December 20, 2023

Last updated : December 20, 2023

A child’s mind never fails to amaze me. As a long-time Kids Yoga teacher and trainer, I'm continuously awed by their creativity and ability to tap into simple joys effortlessly. But the truth is, our fast-paced society often silences those superpowers before they can fully develop.

We shuttle our little ones from school to sports practice, filling their free time with activities, homework, and playdates. And when emotions inevitably get intense, we hurry to shush or distract rather than listen and let them explore these feelings and how to control them. Yet as parents and educators, it’s our duty to nurture emotional intelligence with as much care as we do academic skills, and this is where Kids Yoga can be very effective.

Through playful, engaging movement and breathwork exercises, yoga teaches children (and adults) how to connect emotionally and physically. It empowers us to better understand those big feelings brewing within, developing essential self-regulation skills and abilities.

If your students or children are struggling to understand and manage their emotions, this guide will shed light on the benefits of yoga for emotional release and regulation. I'll also share 7 playful poses that’ll help your little ones work through challenging moods and basic emotions with ease.

Kids Yoga for Emotional Balance: 7 Easy Poses

Do you remember the first time you felt intense rage, harrowing sadness, or blissful joy? Exploring big emotions can be very overwhelming for our little ones, but practicing Kids Yoga for emotions can give them the space and tools to manage these overwhelming feelings before they bubble over.

Below is a fun and easy yoga sequence for emotional balance and release which you can practice with your students or kids daily. Have fun with it, weave in fun fairytales to boost engagement, and create a safe space for them to express themselves fully through movement and mindfulness.

Fear: Warrior Pose

Kids Yoga for emotional balance - Warrior Pose

Just like a brave hero, the Warrior Pose helps kids tap into their inner strength, build confidence, and face challenges with focus and determination. It's a fantastic way to instill the idea that they are capable of overcoming whatever obstacles comes their way. Practicing Warrior Pose daily can also enhance lower body strength, improve balance, and increase stamina.

Sadness: Cobra Pose

Yoga for Emotional Release- Cobra Pose

As we come into the Cobra Pose, we're doing more than mimicking a snake; we're embracing an attitude of strength and resilience. It's about lifting ourselves up, both physically and emotionally. We open our shoulders wide, showing our readiness to confront whatever lies before us.

In this yoga for emotions asana, kids learn to stay still, observing any feelings of sadness or discomfort that might arise. On release, they let go of any tension and grief they were holding on to.

Anger: Lion Pose

Yoga for Emotional Release & Regulation - Lion Pose

In Lion Pose, kids open their mouths wide and stick out their tongues, just like a roaring lion. As they perform this pose, they can visualize all the anger and tension leaving their bodies with each mighty roar. It's like giving their emotions a voice and then releasing them, making space for positivity and calmness to take their place. This teaches kids that it's okay to express their feelings openly and honestly, without fear or judgment.


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Joy: Happy Baby Pose

Baby Pose for regulating emotions

Happy Baby Pose is all about letting go of tension, slowing down that racing heart, and most importantly, having fun. This deep stretch is also a fantastic way for kids to embrace the lighter side of yoga while finding emotional relief.

As your kids or students gently sway back and forth, encourage them to giggle, chuckle, and even burst into full-on laughter. Smiling and laughing out loud is a powerful tool for releasing stress and boosting our mood, and this pose combines physical relaxation with the delight of laughter that’ll have our little ones in stitches.

Surprise: Cloud Pose

Cloud Pose for emotional intelligence

Cloud Pose gives kids a sense of lightness and freedom, letting their imagination take flight and soar. In this asana, your students will reach out as wide as they can just like a gigantic cloud drifting in the sky. This is a space for them to stretch their creativity beyond its bounds, feel wonder and awe as they realize, "Hey, I can fly!"

While sparking their imagination and a sense of surprise, practicing yoga for emotions also allows our little ones to slow down, to pause, and to listen—not just to the outside world but to the gentle rhythm of their own breath and the thoughts flowing in and out of their conscious mind.

Empathy: Turtle Pose

Turtle Pose - easy kids yoga pose for emotional health and balance

These remarkable creatures are known for their relaxed pace and remarkable longevity. They also have a unique ability to retreat inward into their shells, and this yoga pose embodies that skill.

Just like a turtle tucks itself into its shell for safety, we take a breather and look inward to find a little peace and clarity. This teaches kids a valuable lesson: sometimes, it's okay to take a moment to think about our thoughts and the feelings of others. Here, they can develop compassion and begin to understand and empathize with others.

Calm: Savasana

Kids Yoga for Relaxation - Shavasana

Unlike some kids yoga poses that involve fast-paced movement, Savasana is all about stillness and finding inner peace. With arms rested next to their sides, eyes closed, and the mind quiet, kids can let go and experience a sense of calm that can be hard to come by in their busy lives.

