Tantrum Yoga: Poses based on my toddler's meltdowns

This may be true of all toddlers, but my three-year-old daughter is the queen of self care.

She epitomizes both the ultimate goal of and the ultimate threat to the billion-dollar self-help industry, because she was born with all of it. She never feels guilty about saying no, she builds ample time for herself into every single action she does, and she has zero imposter syndrome even when she is literally being an imposter (like when she insists on examining her brother's scraped knee because "you have to trust me, Tommy, I'm a doctor").

I take a lot of credit for all this, but not for having demonstrated it to her. In truth, I listened to Beyonce's Lemonade album a lot when I was pregnant with her, and now she is, in a word, empowered. 

So, when it comes to self care, I am letting her be the teacher. And one way that she has really inspired me is that when she is displeased, she uses her entire body to convey that. 

Watching her freak out in new and creative ways in response to being asked to get dressed or told that she cannot, right this second, get married, got me thinking of a new way to alleviate stress: tantrum yoga. 

Here are some of my favorite poses, each inspired by a real meltdown and  perfectly designed to LET. IT. ALL. OUT.

The only trick to know going into it is that, in tantrum yoga, the breathing is a little different. You breath in through your nose, but on every exhale, you scream as loud as you possibly can. It's also good to channel all your stress into short phrases you can scream like, "I don't want to," " I can't," "I don't know how" or, if you're stressed about a lot of things, just "NO NO NO NO NO!" 

And now, let's begin. 

 1. Cat Cow Collapse

Begin in cow pose. 

Arch your back to move into cat pose. 

Slide your hands back, between your legs to press your face into the floor. Scream. 

2. Ostrich

Begin in mountain pose, with hands at heart. 

Reach your arms up and look to the sky. 

Swan dive forward into a hamper, trash can, really anything where you can hide your head from the world. Scream. 


3. Angry Turtle

Lie on your back, knees up, feet on the floor. 

Throw your arms over your face to block out all sunlight or reasonable discussion. Bicycle kick your legs. Scream. 

Advanced version: Bicycle kick your legs near an inanimate object (such as a table, desk, or door frame). When you inevitably kick that object with your foot, scream at it for causing you pain.  

4. Gopher

Fold your body into a cabinet and close the door. 

If someone opens the door to cabinet, cover your face and scream. 

5. Inverted Corpse  

Begin in mountain pose, with hands at heart. 

Drop to your knees, as hard as you can. 

Faceplant into the ground. Stay there. Scream. 

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  • Joe b on

    Very well done

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