Yoga for kids can be an easy. “Strike a pose there’s nothing to it”! But life isn’t a set of Madonna lyrics and kids and parenting are complex.
Yoga Poses and Life from a Perspective of Mindfulness.
When we as parents are mindful, our kids experience Karma Yoga. Much more than poses…and much more effective to their long term growth and development. Yoga science offers us a way of living and “being” as parents.
“Yoga Science” offers a methodology. Through Yoga Science you can understand yourself better on all levels, including your physical well-being, your actions, thought, process, emotions and desires.
Karma Yoga: Karma Yoga is the path of action, service to others, mindfulness and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions in the world.” —Swami Jnaneshvara
In Christianity, Karma Yoga translates into works of charity, good works, volunteering, and being thoughtful about how we treat others. Growing up Catholic, it’s not hard for me to understand the idea of Karma Yoga. But somehow, the word “mindful” made the idea of service to others, much more personal for me. It made me think of taking care of myself, and about how I take care of my family.
After more than 17 years working as a developmental therapist, taking yoga classes and workshops, practicing yoga meditation, living a life close to christian roots, and being mindful in my parenting, I have seen before me the unfolding of a tapestry of mindfulness in my life as well as my families life.
If you want happy kids, kids yoga can help, but kids yoga is a practice that parents should do along with their kids. Kids follow the lead of their parents. Even if we as parents aren’t very good at yoga, our example is the influence our kids will gravitate towards.
Use these resources to launch yourself and your kids into Mindful Living! You CAN Do it too !
General Yoga Resources for Kids:
Yoga Pretzels (Yoga Cards) These cards are great because they can be put in different orders based on skill level and to make different stories and sequences. Instructions included.
My Daddy Is A Pretzel is a cute book to introduce kids and parents to a yoga lifestyle. It also talks about how to have the right attitude when embracing yoga, and also gives tips and tricks on how to related it to everyday life.
Mindful Kids: 50 Activities for Calm, Focus and Peace This deck of cards is divided into 5 groups in the areas of feeling grounded, finding calm, improving focus, practicing loving-kindness and relaxing. Super cute. For ages 4 to 104!
Tiger Tiger Is It True A great book to teach kids that the negative thoughts they “think” are true, might not be true! It shows that what we believe might just be what we made up. It shows how to re-write our thoughts for happier ones. Very useful and well laid out book.
Kids Yoga For Emotional Balance:
One of the harder but also more significant ways we can teach our kids emotional balance is through our actions as parents. We can read books to them about emotional balance, give them a list of expectations related to how they should act, and make sensory activities to help them calm, but if we don’t also model emotional regulation then we miss out on influencing them.
Sometimes, we are just so busy, we burst out with harsh words, or bark our instructions to our kids. Sometimes we lose our cool and might raise our voice. We are all not perfect parents, but most of us really do try out best. We love our kids so much, we are always trying to get them to stay on the right path. But if we ourselves mess up, two words from the heart can make up for our short-comings. “I’m sorry”. These two words are the words that over weeks and months and years, heal so much in real time. Kids are calmer when their parents help them feel secure, and “I’m Sorry” is on of the best phrases to instill security, safety, and calm in our kids.
Mindfulness in Parenting:
The Rhythm of Family is a great book for mom’s and dad’s who want to be more mindful as they move through the seasons. This book has personal reflections by a mom and dad as they cook, create and enjoy life to the fullest. A real good down home example of mindful living.
Get yourself started with these essential tools for parents. They help sooth, calm, and heal. They may be used only for a short time each day, but the benefits are evident through out the day in how we feel, act, and move through interactions and situations, both joyful and challenging.
Yoga Nidra with Amy Weintraub : This is a great short meditation that can restore and refresh. It deals with stress, anxiety and even the blues. I use it every day, each morning as I get up! Can’t live without it.
Meditation for Relaxation & Wellness Guided Meditation by Belleruth Naparstek is an excellent intro to meditation in the form of visualization. I attended a 2 day workshop with her, and this lady knows how to use visualization to address sleep, trauma, surgery, and a host of other difficulties. She is in my opinion the best I have seen in this area of work.
General Resources for Parents:
This is a center that is great fun for the whole family. Classes and retreats are offered for the whole family and the location is serene.
A Center with wisdom that really hits the mark. Lots are great resources to guide you.