Welcome the first day of spring with Flower Pose! A seated balance that is very accessible. It is both grounding and uplifting, bringing balance to your physical body and to your emotions. This is one of many activities that will be included in our upcoming book: Little Flower Yoga for Kids, being released this summer by New Harbinger Press.
- Start seated in the middle of your mat.
- Bring the soles of your feet together, and your knees out to the sides. Now separate your feet about 10 inches (the outside edges of your feet will stay on the ground).
- Lean forward just a little, reach your hands in between your knees, and thread your hands and arms under your knees.
- Turn your palms to face up.
- Take a full breath in, and as you do lean back just a little, bringing your feet up off of the ground. Your calves will be resting on your forearms.
- As you take several breaths here, sit up tall and pull your shoulders back. Spread your fingers wide. You’ll know that you have found your balance when the pose feels comfortable, and your legs feel light on your arms.
- When you are ready to come down, a great way to do it is to unthread your arms, give your knees a squeeze, and slowly lower all the way down onto your back for a rest.
Follow Up: If your child enjoys this pose, and you want to create a longer and more challenging experience, you can try what I call blossoming flower pose. Once you are balanced in flower, unwind your arms (while keeping your legs lifted). Then hold on to the outside edges of your feet and slowly stretch your legs out into a V. Balance there for a few breaths, then bring your legs together into Boat Pose.
Challenges: Some children (and adults) tend to let the weight of their legs fall onto their arms during this pose, and it causes them to slouch forward and feel as if they are wrestling their legs into place. It isn’t the strength of your arms that lifts your legs in Flower, it is the shifting of your weight back and finding your balance. Your legs should just be lightly resting on your arms. If this happens with your child, try having her practice boat pose directly before flower to feel the activation of her core muscles. Then encourage her to try bringing her legs into the shape of flower pose without her arms to get a feel for it before trying again.
Daily Practice: If Flower Pose is a pose that feels good to your child, and they have practiced enough to feel steady in it, it can be a great activity to do for a few breaths right before homework or any other activity that requires concentration. The combination of grounding and uplifting feelings is very balancing, and contributes to a calm capacity for focus.