Last summer my children and I checked a yoga DVD out of the library. The following week we renewed it. Then we renewed it again, until the library informed us that we couldn't renew it anymore. Our family found a new activity to do together. We are healthier from exercising together, but we found some other unexpected benefits.
Slow down the stress. Whether it is mom having a bad day or the kids feeling the pressures of homework, family and friends, a short 20 minutes of yoga helps to slow down the stresses and actually helps my children feel calmer and better able to take on the world.
Stronger self-confidence. As my daughter began pre-kindergarten last year I was surprised to see her come home and say "Mommy, look I'm a flamingo!" Apparently they were using yoga positions in the creative movement classes. She was so proud of what she could do that each week she would hurry home to show the new yoga position that she learned.
Better body awareness. The children are more aware of their bodies now. They are stronger and more flexible. They have better balance. All these things provides them a "leg up" in dance and gymnastics, two activities they want to continue to pursue.
Good night, sleep tight. I sleep better when I've been able to do yoga with the children. They do too! Maybe it's the relaxation portion of yoga that helps. Maybe it is the breathing techniques or the ability to get back to "nature" as we consider the natural world and creative play as part of our yoga. The same can be said for a number of other exercises, so why not for yoga too?
I spy with my little eye, and listen with my little ear. Yoga requires both the children and me to watch and listen so we can learn. Sometimes we have specific instructions. Other times we have an example to follow without verbal instruction. Both methods teach us to watch, listen and learn; important qualities to have both in and out of school.
Anyone can do it. Whether you are a star athlete or have lived a sedentary lifestyle yoga is something that anyone can do. Any age, any size and any ability will find that yoga can help their physical and mental health.
Yoga helps us beat the heat. We live in an area of the country where 100+ degree days are the norm, not the exception. Days like that require some creativity to get us moving and part of our creative movement to beat the heat may include yoga both for mom and the kids.
We aren't perfect at it. Most experienced yoga users would probably even laugh at our efforts. But yoga does provide us with many benefits for our family. We have fun together, especially when the kids get to laugh at mom making her own efforts to be a flamingo, frog or dead bug. Let's face it, when else would I get a free minute to lie down on the ground and pretend to be stuck?
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