Turning nursery rhymes into yoga

Once a week I go to our local library to sing nursery rhymes with my baby and others.

Nursery rhymes are great fun for children (and parents) and they have become an important part of my days.

But nursery rhymes can also be easily combined with some light stretching, and exercises for your little ones.

From a yoga point of view, there are two songs that are just brilliant.

grand-old-duke

The Grand Old Duke Of York is a winner for arm and shoulder stretches.

Lift your baby or toddler straight up, keeping your arms as close to your ears as you can.

The lifts up accompany the lines ‘he marched them up to the top of the hill’ and ‘when they were up, they were up’.

a great way to stretch out your hamstrings and lower back

To make it a bit more challenging, add in breathing, so you are breathing in as you lift up and breathing out as you bring your baby down.

Here are the lyrics if you need a reminder:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,

He had ten thousand men,

He marched them up to the top of the hill (lift child, breathing in)

and he marched them down again. (lower child, breathing out)

And when they were up they were up, (lift child, breathing in)

And when they were down they were down, (lower child, breathing out)

And when they were only half way up,

They were neither up nor down.

row1

But my absolute favourite is Row Row Row Your Boat. 

It’s a great way to stretch out your hamstrings and lower back whilst also helping your baby with balance and upper body strength.

If you don’t find sitting with your legs outstretched very comfortable, sitting on the edge of a book or blanket can make a big difference.

The key to this ‘Row row row your boat’ pose is to start with a straight back, with your toes pointing to the ceiling.

As long as your baby can support their own head they should be happy to sit on your ankles.

Holding on to your baby’s hands throughout, breathe out and lean forward keeping your back as straight as you can.

Straighten up as you breathe in and keep this going as you ‘row’!

row2

This is the version we sing at the library:

Row, row, row your boat (breathe out and lean forward)

Gently down the stream (breathe in and lean back)

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily (breathe out and lean forward)

Life is but a dream (breathe in and lean back)

Row, row, row your boat (breathe out and lean forward)

Gently down the stream (breathe in and lean back)

If you see a crocodile (breathe out and lean forward)

Don’t forget to scream! (breathe in and lean back)

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Such a sweet and happy looking baby!

    Like

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