If you are looking for a fun and healthy activity to do with a group of children, partner yoga poses for kids are the way to go. Kids yoga partner poses offer a great option for small groups that not only promotes gross motor coordination, physical fitness, and self-regulation supports, but also encourages social connection and teamwork. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of partner yoga for kids and share some beginner, moderate, and advanced partner yoga poses that are suitable for children of all ages and abilities.
Partner Yoga for Kids
Yoga is a fantastic way for kids to stay active and healthy while also promoting mental and emotional wellbeing. Some of the benefits of yoga for kids include:
- Improved flexibility, strength, and balance
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased self-awareness and self-esteem
- Better concentration and focus
- Improved sleep quality
- Heavy work (calming and organizing activity)
- Sensory motor activity: offers proprioceptive, and vestibular, tactile, visual, and interoceptive input
- Motor planning
- Bilateral coordination
- Crossing midline
- Digestive benefits
In addition to these benefits, partner yoga for children has the added advantage of promoting social skills, problem solving, and teamwork. By working together with a partner or group, kids can learn valuable skills such as communication, cooperation, and trust.
It may be worth while to try single yoga poses before going straight for kids partner yoga. However, if you start where the child is at, anything is possible! We have tons of adorable yoga card decks to inspire your next step:
Some partner yoga positions for kids can include the list below. We’ve also broken down various partner yoga for kids into levels of difficulty as a way to grade this motor activity, depending on the needs of the individuals.
- Double Tree Pose
- Double Downward Dog
- Partner Forward Fold
- Partner Backbend
- Partner Boat Pose
- Seated Wide-Legged Forward Fold with Partner
- Partner Wheel Pose
- Double Warrior Pose
- Partner Twist
- Double Child’s Pose
- Partner Plank Pose
- Flying Lizard Pose
- Partner Shoulderstand
- Double Camel Pose
- Partner Supported Headstand
Easy Partner Yoga Poses for Kids
Let’s jump into some great easy partner yoga poses to start with! This is a great starting point for young kids, or for any age when getting started with partner yoga. Just coordinating body movements with another individual can be a challenge in body awareness, force of modulation, and motor planning!
Please keep in mind the physical abilities and coordination skills of your group (we don’t want any injuries!) and be creative with adjusting these poses as necessary for the benefit of the group. You can even have the kids make up their own poses to really get them involved!
Try these easy 2 person yoga poses:
Partner Forward Fold: Partners sit down facing eachother in the straddle stretch, where you sit upright with legs out in front of you like a “V”. Partner’s press their feet together and hold hands, taking turns stretching forward and backward.
Partner Seated Twist: Sit back-to-back with your partner in a criss-cross legged position. Lift your arms and reach and twist to the right. Your left hand should be on your right knee, and your right hand should be on your partner’s left knee. Don’t forget to twist both ways!
Lizard Sunbathing on a Rock: A crazy fun name, but it’s easier than it sounds! The partner who is the “rock” will curl up into child’s pose. The “lizard” partner will stretch out onto the rock with their arms over their head and legs straight, arching their back over the back of the “rock”.
Double Chair Pose: Stand back-to-back with your partner, locking elbows. Squat down together until your body resembles a chair – your knees should make a right angle.
Moderate Partner Yoga Poses
Next, let’s move into slightly more challenging poses when it comes to yoga for two kids or individuals. These partner poses can be a little more difficult because they require more balance, coordination, and partner involvement.
For children struggling with body awareness and force modulation, this can be a real challenge, but as occupational therapy practitioners, we know the value of using an activity to challenge and build skills at a level that fosters the just right challenge while developing skills.
Partner Tree Pose: Stand side-by-side with your partner and raise your inner arms up to “high five” your partner as high as your can reach. Your inner hips should touch and lean on eachother. Lift your outside foot and place it against your inner thigh. Place your outside arm at your hip, up in the air, or at your partners other hand. You have become one tree with your partner!
Double Warrior I: Partners face opposite each other and lunge forward with their right leg. Their back legs should make an “x” shape. Raise both arms up and reach slightly behind you to touch the hands of your partner.
Double Reverse Warrior: Partners will stand side-by-side with their legs far apart. The outer leg bends and the back leg is straight, as in Warrior II. Partners lean back towards eachother in reverse warrior pose, touching fingertips with outside arms. Inside arms can hold hands or rest on the thigh.
Partner Boat Pose: Sit facing your partner with your legs straight out in front of you. Lift your feet off the ground, touching the soles of the feet together in the air while you balance on your sit bones. Hold hands through or around your legs to help you and your partner balance.
Advanced Partner Yoga Poses
These yoga poses for kids require 2 people and more advanced motor skills, balance, and coordination, but the benefits are great. For individuals that need more heavy work input, greater balance and motor planning challenges, these partner yoga positions are ideal.
Double Downward Dog: One partner will go into downward facing dog. The second partner will begin in downward dog and carefully place their feet on the back or hips of their partner, instead of on the ground.
Balancing Warriors: This partner pose is in warrior III, where the front leg is straight, the body is leaning forward, arms reaching, and the back leg is lifted up into the air to make a “T” shape in the body. Face your partner so when you reach your arms in front of you, you can touch eachother’s shoulders and balance together.
Bridge and Shoulder Stand: One partner will go into bridge pose, lying on their backs with their hips up. The second partner will start in bridge pose, but place their feet on the knees of their partner, and push up a bit higher into a shoulder stand.
Plow and Seated Forward Fold: Partner one is in a plow pose, where they are on their backs and bring their feet up over their head so they are sort of folded at the stomach. The second partner brings their legs on top of the plow and leans forward into a seated forward fold. Partners reach towards each other to grab hands – this pose looks a bit like an infinity symbol!
Tips for Partner Yoga for Kids
There are many ways to target specific skills through yoga activities. Try some of these tips to foster all of the benefits of partner yoga with kids:
- Make sure to switch up partner placements for the poses where they have different tasks!
- Switch sides as well, so both the left and right get the same level of exercise or stretch.
- Encourage the kids to listen to their bodies, keep breathing, and laugh when they fall.
- Consider using the ideas listed above within the family before moving to friends or small groups in therapy sessions. Offer the ideas listed above as options for family yoga poses. This can provide all of the benefits while participating in a more comfortable environment.
All in all, yoga poses for kids with 2 people is a fun and healthy activity for kids that promotes physical fitness, mental and emotional wellbeing, and social connection.
By practicing a wide variety of poses – ones for flexibility, balance, and strengthening – kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy the benefits of yoga while building valuable teamwork and communication skills.
Sydney Thorson, OTR/L, is a new occupational therapist working in school-based therapy. Her
background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about
providing individualized and meaningful treatment for each child and their family. Sydney is also
a children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.