This is a letter to all parents of children who attend yoga, written from the perspective of the children. I taught hundreds of kids yoga classes for over 4 years before slowing down, and these are things I often heard from my students. I hope your heartstrings are strong enough for this tug.

Dear Parents,

First, thank you for letting me take yoga. I know we’re busy, and it’s one more place you have to take me each week. I want you to know I really enjoy it, even if my teacher says I sometimes misbehave. I know you have to pay money, and I know I probably didn’t need that fancy yoga mat and strap, but it makes me feel special. Thank you for sharing the money your work pays you.

Second, yoga makes me feel kinda funny. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try. When I’m in yoga class, sometimes when I’m doing the poses (especially the harder ones), all I notice is my breath and what’s happening in my body. It’s like I don’t even hear what else is going on, care how I look, and I definitely don’t worry about school stuff while I’m trying to balance. When I’m in a yoga pose and it feels “just right,” I feel like nothing else matters and like I could stay all day. I feel focused and calm, and I don’t get to feel that way very often. Sometimes I do yoga breathing when I’m not in yoga class, and it helps.

My yoga teacher likes to tell us the names of poses and why they’re good for our body. Some of them help me breathe better, some make my belly feel better if it hurts, some make me feel really strong, and many of them make my back feel better. Sometimes I can stretch and feel like a brand new kid! It’s cool because we get to learn some of the muscle names and how they work when we move certain ways too. I’m never bored in yoga (like I am at school)! We learn through stories, games, songs, and working together to make cool shapes.

I think you should try yoga too. I know it’s good for you because it’s good for me. It makes me feel better, calmer, and focused; and I’d like you to feel that way, too. It makes me sad to hear you complain about your body hurting, being stressed out, being too tired to play, and how you don’t ever have “me time.” If you tried yoga, those problems would go away. Maybe you’d even want to be on your phone less and be able to pay attention when I tell you about my day. Yoga has really helped me learn to pay attention, that’s why I hear what you say and know you need yoga.

You know how sometimes you tell me I need a time out? Or a chill pill? I think sometimes you need one, too. I want us all to be happy and healthy so we can have lots of fun together as a family, you know, when we aren’t busy. Next time we walk the dog, will you leave your phone at home and stop to smell the flowers with me? Can we just slow down and pay attention to all the cool stuff around us? I know it can be hard, but I can teach you. I learned in yoga.

So, will you give yoga a try? For me, for you, and for our family?

Namaste (that means, “the good things in me see the good things in you.”),

Your little yogi

Parents, we’re overscheduled and stressed. Our kids feel it and know it. I often think, “When do I get to be a mom?” I know the daily routine involved in keeping them alive, clothed, and educated is “momming,” and I also long for those loving times when I can sit and play pretend. Those times are few and far between some weeks as I work in the day and teach yoga most evenings. Can you relate?

As a mom, I can say taking time for my yoga practice has made me a better parent. It helps me be more present for my children, I am more aware of my wants and needs within my body, I feel more confident and comfortable with who I am, and I am more mindful of the effect my words and actions have on others, especially my kids. Our body image teaches our children how to view their own bodies, and it’s never too soon to start being body-positive. It’s never too soon to start showing your children health and wellness is important. It’s never too soon to pay more attention. Will YOU stop and smell the flowers?

 

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