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Downward dog pose - Extra activities - Educatall

Downward dog pose

Downward dog pose can easily be included in your first yoga sessions. Its execution is simple to master for both young children and adults. It increases muscle tone in the arms and is ideal for stretching the legs, calves, and heels. It is great for helping children focus and find a sense of calm. Downward dog pose can be integrated in the active phase of a yoga session. It can be combined with other poses to create a sequence (flow) that makes working on multiple aspects possible.


Basic instructions for child’s pose:

  • Come to your hands and knees (table pose).
  • Anchor your hands in the floor, spreading out your fingers. Make sure your knees are directly under your hips.
  • In table pose, breathe in. As you breathe out, press your toes into the floor. Push into the floor with your arms, raise your knees, and lift your hips towards the sky.
  • Place your head between your arms. Your legs should be hip width apart.
  • Breathe in deeply and maintain the pose for a few breaths.

How to teach children to do downward dog pose:Downward dog pose

  • Open, print, and laminate the following document: (Open downward dog pose).
  • Show children the picture and let them see you doing downward dog pose.
  • Give them the basic instructions listed above.
  • Do the pose with them.


When should you use downward dog pose?

  • Downward dog pose is perfect for the active phase of a yoga session.
  • It can be included in a sun salutation.
  • Before combining downward dog with other poses, children should master it on its own. Once children are comfortable with the pose, downward dog can be used to create a sequence of poses also known as a “flow”.
  • A “flow” that I like to try with children: cat pose, downward dog pose, child’s pose.

A few variations:

  • You could invite children to perform a “downward puppy pose” by setting their knees on the floor and simply lifting their hips up towards the sky.
  • As children execute the pose, encourage them to try a brief visualization exercise by asking them what type of dog they are. They may also, for example, name the color of their dog’s fur, describe their dog’s personality and how their dog is feeling (to explore emotions), etc.

Maude Dubé, Specialized educator


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