Parent & Child YogaAug 31, 2021
Yoga is beneficial for everyone and can be practiced by babies all the way to seniors. One of the reasons yoga can be practiced by anyone is because the poses are meant to be practiced at one’s individual pace and modified to adapt and adjust to everyone’s abilities.
Let’s think about cat – cow (Bitilasana). A child will be practicing this pose maybe using the cat and cow sounds as they move from one posture to the other, an adult will be focusing on the stretch on the lower spine, hips and core muscles whilst opening the chest and lungs and a senior might even choose to do this same pose whilst seated in a chair with their hands on their knees, inhaling to flex the spine and exhaling to curve the spine.
But practicing yoga with your child is a great way to bond and build a special relationship with them. Doing simple yoga poses together can provide a physical activity that will also help both parent and child to relax, be in the moment and have fun. It will open new opportunities for dialogue and sharing of experiences, it will encourage a social aspect for both you and your child and if you already practice yoga, encouraging your child to join in will provide them an insight into a special part of your life as yoga is a valuable practice to learn at any age.
Taking a yoga break together, whether that is just a class, or an actual retreat will help parents and children unwind from the daily stresses, the busy lives and in some way, their separate lives as well.
“What I loved so much about the mother daughter retreats are the memories we made together - the fact I was able to gift her grounding through yoga, AND that some self-care for me didn’t feel selfish, as she also spent quality time with other children who she wasn’t at school with, when we had some adult only sessions”! Testimonial – Bronwen Gray
1. Breathwork - Balloon breath
Don’t think of this as being a quiet, meditative breath, instead make it fun!
You can lie on your back with your little one on your stomach as you emphasize the inhale exhale through your belly.
Or you can sit cross-legged and face each other with your hands on each other’s bellies,
Or you can have your little one sit on your lap.
Whichever one you decide to do try and focus on the belly. Making it bigger and bigger each time you breath in, so you can float up into the sky, like a balloon and every time you breath out and the tummy deflates you land in a different country.
2. Lizard on a rock
This is a fun one but also a very relaxing posture for both parties. The adult being the rock (child’s pose) and your child lying on top of you like a lizard lying in the sun on a rock. You can hold their hands to help them balance. And when it is time to get up you can just gently sit up and slide your little one off your back.
Remember, the goal is not to be perfect and achieve the perfect pose or breath but to be present: breathing together, moving together, laughing together, and having fun together. Living in the moment because that is where our happiness and joy actually is.
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