of frog jump on their backs, three to five times. Rest and check in with them.
- Science/nature integration -- ask children what they know about frogs. Bring some basic facts to teach them.
- Cool-down/fun activity -- have children draw themselves as a frog. Provide various colors and encourage creativity.
- Stretches the legs
- Strengthens belly and pelvic muscles
- Builds gross-motor skills
- Encourages strong and healthy posture
There are countless ways to share yoga with children in ways that they can receive --with animal poses, connections to nature and the seasons, games, and a lot more. Flow and Grow Kids Yoga has the tools and guidance to make that possible, in various environments.