Practicing yoga with your children is not only pure joy but extremely beneficial for yogis of all ages. Here’s why we think you should be practicing yoga with kids.
Katie Page, owner of the children’s yoga studio, Wren’s Nest, believes practicing yoga with your children strengthens family bonds in an atmosphere of fun. She says that children and their grown-ups are given the rare opportunity to observe and learn from one another and provide support (as in partner poses).
Whether its a group family yoga class or simply practice at home, here are a few more reasons why I recommend enjoying yoga with your little ones.
Practicing Yoga With Kids: You will Model Healthy Life Habits
My own yoga practice has changed tremendously since my children were born. At first, I was easily frustrated when I could not carve out solid solo movement time on my mat. After accepting the beauty of my practice with tiny yogis beneath (or on top of) me, my view began to soften. After all, there is still a yoga practice. It looks different, yet is still incredibly healthy for me and allows me to model this mind-body modality for my boys. They have seen my willingness to incorporate them into my poses without giving up my practice completely.
Practicing Yoga With Kids: An Opportunity to Connect:
I like to view yoga as the connection of mind, body, and breath, as well as a deep connection with one another and our environment too. Partner poses are one of my favorite ways to play yoga with my children. These poses require strengthened communication, eye-contact, and teamwork.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Double Downard-Facing Dog: Get into downward-facing dog pose and have your little get into the pose in front of you. They will carefully place their feet, one at a time, onto your hips.
Sunbathing on a Rock: Come into child’s pose. Have your child sit on your lower back and request they lay down (so they are looking upward). They can stretch their arms overhead and take ahold of your hands.
Feather Breathing: Practice deep breathing by blowing a feather back and forth to one another.
Create a New Pose: Come up with your own unique partner pose together!
Practicing Yoga With Kids: You may Learn New Parenting Tools
When you practice yoga with your child, you will develop language and tools that will be helpful off the mat, so-to-speak.
For instance, if you regularly practice feather breathing, you can refer to the benefits of taking deep breaths (and this activity) when your child is upset. Sharing yoga with my son has helped him develop a sense of mindfulness that I can tap into during difficult times. We often use stones, nature meditations, and even stopping, dropping and doing a few yoga poses to help.
Practicing Yoga With Kids: It is Practice in Letting Go of Expectations
In the Baby and Me Yoga class I teach, one of the first things I mention is that “anything goes.” We may have certain expectations of our little ones, but naturally, the expectations sometimes fall short. This is okay! I have had to turn my frustration into a lesson in growth every single time that my son refused to participate in a yoga class or yoga practice with me. As humans, we are often attached to outcomes and the ways that things should go. Playing yoga with our children reminds us that we cannot control anything but how we view the situation around us. Let it go!