Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
9/30/2023 0 Comments
Children who have developed emotional intelligence are better able to communicate their feelings and needs, and they are more empathetic towards others. This leads to better friendships, less conflict, and a more positive outlook on life. They are better able to manage stress and challenges that come their way.
Practicing Yoga and Mindfulness
One of the most effective ways to help children develop emotional intelligence is through practicing yoga and mindfulness. Yoga and mindfulness help children become more aware of their thoughts and feelings while teaching them how to regulate their emotions in a healthy way. By learning to focus on the present moment, children can learn to manage their emotions and reduce stress and anxiety.
Playful Games and Activities
Incorporating yoga and mindfulness into your child's daily routine can be a fun activity that you can do together. Here are a few examples of playful ways that can help develop emotional intelligence in children:
1. Yoga Poses
Yoga poses can help children develop body awareness, balance, and concentration. You can encourage your child to try different poses such as the tree pose, downward facing dog, and moving between cat and cow pose using the breath. You can use yoga cards or play games such as Yogi says (much like Simon says! but instead 'Yogi' gives the instruction) to make this even more playful. You get more game ideas here.
2. Mindful Breathing
Mindful breathing is a simple yet effective way to help children regulate their emotions. Encourage your child to take slow breaths in and out, and to focus on the sensation of the air moving in and out of their body.
3. Emotion Charades
Emotion charades is a game where children act out different emotions such as happy, sad, angry, and scared. This game can help children recognize and understand different emotions. Use your whole body or just facial expressions. I like to use a coloured sensory scarf to drape over our faces so full attention is on each other, blocking everything else out. I also like to play mirror my face using this same concept, where the other person tries to mirror what the other person is expressing.
4. Gratitude Journaling
Encourage your child to keep a gratitude journal where they write down or draw things they are thankful for each day. This activity can help children develop a positive outlook on life and increase their emotional resilience. It is amazing how many things skip us by when we don't think about it. Things we really were grateful for in that moment, skip us by because of our busy lives or we were on to the next thing. By taking time to slow down and think about those things again, not only do we get to remember everything we are thankful for but we get to experience and tap into that feeling of gratitude once again.
By teaching your child to be more mindful and aware of their emotions, you'll be setting them up for a happier and more fulfilling life. Incorporating playful games and activities into your child's daily routine can make learning emotional intelligence fun and engaging. So, start practicing yoga and mindfulness with your child today and watch them grow into emotionally intelligent individuals.
The intention of this challenge is to really help your child learn how to check in with how they are feeling, identify different emotions and start to practice ways to calm themselves down.
This challenge aims to help families develop emotional intelligence through awareness, support and expression. The practices selected for each day are intended to promote physical and emotional well-being.
Other blog posts of interest
9/24/2023 0 Comments
Today we are going to talk about a very important style of yoga that is often overlooked when it comes to practicing with children - restorative yoga. As a children's yoga teacher, I understand that some people might think it's impossible for young children to sit still and be calm. I often share about how children do not need to sit still and be calm to practice yoga! I have two wild ones myself and I know if I tell them to sit still and be calm.....it’s not going to happen easily. You know those moment where you’re sat in a nice restaurant and the food is taking a bit too long and your little one is starting to get restless and they start climbing on the seat and you tell them to sit down but you can see their hold body is desperate to move around - Yes, I get it. Staying still can be challenging.
The Nervous System
First, let's talk about the nervous system. Children's nervous systems are still developing, and they can easily become overstimulated by the world around them. When this happens, they might become hyperactive or irritable. Restorative yoga can help to calm the nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation.
So, what does restorative yoga look like for young children? It doesn't have to be a long practice - even just a few minutes of stillness and deep breathing can make a big difference. I like to call restorative yoga, cosey yoga with my little ones. We make it as cosey as we can by using props such as bolsters, cushions and blankets.
The Sleeping Butterfly
One of my favourite restorative poses for young children is the "sleeping butterfly." Have your child lie on their back with the soles of their feet together and their knees out to the sides. Place a small pillow or blanket under their head and play some soothing music. Encourage them to take slow breaths in and out. If they would like to they can close their eyes or use an eye pillow! (Comment below if you'd like to see a tutorial for how to make your own with the children at home!)
Variations: Bring more support into this pose by placing yoga blocks or cushions under the child's knees and even their hands.
You can also practice this pose using a bolster.
To practice sleeping butterfly pose with a bolster, start by placing a bolster or rolled up blanket behind your child, so they are sitting against the bottom of it. Then have them bring the soles of their feet together and their knees out to the sides, like the wings of a butterfly.
Next, gently encourage your child to recline back onto the bolster, supporting their head and shoulders against it, allowing them to relax and deepen the stretch in their hips. Once they are comfortable, encourage your child to breathe deeply and relax into the pose. You can also guide them in imagining that they are a butterfly, flapping their wings and flying through the air.
See how to practice ‘The Sleeping Butterfly Pose’ by watching this tutorial >>
By incorporating restorative yoga into your family's yoga practice, you are not only helping your child to calm their nervous system, but you are also setting a good example for them. Rest is just as important as movement, and by prioritizing both in your family's yoga practice, you are helping your child to develop a well-rounded yoga practice that will serve them for years to come.
So, let's all take a deep breath together and remember - rest is just as important as movement. Happy resting, yogi family!
Other Blog Posts of interest
How to meditate without staying still
9/17/2023 0 Comments
Drive Your Way to Mindful Play
Joining their world of play
I sat down and I started to play with the cars with my son (on our yoga mat). After playing his way, I asked him if he could make a tunnel by doing a downward facing dog and I would see if I could get the cars through with a big push. He was excited to try this out! We did a few like this, taking it in turns and then I wanted to add the breath too. I asked if he could try blow the cars down as they drove - this was quite funny because some of the cars did coincidently roll over because of the way I had pushed them but it looked like he was flipping them over with his breath.
