We often get asked by our parents, “What’s that song, the one with the sun in it that my child can’t stop singing.” It never fails to bring a smile to our lips as we know instantaneously exactly what they are referring to.
It’s Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley, our very favorite way to teach one of the most fundamental set of postures in traditional yoga asana in a fun and child-friendly way.
Sun Salutations are a part of both the Hatha & Ashtanga yoga lineages and have been incorporated into most schools of yoga today. They include a slightly variable set of yoga poses linked by breath to create a smooth circuit of prana (life energy) running throughout the body. Simply put, Sun Salutations help warm up the body, increase the heart rate, and create heat needed for deeper and stronger yoga poses that follow in the practice.
For children, Sun Salutations can be an essential landmark or focal point for the children to grab onto during a yoga class. Students who have heard the song many times before may feel comfortable singing and will link the movements automatically with ease while newer students may enjoy listening and following along their peers and the teacher.
It’s a fun and easy way to engage children in traditional practice without requiring a lot of teaching or modelling.
How to practice:
For a little context watch this video of one of our class practices.
- Do a light warm-up of the joints in the body especially the wrists and ankles.
- If students are new you can take a moment before to introduce:
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold
- Down Dog
- Play the song: Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley.
- Follow the movements as directed by the song
Yoga pose vinyasa: The sun salutation is a group of yoga poses linked together by breath to create a sequence of movement. It is the only traditional part of the physical yoga practice that traditionally promotes cardio-vascular health.
Sequencing: Learning postures in sequence helps develop memory function as well as coordination and problem solving.
Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and builds respiratory endurance.
Yoga poses: help build good posture habits, stabilize the core, strengthen the extremities and develop balance.
Try it out at home and let us know what you think!
Interested in learning more about sharing the practice of yoga for children? Learn more about our training programs here.