Here comes the summer! Some of you are going away with your kids, some of your kids are going away without you, and the rest of you may have kids who are going to stay here, while you balance your work/family life. All different situations, all complex, in their own way. Complex, yet blissful. It’s summer time, and no matter which way It goes, things always seem lighter, simpler, and more doable than winter time.
As parents, it’s important to take a deep breath, and get centered, especially now that school is out. Family yoga sounds eccentric, unusual, and doable. Yoga is for everyone, and I am not only talking about yoga poses here. Yoga can be as simple as sitting down with your child, face to face, or on the phone if they’re not near you, and having a conversation with intention. Maybe you’re mindfully listening to them, or they to you.
Yoga can be as simple as taking intentional walks with your children, early in the morning, or during a sunset. There are small steps to take, to allow your children to feel more comfortable, doing simple activities, and understand that all it takes is some mindful intention for any practice to work. We can slowly start at that angle, and begin breath-work, and finally, fun yoga poses!
The reason I say start slow, is for you too. When you feel rushed on the inside, the manifestation on the outside may not turn out as planned. And as always, that is just fine. But the ultimate goal, as a family, is to stay centered as a unit. Your children will love the idea of yoga being an activity that is simple, yet so helpful. The benefits will grow each time you practice together. Sometimes, a change of pace can trigger anxiety, and that can go for parents and their children. Being that school is out.
As far as meditation goes, positive affirmations are a great way to start. I have tailored specific guided meditations, to certain families and their dynamics at home. But the general best one to practice with your children is “I am love” “I am peace” “I am joy” Usually, having one hand over the heart, and one hand over the belly. This is also called, “heart and belly breathing.” So, this affirmation is spoken together, even during a walk together, or sitting in Lotus Pose together, (legs crossed on the ground). All the while taking slow deep inhales and exhales, chanting these simple yet powerful words.
Explore where these practices can take you and your family. Setting an intentional mind can sometimes be challenging, but when you’ve got a partner to assist, that energy doubles! It’s a fun way to discover your children’s’ vulnerable side too, which can aid you on their difficult days. These practices can also help you learn about yourselves, not just as a parent, but as an individual, a human being. “I am human!” Let’s remember that now and always, Namaste.
By Jessica Abramov, Certified Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Instructor