Rocking exercise can bring out-of-control kids to calmer seas


The side-to-side exercise releases tension and is soothing to the nervous system.

When someone or something has rocked your boat, here’s a great way to calm the upset and feel more in control.

Called rock the boat, it is demonstrated here by yoga educator Leah Kalish, founder of Move With Me Action Adventures. It’s great for both kids and adults when they need to get back on track after an upsetting or overwhelming day.

What it does

The side-to-side move massages the large gluteus muscles on either side of your sacrum, or the base of your spine, releasing tension and soothing your nervous system.


What to do

Sit on a rug or padded floor with your spine long and your hands behind you, fingers facing forward. Slowly lean back into your hands so that you’re resting on your sit bones (the ischial tuberosity). Bend your knees into a tabletop position; calves parallel to the floor. Slowly and gently rock on your bottom from one side to the other, keeping your feet off the floor.

To provide more power to the pose, take your hands off the floor and extend your arms to the front alongside your body. This provides more of a challenge to the core and can be just what you or your child needs to right your own boat after a stormy day.

This chant helps teach the movement to kids:

Rock, rock the boat

Gently in the sea.

Merrily, merrily we massage;

Calm as we can be.


How much

Do it for the length of the song or for as long as it feels good to you.



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