Now that it is mid-July, things have (hopefully!) slowed down and you and your family have settled in to the new summer routines, it is a perfect time to begin or re-invigorate your family yoga practice. Yoga is beneficial to kids and adults alike and is so easy to incorporate because it can be done anywhere, anytime. You do not need to have a studio or lay down your mat to practice. It can be done outside on the grass, at the beach, in the living room or any other place that works for your family. You can be silly and have fun with it!
Speaking of being at the beach, KIDS YOGA STORIES has this awesome write up (with a printable poster) for doing yoga poses while pretending to be at the beach (surfer, sitting in a beach chair, etc.) Genius.
At WTOP (a popular Washington, DC radio station), this article discusses more about the benefits of yoga for littles and gives additional tips for introducing yoga to your kids this summer.
Do you love yoga retreats? According to yoga journal there are retreats available for families now and camps focused on yoga for kids!
There are also now yoga studios dedicated entirely to kids! Yama Kids Yoga in Berkeley has weekly classes for kids age 2 through high school and also offers summer camps and yoga birthday parties. My daughter went to her friend’s party there and it was amazing!
If you are ready to give it a try but don’t want to go to a studio or a retreat, just try out some poses at home. KIDS YOGA STORIES provides a great starting point with 58 fun and easy yoga poses for kids.
Read this post from yoga journal for guidance on how to start an at home practice with your kids. Some examples: start with chanting, teach them to breathe awareness.
And finally, GAIAM keeps it super simple with “3 Ways To Integrate An At-Home Family Yoga Practice.” If you are having difficulty coming up with poses or are uncertain you are doing them correctly, get a DVD from your local library or find an online video.
Yoga does not have to be expensive or time consuming and should be accessible to all ages and abilities. Like mindfulness, yoga allows us to create space to breathe and deepen awareness. It can also be physically challenging and fun! Decide what works best for your family and see if you can commit to a weekly yoga practice with your littles for the rest of the summer. Maybe you will notice positive changes in your kids’ ability to handle stress or difficult emotions. Maybe they will want to keep doing it at summer’s end. Good luck!