5 Ways to Involve your Children in your Yoga Practice

1.  Practice in front of them

It is not always ideal to practice yoga around your children, it certainly can take away some of those calm and quiet vibes!  But letting your child see you practice yoga is the first way to spark their interest.  They can see what you are doing, and you can tell them why, and how it makes you feel.  If you only have a chance for quiet and calm on your mat once a week, you might want that time just for you, but if you step on your mat more regularly try to be around your family sometimes (it is good practice for finding focus too!)

2.  Welcome them when they show interest

So you’ve set up your mat whilst the kids are happily playing, the first time you get into downward dog suddenly there is a small person underneath you, or maybe even on top of you (or both).  As long as no one is getting hurt, try to encourage this.  If they are a little older, show them how to help support you in a posture or help you move deeper (my children are now experts at giving hands on assists).  Then suggest they try it too, and you can help them in return.

3.  Let go of expectations

Let’s face it, most of the time a yoga practice with children will be short, messy, and probably not go to plan.  Let go of any ideas you have about what you would like to happen on the mat and simply enjoy the time there.

4.  Find connections

We all need to feel connected, and one of the simplest ways to do this is through touch.  Try making shapes together, see which parts of your body you can keep connected.  Roll a dice and try to make a shape with that number of body parts touching.  Use massage, hugs, tickles and anything else your child enjoys,

5.  Have fun

Last but not least, enjoy the experience.  Balance soft toys on different parts of your body and create slides for them to go down.  Let the trains, cars (and children) go through the tunnels you create with your body (Then try to go through a tunnel your child creates!).  Use your favourite books and stories and act them out with yoga postures, or go for a safari and see which yoga animals you can spot (don’t forget to make the noises too).  Let this be a time when anything goes, play and have fun.

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