The benefits of yoga for grown ups are well documented- helping with things like stress reduction, increased physical strength and flexibility, mental clarity…the list goes on.
But I bet you didn’t know that yoga for babies and children is also super beneficial giving kids increased emotional awareness and boosting their self-esteem and confidence!
Recently, a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that gentle mindfulness-based yoga helped children regulate their emotions (bye, bye tantrums). Children’s ability to stay focused and attentive was also noted after yoga.
Exposing your kids to yoga at a young age helps them to learn about themselves and empowers them to be in charge of their emotions. Our daughter, Rose goes to a daycare centre that incorporates yoga into their weekly routine and she absolutely loves it!
We’ll do a yoga session together and she’ll be the teacher, showing us all the poses. It allows us to take some time out of our crazy hectic schedules and find some calm and peacefulness together as a family.
Here are a few ways you can practice yoga at home with your child:
- Be the example. One of the most important things is for parents to do yoga while their kids are present. Modeling poses or lying still in Savasana will peak your child’s interest and curiosity and they will definitely ask what you are doing.
- Create a warm yoga space. Lie out mats, use cushions and pillows and choose a space clear of furniture and toys to eliminate distractions.
- Get creative. Encourage your children to use their own creativity and invent their own poses. Children will love playing animals, trees, flowers and warriors. Barking in dog pose, hiss in cobra pose and meow in cat stretch!
- Make it a ritual. Similar to brushing teeth, your family yoga practice can be included in a daily or weekly routine. It could be a few minutes of quiet breathing or a 20 minute yoga practice with posture. Our daughter knows that “yoga time” means bringing out her little yoga mat and towel.
Yoga classes for families are a great way to spend some time together. Toronto Yoga Mamas offers weekly weekend family yoga classes. For more information, check their website www.torontoyogamamas.com.
I would love to hear about your family’s yoga time – send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.