Be warned! If you send your kids to yoga…

·       They may come home shockingly calm, and ready to do their homework

That’s right, after an hour in a specially designed yoga program, your child will have jiggled and giggled their wiggles away, and gone through a savasana period where their bodies and minds are calmed down and ready for some focus time.  Post-yoga is the perfect time for homework completion.

·       They may stop picking fights with their siblings

Now I can’t promise total peace between your kiddos, but I will offer up the idea of a yoga class exposing your littles to mindfulness.  What is mindfulness?  And why is it all the rage right now?  I really like this definition that popped up on a quick Google search: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”  It’s probably pretty safe to say that between technological advancements, the rush of our lives, and having too many choices at every turn, we as a human race can feel overwhelmed and detached from ourselves, as well as each other.  Yoga stops the noise for a moment, and reconnects us to our sensations, on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels, and aims to ‘yoke’ those three parts of our selves together.  Important for creating harmony in self, as well as with family.  And the world.

·       They may go to bed easily

Sleep results from the nervous system’s parasympathetic activity, which is also associated with practicing yoga.  Research supports the connection between the two.  That is, the practice of yoga can help provide for a restful nights’ sleep.  There is a form of light meditation that also helps induce sleep, yoga nidra.  Meditation is a close relative of yoga, and can be learned in yoga class.  This is science folks!

·       You might find them secretly practicing their deep breathing

If you catch them bunny breathing, or moving across the room on their bellies blowing an item with the air from their noses, do not be alarmed!  They are practicing their deep breathing, as learned in yoga class!  Deep breathing is the best tool we have in our emotional well-being toolboxes!

·       They may start speaking a foreign language

Some terms used in yoga may sound foreign, and are likely of Sanskrit origin. Because the depth and breadth of yoga originated in India, the Sanskrit dialect is used to describe many of the poses, as well as the philosophical ideals.  Namaste is certainly the most popular word you will hear.  When broken down, the word means to bow to another.  The idea being: the light in me honors the light in you.  Hands pressed together with thumbs at the chest, head bowed, this is the typical ending to yoga time.  Language transcends our differences, and explains our likeness.

·       They might try to teach you a pose, or two, or ten

Their likely favorites?  Lion, Cobra, Turtle, Crow!!  The original postural yogis mimicked the stretches made by animals.  Cow and Cat are often paired together for an amazing back and rib cage stretch.  But the really crazy part?  It’s so much fun, the kids don’t even realize they are doing wonders for their bodies.  Stretching is the ultimate antidote for tension and anxiety.  Stretching can be done anywhere.  And by anyone. 

·       They may throw pom poms all over the house

Toe-ga!!  If you find your family in a state of discord, just take out a bag of pom poms, throw them on the ground, and ask your child to teach you Toe-ga. This Kidding Around Yoga game takes focus with coordinated breath, and is so much fun!  Most pom poms gathered by toesies wins.  And yes, there should be lots of game playing in yoga class.

·       You may learn some new words to old, well-known melodies

Music is an integral part of a successful kids’ yoga class.  Children respond to song, and especially to tunes they already know.  The words are just different.  And because their brains are like sponges, they memorize the new tunes easily. And then repeat them easily, ad nauseam.  It’s fun though, really! 

·       They may break into spontaneous laughter

Ever heard of laughter yoga?  Me neither, until my kid yoga training certification.  It was the BEST part of the weekend!  I personally love laughing.  I sprinkle it in with other various forms of discipline in my personal parenting style.  It’s a game changer, to choose to laugh.  Total. Game. Changer.  And apparently, it’s good for us too: mood boosting, and heart health!

·       They will beg to go back!

Yoga class is a safe zone.  It is a place of acceptance, and play, and creativity, and love, and peace.  We play, we stretch, we add tools to our toolboxes.  Every class is different, and the teaching goes both ways.  Who wouldn’t want to go over and over again?

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