London bridges pose has been a favorite in my family yoga class. It is also a wonderful stand alone pose to do at home with your kids. It is great for building strength in your core, legs and wrists. It also re-energizes the whole body. Encourage your whole family to join in. Watch the rejuvenating effects afterwards!
London Bridges Domestic Yogi Style:
1) Sit on your bottom with your feet on the floor, hip width apart. Place your hands flat behind you, fingers facing forward, elbows in.
2) Invite your child (at least walking age) to sit on your lap facing you. Or have them watch.
3) Raise your seat up to shoulders height. Keep your feet parallel. Don't let your toes flail out - this will help protect your lower back.
3) Sing: London bridges falling down, falling down, falling down. London Bridges falling down. My fair lady. If your child sitting on you, they can practice their balance by staying sitting up, or they may want to try laying back like my son in the picture. If your child is watching, encourage them to crawl under the bridge before it falls.
4) Let your seat "crash down" indicating that the bridge has fallen down. (Remember to go slow if you have a younger child on your lap).
5) Go back into the pose, and sing: Build it up with wood and clay, wood and clay, wood and clay. Build it up with wood and clay. My fair lady - o!
6) Repeat again, or try with straight legs (see variation below).
I like to do one round with bent legs. This way your body has a chance to warm up a little, and your child has fun balancing on top of you. Next, I like to do it with straight legs for the full purvottanasana pose. I recommend being comfortable with purvottannasana pose on your own first before trying it with a child on your lap. If you child wants to be on top, have them scoot up closer to your heart. Remember, you can always encourage them to crawl under your "bridge".
If you child is on your lap, keep your head up so you can watch your child and make sure they are safe. Your hips may not get as high as you'd like them with the child on your lap, but know you are still getting a good work out with the extra weight.