Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
The bold move to prioritize your family's well-being: How self-care and family yoga can make all the difference.
I made an effort to read up on different approaches - gentle parenting, conscious parenting, mindful parenting, playful parenting etc. This helped me find my feet with parenting a lot more. I am still learning and I get met with new challenges all of the time as my children enter different development stages and experience their own struggles. One thing that does not change is my values. I value my children's and my own well-being. I value our self-care practices. I value our time together.
One way in which we care for our wellbeing, fill our self-care cup and spend quality time being present with each other is Family Yoga.
In this blog post I will share why it is a bold move to prioritize your family's well-being and why self-care and family yoga can make all the difference!
Four controversial approaches I take in raising my children that I am not sorry for....
When it comes to raising my kids, it seems like everyone has something to say. I do things differently from what they consider normal and when people don't agree, they can be very loud about it. Luckily, I can be louder. I am not afraid to break cycles, and do things my own way. If you don't like these ways, no problem but this is what I do with my children (even when others have a problem with it). I don't know why these ways are controversial, I honestly think they should be the norm......but here we are. So here are the four things I do to boldly prioritize my family's well-being.
First, I allow kids to express their emotions freely. Instead of suppressing their feelings, I encourage them to acknowledge their emotions. My aim is to create a safe space where tears, laughter, and everything in between are welcomed and respected.
Second, I let my kids know they can say no to hugs - even from me! I teach my kids about personal boundaries and consent and have done from an early age. By respecting their 'no' when it comes to physical affection (and this includes tickling playfully too), we empower them with the tools to establish healthy boundaries throughout their lives.
Thirdly, I encourage mindful technology use. Rather than banning or limiting screens, I advocate for mindful consumption. We aim to strike a balance between technology and nature.
Lastly, I have open and honest conversations about gender and provide them with diverse role models. I encourage them to express themselves in a way that feels authentic to them.
If you're onboard with these things, we're probably best friends now ??
Honestly, we could use all the support we can get in creating a safer, more inclusive, more mindful world . Don't you agree?
How can self-care and family yoga help?
I see family yoga as a form of self-care. My own yoga practice is definitely my own self-care. It really helps me to sit with my emotions, breathe through my triggers and release anything that is no longer serving me. It helps me to get out of my head and into my body. It helps me to be present - to be where my feet are.
If I need to move, I can practice vinyasa or hatha yoga. If I need rest, I can practice restorative yoga poses. If I need to pause, I can practice pranayama. Whatever I need - Yoga seems to have my back.
When it comes to practicing with my children it is a lot of playfulness and games (hence howFamily Yoga Game Night was born). There is a big focus on quality time together and fun. It just so happens that fun is the best environment to learn new skills in. So while we are playing and having fun, they are also learning these incredible ways that they can care for their well-being. Not only does it help children develop an early interest in health and well-being but it is also full of benefits they can experience right away.
Benefits of family yoga
Self-care and Yoga
As you can see, with all these benefits , it is no wonder Yoga is a great choice for families wanting to prioritize their well-being. While all these benefits are wonderful though, the best reason to practice yoga?
It has to be that you can just be yourself. Not trying to fix or improve but just being present and being fully yourself. This is why Family Yoga is playful because children are playful! We don't want them to dim their light so they can join in our adult yoga practices. We want to join them in their fun and imaginative world from time to time! It can be just as important for the grown-ups to join in this world of play to be honest, so many of us have forgotten how!
What difference does it make?
At first it will just be a bit of fun. You'll love spending time together and it will strengthen your bonds. That in itself is wonderful, but after some time you'll see how your child starts taking breaths on their own when they are feeling frustrated. You'll see them start their own mindful practices without being prompted to. They'll ask you to meditate with them or guide them through a relaxation at bedtime. They will become more self-aware and confident within themselves. They'll speak up for what they believe in and set firm boundaries with peers and even family members. They'll start living the yoga.
What a gift.
Make the bold move to prioritize your family's well-being today!
Ocean Bliss - 5 minute Yoga journey for children and their grown up
Free Game Pack - Support your families well-being with these fun games
9 things your child needs you to know this summer
The importance of understanding children's needs during summer
9 things children need their parents to know
Here are the 9 things your child needs you to know this summer!
1. We need structure
While summer can be a nice break and can be a chance to have a little more freedom from structure, some structure is needed. I know for us when we've had no structure over the weekend, it's 1pm and I've realised the kids haven't even brushed their teeth. Having some kind of routine in place especially in the morning and evenings can be really helpful for children as they know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them. Structure helps children feel secure and reduces stress.
