If you practice yoga, you will sometimes have to choose whether to spend time with yourself or your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be this way. All you need to do is to encourage them to share their passion with you.
As adult yoga students, we know well what the benefits of good practice are. For many of us, the reason we started the practice was to achieve physical balance, stronger muscles, increased flexibility and since then the positive energy flowing from practice has mastered other areas of our lives. We manage stress better, our breathing has improved. We tend to comfort everyone around with a smile. It’s time to smuggle some yoga (and its benefits) into the lives of our children in small and large steps.
Here are five ways to do it.
1. Tell a story to greet the sun every morning.
After the first morning yawns and a visit to the toilet, try to implement this habit and see how you and your child will feel after a week of this routine. I bet it’s pretty good. Here is the story I tell in weekly activities for toddlers, but you can modify it to suit the age of your children:
“Stretch your arms high and wave to the sun! Thank the sun for shining! Now reach low to the ground and thank the grass for growing! Now we can put our bellies on the floor. Do you know that even dogs are grateful for the sun? Let’s be dogs and see if the sun is still shining! (Take the Dog’s attitude with your head up) And now, let the sun shine on our tails! (Take the dog’s head down) And finally we will get up and reach high into the sun once more before we start our day! “
2. Taking care of yourself and balanced poses go hand in hand
In how many ways can you position the tree by brushing your teeth? What about Warrior III? The position of the king of dance when combing hair? I bet you can come up with a million more items. These poses take just a minute, but they count as a strategy to get yoga into your daily routine in a serious and fun way.
3. The TV can be your muse.
Of course, we try to limit the time spent in front of the screen by our children. But what if time in front of the screen becomes an excellent opportunity to help create new yoga positions?
Several of my younger students have their favorite TV heroes and come to class with very specific ideas on how to make their bodies look like their heroes’ bodies. Some examples of characters that are easily imitated in the style of yoga are Ninja Turtles, Big Bird from Sesame Street, Paw Patrol … are just some of the most popular.
You can show “official” positions for characters such as turtle and dog, but allow children to be creative. Ask them to come up with 5 poses while watching their favorite fairy tale.
4. Get in the Feathers!
Breathing is the main element of yoga because it helps us relax. How many 3-year-olds do you know who are willing to spend 30 minutes working on their breath? I thought so.
But if you have several feathers, the whole game takes a different turn. Thanks to the feathers, you can see who can hold the feather in the air for the longest time with the help of breath.
Lie on the floor and blow a pen for the length of the room. Play a round-up by blowing a feather at other family members . Set up small obstacles on the floor or on the table and guide the feather by blowing into it through the created maze. I could play this game over and over, just like your kids, I’m going to bet.
5. End the Day with Three Deep, Deep, DEEP Breaths.
When you put your baby to sleep, take three deep breaths with him; filling your bellies like balloons, blowing your thanks to three special people in the lives of your children. They can choose other people every night. Closely with your hands on your heart whispering “Namaste” prepare them gently for a peaceful sleep.
All children approach yoga differently. Some feel with her like the proverbial fish in water, while others watch and perform tasks in class, however, show their skills much later. Children take what they are fed. Sometimes they have to learn to like it, just like vegetables, but yoga is a much better challenge.
When you approach yoga as a game and fun, children begin to desire to become an active and contemplative part of this practice. Imagine that we all had someone who taught us yoga when we were little. I bet the world would be a different (read: better) place.