By now most of us know the benefits of yoga and what it does to help balance our mind and bodies, build strength and flexibility and bring us into a general state of calm.
But have you ever considered doing it with your child?
Family yoga gives parents the opportunity to practice all the benefits of yoga for themselves while also instilling these practices and benefits within their children.
Just 10-minutes of family yoga each day, is enough to encourage the life-long skill of body and breath awareness and develop your child’s physical, social, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
Here is my top list of benefits…
Benefit #1 Family yoga develops body awareness and builds concentration by getting you to focus on the breath. This has a multitude of benefits including helping you feel calmer and more relaxed, improving nervous system function for improved digestion and sleep.
Benefit #2 Family yoga teaches you and your child how to manage stress through healthy movement, breath and meditation. The act of simply stopping and noticing stress signals in the body helps your nervous system slow down and enables you both to feel more grounded.
Benefit #3 Family yoga is a great way to build strength, flexibility and improve balance. During a family yoga session because you will be interacting with your child on an emotional level, you won’t even notice the physical benefits you will be receiving!
Benefit #4 Family yoga builds trust, and this is not just by supporting your child (literally) through the poses but also trust to be able to communicate feelings without fear or disapproval from others. It’s letting kids (and adults) know that feelings come and go and they are just a signal for you to change or respond to something in your immediate environment.
Benefit #5 Family yoga creates a routine so that you can put aside quality family time to do something together. For example, dedicating time for meditation at night-time before bed or practicing weekly family yoga sessions. Dedicating this special time together makes your child feel supported, heard and validated!
Benefit #6 Family yoga helps you set flexible boundaries with your child. For example, modelling the correct way to sit on the mat, explaining that making lots of noise disrupts others, reflecting out loud what feels or doesn’t feel comfortable in the body and displaying patience. These are all ways that you are setting healthy boundaries with your child. On the other hand, if boundaries are pushed or if your child does not want to engage with the activity, being kind with yourself and letting some things go is ok as well!
Benefit #7 Family yoga is non-competitive and is all about having fun and setting your own pace. It’s about the journey rather than the end goal.
Benefit #8 Family yoga helps your child (and you) be able to articulate your feelings and emotions and express them in a safe and supportive way. It gives you and your child the space to reflect on how you feel and then implement strategies to self-regulate and respond to these feelings appropriately.
Benefit #9 Family yoga teaches parents to let go, have fun and play with their child. This can take some tension away from parent/child relationships for a greater feeling of connection and bonding.
Benefit #10 Family yoga with help you and your child develop a positive attitude and gain confidence to implement mental strategies including gratitude, kindness and growth mindset (resilience).
Benefit #11 Family yoga helps you and your child build greater connection through movement and play. It will build physical connection through touch, and connect you to your child emotionally, mentally and spiritually through active discussions focusing on feelings, reactions and responses.
I look forward to sharing all these benefits in the Essential Being Family yoga sessions together. If you’ve experienced other benefits of family yoga, please share, I’d love to hear more!