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Yoga Practice and Children
Practicing yoga when you have children can be challenging. I try to set aside some time every day to practice. Sometimes that turns into an hour and sometimes its 15 minutes. The thing about practicing at home is I try to practice before everyone wakes up. When I can’t, my yoga practice area doubles as the kids’ playroom. There are literally toys everywhere.
Does anyone else’s yoga mat look like this? I’ll be in downward dog and my 2 year old will be right under me. This afternoon during cool down, I was laying on my mat in pigeon. My toddler was laying beside me (with her head down) and my 10-month-old baby girl was laying on the 2-year-old. I would have loved to have gotten a picture to show you! We literally looked like we were heavily involved in a game of Twister. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since I still work my 9-5 job, I treasure all of the available time that I can spend with my little ones. (This includes my 10-year-old and my 16-year-old as well).
Ways to Engage Your Children with Yoga
The thing is, I don’t mind practicing around them because yoga is my passion and I love sharing my passion with my family but at the same time, it can certainly be difficult to concentrate on your breathing and posture with little ones running around. Here are a few ideas that may help:
- Let the kids join in. It may take a little extra time but showing the little ones how to play around with different postures can be fun (and beneficial).
- Find special toys (like crayons and paper) just for yoga time. When you are ready to practice, pull out the “special” toy box to keep the little ones engaged.
- Yoga quiz fun. Teach the kids different poses names and quiz them on the poses while you are demonstrating them.
Besides being able to spend some extra quality time with the kids, you may be passing on some important benefits. According to Parents.com, “By practicing yoga poses, children can learn how to exercise, develop confidence, and concentrate better.” Think of all of the potential health and wellness benefits from children exercising and improving concentration. The exercise can help fight obesity and breathing techniques can be used when your child wants to calm themselves or relax.
Going forward, in addition to allowing my kids to join in on some of my practices, I will focus on some of the ways listed above to engage them in the practice as well.