Taking care of your body, and learning how to feel it – that’s what yoga teaches. It’s a big step toward self-acceptance and happiness.

Yoga: playful practice with fairy tale elements

head of the Shiny Yoga Kids school of yoga
Alyona Ulyanenko
Marina Tatarintseva


comfortable clothes
masking tape
soft balls

Trainer’s Notes

The main objective of the practice is to help and teach the child to take care of their body, to feel it, and be healthy, successful, and happy.

There is no need to be afraid of a child with distinctive features. Whatever the specifics, he is still a child and you need to look at him that way. But if you’re afraid, that’s okay, too. During the process, you will feel that this is just a child like any other.
If you encounter resistance from any of the students’ parents, suggest that they participate in a general class where everyone, children and parents alike, will do asanas. That way, the parents will see that all children are equal and any questions will disappear.

There are many points that are similar to a regular training session: each class begins and ends with certain body positions – the Start and Closing rituals.

The class may conventionally be divided into three parts: the warm-up, the main part and savasana.
The main part of the class consists of different elements: asanas, pranayamas – breathing exercises, and movement coordination exercises. Often the main part of the session is accompanied by stories adapted to yoga. This makes the class interesting and beneficial.

Always remember safety and move from simple elements to more complex ones. See how the child copes, and then complicate the element or keep it the same.
If you’re hesitant to include a child in a group right away, have a one-to-one session with them, or with their mother, who will act as your assistant.

If you’re worried about how other children will accept the new participant, prepare them in advance. Tell them that a new friend is about to join you. Talk about similarities and differences. For example, everyone on the planet has a lot in common, and we are all really alike. But there are also differences, and that is also normal. Say a new person is coming along, and he also has two arms, but that just one is ordinary and the other is a superhero hand.
Yoga is a great solution for preventing disorders in posture, and developing general endurance and good coordination. This is a good example of how both physical and breathing exercises can be combined in a class.

Such exercises are beneficial for all children. And for especially children with limb injuries, congenital or acquired. It is this way that you can form a good corset muscle and prevent curvature of the spine. And doing it in an easy game form means creating the right motivation for the child and encouraging them to do exercises not only in the gym, but also at home.

Separately, I would like to answer questions that I am often asked by parents: is it worthwhile attending such exercises with or without a cyberarm? I recommend putting on the prosthesis, because it allows compensation for the difference in weight of the two sides of the body and makes the technique more correct. However, the temporary absence of a prosthesis – for example, it has not yet been received or is not working – should not be a barrier to attendance.
Pediatrician, doctor of physical therapy and sports medicine.
Author of rehabilitation and preparation for prosthetics techniques.
Alina Kuzyakina

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