I always end my classes with Savasana as it’s a useful tool that kids can carry with them into their daily lives, helping them face the world with self-awareness and composure.

Struggling to keep your younger students engaged? Try these 10 fun yoga poses for kids!

How Can Yoga Help Regulate & Release Emotions?

Many people think of yoga as mainly a physical practice, but its true power goes far beyond that. While practicing yoga at home can certainly enhance your balance, support gut health, and even lower hypertension, some of its most profound transformations occur within the mind.

By tapping into our parasympathetic nervous system and creating space for the mind to decompress, explore, and heal, yoga has become an effective technique for regulating unstable moods and creating healthy coping mechanisms. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of yoga for emotional health and growth.

Promotes Mind-Body Awareness

Yoga acts like a mirror for children, building awareness of their inner landscape. As they move through gentle and more challenging poses, they notice how frustration makes shoulders tense, excitement quickens breath, or calm slows the heartbeat. Overtime, this mind-body awareness blossoms into better self-regulation, helping kids control and process difficult emotions as soon as they happen.

For adults, practicing meditation and yoga for emotional balance is also a fantastic way to reconnect with your Self and tap into the signals your body is trying to tell you. Whether you need to get more sleep, deal with that traumatic experience, or tend to your chakra imbalance, yoga will reveal what your body and mind needs.

Teaches Healthy Coping Strategies

Ever dealt with a child’s screaming tantrum and wished they could self-soothe? We’ve all been there, whether it’s in the middle of a Kids Yoga class or the grocery store aisle. However, just five minutes of yoga a day can disrupt this stress cycle, preventing a tiff from becoming a full-blown meltdown.

A quick Downward Dog or calming Savasana reboots the system so kids return to the moment calmer. I encourage parents and fellow Kids Yoga teachers to make time for these mini breaks when they see big emotions surface. Through yoga for emotional balance, children discover how to actively dial down the nervous system when upset using deep breathing exercises, asanas, and even mantras.

My younger students personally love the power poses for frustration like the 5 Warrior Poses. These outlets give them control over their reactions, preventing further escalation and providing them with the tools to self-soothe in tense moments.

Provides Physical & Emotional Release

Yoga offers healthy avenues for releasing stress that gets stuck in the body. Forward folds melt away tension in the upper body, while hip openers have been known to purge deep-seated trauma stored in the hips. But yoga is more than just a physical release.

By activating the vagus nerve, we tap into the part of our nervous system responsible for our 'rest and digest' mode. Over time, this continuous activation restores balance to the mind and shifts the autonomic nervous system towards a state of parasympathetic dominance. Try this yoga practice for stress relief and see for yourself—all you need is 15 minutes.

Reduces Anxiety, Depression & Mood Disorders

The gentle movements and breath control found in most yoga practices have proven to be effective in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, chronic stress, and burnout for kids, and adults like you and me. This is especially vital for teens who suffer from low self-esteem and are naturally more vulnerable to psychological disorders.

A growing number of studies are recommending yoga for emotional release, helping boost self-esteem and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. In some places, yoga is even being integrated into school curriculums, helping students improve resilience, mood control, and self-regulation skills.

Encourages Calm & Joy

Yoga has an abundance of benefits for teenagers and kids, especially those struggling to manage ADHD symptoms. Asana practice, meditation, and pranayama are all effective yoga tools for emotional health and focus, helping children and adults cope more effectively with difficult situations. Yoga classes also encourage physical activity, mindfulness, and time for relaxation.

It’s important to remember that our kids are sponges, absorbing everything around them, including YOUR emotions and energy. If you’re stressed or unhappy, your students will feel it. So, making time to find and create your own happiness through yoga is just as important. I encourage you to engage in yoga practices for emotional management with your littles ones, or even enroll in a teen and kids yoga teacher training course.

Final Thought

Teaching children how to understand and regulate their emotions is a crucial life lesson that lays the foundation for healthy relationships, both with others and themselves. This yoga for emotions sequence serves as a guiding light for our young ones, equipping them with the tools and space to navigate life's challenges, manage big emotions, and remain resilient—no matter what obstacles they encounter along the way.


Discover the art of teaching yoga to kids & teens

Get free access to the exclusive podcast with master teacher Marzia Bendotti

About the author

Marzia Bendotti

Marzia Bendotti is an experienced yoga teacher, specialized in yoga therapy and Postural Yoga. She’s the founder of the method Care Yoga and with her medical-scientific background, she’s the Director of a Yoga Therapy Program dedicated to lowering stress levels and strengthening the immune system in women with cervical cancer.

Her project YO! Yoga for children and teens is dedicated to spreading the yoga practice in schools. Yo! Includes a specific program dedicated to teaching staff, to help them create a healthy environment, and a harmonious relationship between students and teachers. She regularly teaches yoga in primary and secondary schools. For the Arhanta Online Academy, she has created a 50-hour YACEP accredited program, Teen Yoga Teacher Training

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