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Introducing Your Kids to Yoga: Open Minds & Open Hearts

19th October 2016

“I want to do yoga.”

I was thrilled when these words came out of my six year old's mouth earlier this year. Between running around between school and extra-curricular activities, it is easy to forget that our kids our dealing with pressures of their own every day (even if they seem  small to us, they can be big issues in their little minds!). Even in the rare moments where we do get some quiet time, it can be very easy to succumb to our phones and tablets as a way to relax. These days, it isn’t unusual to see children as young as one easily navigating their way around a screen.

Yoga provides a welcome alternative, providing you and your children as with a way to focus on the present moment rather than worrying about how many likes a photo has on Instagram or if someone has accepted your friend request. Yoga isn’t about being the most flexible or doing the splits and it certainly isn’t a competition. It is about taking a moment to relax, breathe and allowing our bodies and minds a moment to connect.

Kids find yoga fun too. It gives them the opportunity to use their imaginations. They can fly like birds or airplanes, turn themselves upside down like a bat, or pretend to be a dog in the ever-popular downward dog position. My little girl loves turning her body into a bridge and then transforming into the tallest tree she can.

Making shapes with your body, which, in yoga terms, is called asana practice, helps us and our children to learn more about ourselves.  Practicing and focusing on our breathing through each of the poses enables us to deal with the pressures of life off the yoga mat. Yoga helps our children appreciate themselves and develop compassion for those around them.

Starting off yoga as a family doesn’t have to be tricky. Begin by putting aside all distractions to spend a few minutes together. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching so that your knees are open to the side. Pretend to be butterflies, flapping your wings by moving your arms. Next, lie on your belly and push yourselves up with your hands under your shoulders, pushing your chest up, like a cobra. Look to the sky, roll your shoulders back and open your hearts. The most important thing is don’t forget to breathe! Breathe in and breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out....

We look forward to seeing you and your little ones at our 7.30am Saturday yoga classes. Everyone is welcome!