Making the discipline of yoga part of your discipline plan

I have two televisions in my household. In the last 6 months they have gotten way too much use. Partly due to the birth of my daughter and all the time spent with hands tied up nursing, making it difficult to do much else, and partly because Netflix is amazingly addictive. I began to feel my brain slowly turning to mush and saw my son slowly molding into his recliner. A change had to be made! The cable was cut (we kept Netflix) and some new rules were put into place.

The first rule was that TV time was limited to 30 minute intervals, and only on Tuesday and Thursdays during the week. The second rule is that no one (including myself) can watch television if they have not done their yoga practice for the day. What? Shouldn’t one be motivated to do their practice rather than forced? Well, in my household we thrive on discipline and structure, but we aren’t always the best at it. Things have a place and we are happiest when everything is in its place. My son struggles with unmedicated ADD/ADHD tendencies that I manage mostly with diet and essential oils, but the behavior has recently affected him at school. The only thing I could think to do was to institute a mandatory family yoga practice. So, I drew up a short sequence for him consisting of 3 Sun Salutations, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Triangle, Tree pose, Pretzel pose, Boat pose, Bridge pose, Apanasana (knees to chest), and Savasana (Secret Garden). View the poses here. He does all the standing poses on one side, then does a few push-ups and does them on the other before moving to the floor. It takes him about 8-10 minutes to complete every morning. Perfect amount of time for me to prepare breakfast. In the three weeks he has been doing his practice, he has improved dramatically in his self-control at home and at school. He also honors the no TV unless he’s done his yoga practice (he’s forgotten a couple of days and woke up late another), and happily busies himself doing other things. It’s every parent’s dream! Sure we still butt heads and have our trials, but the new sense of joy he has is undeniable. He told me just last night that he feels “good” on days he does his yoga and “wild” on days he doesn’t. Hmm…

This new rule has applied to me as well. I am currently enrolled in a 70 day online training requiring me to have a yoga practice as well as attend/be guided at least 4 times each week. That’s a hefty requirement. Having this rule in place has led to exploring new teachers online, via DVD, visiting a new local studio, and doing yoga with my baby girl! She loves it and it seems to have even awakened a body awareness for her. She has finally found her feet, started chewing on her feet, and has a new desire to conquer the art of sitting up. You can see her for yourself in our new online training called PreKay!

All in all, adding a yoga practice to our list of house rules has changed our lives! We are all healthier, happier, and more productive people. I love my family and that is my first priority. Part of that priority includes our physical health, spiritual growth, and ability to focus on our responsibilities. Our yoga practice has helped in all of those areas, and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow in our practice as a family.

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