It’s almost Mother’s Day here in the United States, and if you’re like most people you are wracking your brain trying to come up with a unique, fun way to celebrate moms that the whole family wants to participate in. I know that I am over dragging the kids to an over-crowded, over-priced brunch or sending yet another bouquet of flowers. So instead, this year I am going to celebrate moms (myself included) by doing some yoga with my favorite people.
Partner/Family Poses: I’ll take any excuse to smoosh with my kids. They are teens now, so they aren’t as cuddly as they used to be. Partner poses are a great excuse to sneak in an extra hug or kiss, even if they sigh and roll their eyes. One of my favorite group poses is what I call The Swirl. The family sits with backs together, legs straight and at a wide angle. Hook elbows with the people next to you. Once you are all locked in, start swirling so one person is in a forward fold, someone else might be in a side bend, and others may be in a back bend. After a few rounds in one direction, start swirling the other way. Lizard on a Rock (or Double Child) is another favorite for the whole family. One person comes into childs pose. This person is the Rock. The partner (the Lizard) sits on the Rock’s back, tailbone-to-tailbone, facing the opposite direction. Slowly, the Lizard rolls back over the Rock and reaches her arms overhead and legs straight out (if it feels good). Stay as long as both partners are comfy, then switch. If the Rock is significantly smaller than the Lizard, the Lizard should sit up against the Rock but on the floor, and then roll back so the Rock isn’t squished.
Toega: Spread little pompoms on the floor (or cotton balls if you don’t have pompoms). Then race to see who can pick up the most pompoms using only their naked toes. Pick up a pompom and place it on your mat (or in a bowl). Make it more challenging for the grown-ups by making them only pick up certain colors, or put their bowl further away. When time is up (about 2-3 minutes), count the pompoms and then, using the pompoms, have each person make a pompom portrait of Mom. Be ready for some abstract interpretations!
Family Breath: Stand or sit in a circle, arms around each other. Without speaking, try to sync up your breath pattern. Feel each others backs move with the inhales and exhales and try to match yours to the group’s. After you’ve breathed together for a while, end with a Huddle OM by taking a big breath in, leaning in, and saying a low-pitched, calming OM. When the sound disappears, let the silence fill the room.
Momma Says: Played just like Simon Says, but Momma is in charge! Momma decides on the yoga postures to do. If she says, “Momma says…” before announcing the posture, then everyone does the pose. But if she doesn’t say “Momma says”, then don’t do the pose! After a while, let someone else be Momma and see if you can catch the real Mom doing the pose when she isn’t supposed to
Loving-Kindness Meditation: My favorite meditation to practice is also simply perfect for celebrating a mother’s love! Everyone starts by wishing themselves peace and joy. Then they spread that feeling to their family. Next they send their thoughts to their community and the world.
May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be at peace.
May my family be happy. May my family be safe. May my family be at peace.
May the world be happy. May the world be safe. May the world be at peace.