My yoga obsession started when I was 20, I could do it anytime anyplace any mat. Yoga helped me through exams, interviews, travel adventures, relationships, conceptions, pregnancy, childbirth and so much more. It’s been a lifelong body, mind and spirit companion.
Below are the ways I’ve weaved it into my family life since my son was born 12 years ago. My intention is that it gives you some ideas and confidence to try it at home too.
Would you like to have time during the week for yoga with your children, a time to connect, play, laugh, stretch, relax learn from each other and grow? Perhaps you are finding it tricky to find a class and time to suit. Practising yoga at home with your family is really quite simple and you don’t even need a mat.
Post Natal Yoga
When my children were babies/toddlers I used to plug in a ‘Yoga for Post Natal Vitality‘ DVD with Wendy Teasdil and do a little here and there with them crawling over me amongst the nappies and changing mats. I figured they would just get used to the idea that ‘Mum’ did yoga and what it was. I don’t think there was so much online yoga around 10 years ago, now there is an abundance. It wasn’t always so relaxing, however it got me moving, helped my pelvic floor and I always felt better after.
Yoga for Kids
As they grew, they often used to ask for this rather ackward yet fun happy clappy SunDance clip, and go around singing it. There’s other videos out there to choose from including the onesie lady from Cosmic Kids. You can join in too and extend and adapt the moves to suit you and have a yoga workout alongside your children.
If you google ‘yoga for kids posters’ there’s loads you can print off like the one below. Have fun working through them and then you can make up your own stories, rhymes, games and moves. There aren’t any rules, you don’t have to stick to the names nobody is going to be judging or marking you. There’s also lots of yoga for kids books online and cards you could use if you wanted to take it further, but I don’t recommend spending as they will come up with plenty of ideas and there’s lots of free yoga support about.
When you read a story book, have fun creating yoga poses from it and acting out the story.
How Long Should Yoga Take – Family Flow
There is no should, sometimes just 2 to 5 minutes of gentle breath work or holding a downward facing dog pose, can be enough to change a state. What is your intention for doing it as this moment as a family – calm, joy, playfulness, energy, sleep? if you are using online yoga choose a length that intuitively suits you. if you are sharing yoga moves together and making them up just go with the family flow.
Yoga Begins in Savasanah
At the end of your yoga session, it is important to rest in savasanah – as yoga begins in this pose! It’s not easy for children to be still, however it’s good to model how you do it, you can always play sleeping lions as an introduction. If you’ve had an energetic practice savasanah restores balance to the central nervous system, omitting it from our practice can leave us a little wired rather than relaxed, same for the kids. If you enjoy sewing, then you might enjoy making lavendar pillows to place over your eyes at the end of your practice.
Yoga with Older Children
My children are now 12 and 10 and they do sometimes join in with me, what I have noticed is that my son he is very keen on fitness, and he will often do his press ups alongside my yoga practice. It’s there if the children want it and I know it’s had/having a positive impact on them. As they are older I’m not so restricted and get out more, if I can’t schedule in a class for myself at the leisure centre, then I’ll use this fantastic online yoga platform which I subscribe too, there’s a few kids and teenagers classes on here as well – online yoga classes
Would love to know what works best for you and what resources you use, please do comment below.
Happy Family Yoga!