You can create structure by setting regular bedtimes and wake-up times and planning daily activities. For example, parents can plan weekly outings to the park, library or museum, and schedule time for reading, playing games, practicing yoga or doing chores. By creating structure, parents help their children feel more secure and reduce stress during the summer months.
2. We need playtime
Play is so important. It is a great way for children to de-stress and process everything that is going on. Play is essential for children's development as it supports their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. Through play, children learn to explore, problem-solve, socialize, and express themselves. Regular playtime also helps children reduce stress and anxiety while boosting their self-esteem.
During summer, there are many creative and engaging play activities that families can enjoy together. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and going to the playgrounds are great for physical development and bonding as a family. Art projects, such as painting, drawing, and crafting, are perfect for stimulating creativity and self-expression. While we love to add play into our yoga practices, we also like to make time for free play. This is time when the children's imaginations really shine.
3. We need rest and downtime
Summer can be full of fun and active activities but it is important to balance that out with some downtime too. Making time for slowing down and resting is important to help support your families well-being. There are many ways that we can slow down. We can practice calm yoga practices including restorative poses, we can practice mindfulness activities like mindful colouring, we can read stories together or even get cosey for a movie night. It is nice to explore different ways of resting so that we can get the physical, mental and emotional benefits each different practice brings.
4. We need time in nature
Getting outside is so good for us. I know when my kids are bounding of the walls and I am feeling stressed about it, getting everyone outdoors for some time in nature is like magic! Nature gives us what we need in that moment, either space to run around or space to slow down. It could be getting to the nearby parks or going off for a beach day but it always leaves us feeling good after.
5. We need social connections
Social connections help children with social and emotional development as they provide opportunities for learning important social skills.
During the summer, there are many safe and fun ways for children to connect with friends and family. Having a picnic in the park, going on a bike ride, or playing outdoor games are all great options. Virtual playdates and game nights can also be a fun way to stay connected with friends and family who may not be nearby. Engaging in group activities such as summer camps, yoga classes, or sports teams can also be a great way for children to make new friends and build social connections.
6. We need nutritious food and hydration
Good nutrition and hydration are essential for children's health and well-being. Try incorporating fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only do they provide important vitamins and minerals, but they also support local farmers and the environment.
Hydration is also important during the hot summer months, so encourage your child to drink plenty of water. Infusing water with fresh fruits and herbs can make it more flavourful - no fancy bottles needed.
It's important to approach nutrition from a non-diet perspective and avoid toxic diet culture. Instead, focus on nourishing your child's body with wholesome foods and encouraging them to listen to their hunger and fullness cues. This way you can help your child develop a healthy relationship with food.
7. We need opportunities to learn and grow
Summer can be a fantastic opportunity for children to learn and develop new skills in a fun and relaxed way. From outdoor activities to creative projects, there are plenty of educational and enriching options to choose from. For example, visiting a local museum or taking a nature walk can be both educational and enjoyable. You can learn about interesting topics in a way that is enjoyable and doesn't mirror school work.
Engaging in family yoga practices can be a great way to teach children about self-regulation and mindfulness. This can be great to practice over the summer, especially if they are prone to anxiety when it comes to going back to school.
8. We need quality time with parents
Family time can be hard to come by, especially with busy schedules. Making time with your children where you can be fully present is so important and can help support their well-being as well as build stronger bonds. There are many ways you can spend quality time together. Think about something that brings you both joy, something that you don't find yourself getting easily distracted from and can enjoy the time together. One thing we love to do is our Family Yoga Game Night.
With Family Yoga Game Night, you can set aside time each week to connect with your loved ones in a meaningful way. You can find more details here: Family Yoga Game Night.
9. We need to feel loved and supported
Every child deserves to feel loved and supported. It's important to show love and support to children during summer and beyond, and building strong and positive relationships with them is crucial. To achieve this, try to be relaxed and playful while spending time with your children. These small moments can have a big impact on your relationship with your child. By taking care of yourself and prioritizing your own self-care practices, it will allow you to show up with more patience and calm during the holidays.
To summarize, here are the 9 things children need their parents to know: structure, playtime, rest and downtime, time in nature, social connections, nutritious food and water, opportunities to learn and grow, quality time with parents, and feeling loved and supported.
By creating structure, engaging in creative play, spending time in nature, connecting with loved ones, and prioritizing well-being, you can have a fun and mindful summer with your children.
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If you liked that post, there is more valuable tips over on this YouTube video: 9 essential insights parents must know for their children's well-being. Check it out and please remember to like and subscribe!
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