Guest Blog Post from Cassie Brewer
All of us in this world are striving for a happy, healthy life. This means eating foods that nourish us, spending quality time with the people with love, and moving our bodies with regular exercise. We also need to focus on centering our spirits and having rested, calms minds – which, I must admit, is much more difficult.
But what if there was a way to exercise our bodies, calm our minds, and center ourselves in one fell swoop? We’d be crazy not to jump at the chance! Well, yoga manages to accomplish all of the above. The benefits of a regular yoga practice are many, and anyone can do it.
In fact, yoga can be a great way to introduce your kids to healthy habits. With obesity on the rise in countries all over the world, it is more important than ever that your children learn early on to take care of their bodies. Here are a few suggestions for exercising with your kids. With these, you’ll be able to progress in your yoga practice, create healthy habits for your and your children, and spend some extra time with those little ones you love!
Start Their Day With A Little Movement
Think about how you start your day. Do you wake up, trudge into the kitchen, and sit down to a bowl of cereal? Most of us do, but this pattern does not lead us to an active life. One of the most difficult things about creating any habit is starting – for the long term and the short term. If exercise isn’t second nature to you, it can be easy to say “I’ll start tomorrow.” This is particularly true if you begin your day in a sedentary way.
Instead of letting your kids start their day sitting at the breakfast table or in front of the TV, make sure that they are taking time to move each morning. Spend a little time on the mat with them – even 15 minutes will do – practicing sun salutations, triangle poses, or simply stretching they way their bodies want to. You’ll find that you both feel better when you’re done.
Burn Off That Energy
Of course, kids can’t do yoga all the time. They have too much energy (and let’s face it, it’s energy you’d love to bottle). So when your children come home from school, or when you come home from work, make sure you spend a little time burning off all that energy!
Run around in the yard with your kids. Play sports with them. Bust out some old fashioned schoolyard toys, like a jump rope, hula hoop, maybe some chalk for a game of hopscotch. The cardio will be great for you, and the quality time will help form precious memories for your both. Who could pass up an offer like that?
Get Them Ready For Bed
Bedtime can be a struggle for many people who have young children. Often this is because those little ones didn’t have time earlier to burn off all that energy. But let’s say they have, and they still won’t settle down to sleep. What could be the problem?
I’d be willing to bet that the issue is a busy mind. Kids are full of ideas and imagination, and that can’t be shut off just because it’s past their bedtime. This is why a slow, meditative yoga practice can be useful just before bedtime. A breath-centered vinyasa practice can get your child in the right state of mind for sleep. Not to mention the sleep benefits it can hold for busy parents (wink wink).
It is so important that you exercise with your children, exposing them to healthy habits early in their lives. This also gives you plenty of time to spend with your children, creating a bond between you that you’ll both cherish for years.