We tried a few different poses to see which ones would make good tunnels (and which ones wouldn’t!). Then he had an idea, what if we made our body into a ramp! We explored which poses would make good ramps! Driving the cars up and down each pose was lots of fun and sound effects were definitely a welcome part of this practice. Next, we sat opposite each other and basically played pass the car, taking turns to push it to each other. But, because we wanted to make this part of our yoga practice, we incorporated our breath. We breathed in as I pushed the car to him, and breathed out as he pushed the car to me.
This is one of my favourite practices to do near the end of a family yoga session - the steam roller! For this I get my bolster as my child lays on their stomach and I roll it over them like a steam roller. This can also be done with a cushion, smooshing each part of their body down (in fact we do this with a cushion every night right now too as part of his bedtime routine). The gentle pressure is really calming and grounding (just make sure you’re checking in with them that it feels good, and asking if they want more, less or to stop). Then switch around! Only smoosh gently and not on the face of course! Just lightly on the body, arms and legs.
Bonus way to practice this is by getting them to be the steam roller! I share this practice in this video >>
Now there was some peaking, but that’s okay, he stayed there while I encouraged him to breathe slowly and I put the toy cars on him. I put them on his legs, arms, belly and chest. When he opened his eyes and we were done, I said okay let’s see if we got them all and I started to take the cars off slowly as I counted them - this gave him a little extra time in his resting pose. Remember you are not looking for this to be a certain way, it doesn't even have to be a super calm and quiet moment. The main goal here is to be present and focus on connection.
Then he wanted me to have a go at laying in savasana, which I very reluctantly did. Joke, I was delighted. I laid down and closed my eyes very happily. He even got a picture of the cars balanced on me after.
Now that I am writing this, I wonder if we could have done more than 12 cars?! Can you do more than 12? Try this car practice with your child and let me know how many cars you can balance on your child or they can balance on you while lying in savasana (resting pose).
I will give a special prize to anyone who can send me a video or picture on Instagram tagging me @amazing_me_yoga ;)
Mia from Playful Heart Parenting kindly shared some games to add to this blog post for the car enthusiasts here! I love her playful approach to parenting and she shares such imaginative ideas! Here is what she shared:
Toy cars just have that timeless appeal when it comes to lighting up a child’s world with wonder and joy. But, let’s be honest — the thought of getting down on the floor and just rolling the car back and forth might feel more like a chore than a chance to connect with your kid. Here are a few out-of-the-box, creative ways to have fun with your kids with toy cars that will spark creativity and connection:
Mia has so much to share about play! I absolutely love the gems she shares! Go and have a look at her other posts at playfulheartparenting.com and connect with her over on Instagram at @playfulheartparenting
Other posts of interest:
Three games you can play at home to beat rainy day boredom
Here are some ways that parents and teachers can encourage play and help children develop to their fullest potential.
1. Encourage imaginative play
Children have amazing imaginations, and by giving them the space and materials to play, you are helping them to think creatively and develop problem-solving skills. Whether it's building a fort out of blankets or creating a story with action figures, imaginative play allows children to explore their own ideas and develop their own solutions.
2. Make time for outdoor play
Not only does outdoor play help children develop their gross motor skills and improve their physical health, but it also encourages them to engage with nature. Whether it's climbing trees, playing tag, or simply exploring the world around them, children can learn so much from being outside and experiencing the world first hand.
3. Play with your child
It's also important to play with your child. Playing together not only helps to build a strong bond, but it also helps to develop their social skills and emotional intelligence. Whether it's playing a game of catch, practicing partner poses, or doing a puzzle together, taking the time to play with your child can have a big impact on their development.
4. Use play as a teaching tool
Play can also be used as a teaching tool. By using play to teach new concepts and skills, you can make learning fun and engaging for your child. Whether it's playing a game to learn math or using puppets to teach language skills, incorporating play into learning can help your child develop a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
This is also why children's yoga has so many playful elements involved. Yoga can help children develop mindfulness, self-awareness, and relaxation skills, which are all important for managing stress and anxiety. By incorporating playful elements like animal poses, songs, and games, children's yoga becomes a fun and engaging way for children to learn these skills.
5. Make time for play
It's important to make play a priority in your child's life. With busy schedules and endless distractions, it can be easy to forget the importance of play. But by making play a priority, you are helping your child to develop into a well-rounded, happy individual.
As a tired and busy parent myself, I know how hard it can be to tap into our own playful sides. But by taking the time to play with our children and encouraging their imaginative play, we are helping them to develop to their fullest potential. So why not take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and go and play? Your child (and your inner child) will thank you!
Need some inspiration?
Those who know me would be able to tell you that I am passionate about teaching children how to care for their well-being. I do this through playful games and fun activities. In my membership Family Yoga Game Night I include imaginative play, connecting with nature, playing with each other, playing as a teaching tool and I help even the busiest of families make time for play!
Incorporating imaginative play into your yoga sessions is a fantastic way to engage children's minds and keep them interested in what they're doing. By encouraging them to use their imaginations, you're also helping them to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills, which will serve them well throughout their lives.
You'll never be short of playful ideas, as each month you'll get access to a collection of games, mindful practices and yoga sequences. Perfect for your home practices or for teachers to use in their lesson plans.
Enrolment is now open!
What is Family Yoga Game Night?
Discover how to effortlessly manage stress and anxiety, create and maintain healthy family routines, and connect with other parents in a supportive community.
This is your opportunity to finally address the challenges of raising emotionally intelligent children in a meaningful way, with the guidance and accountability of experienced children's yoga teachers.
This is the only online course that offers age-appropriate activities and resources for children aged 4 to 12, while also empowering parents to develop emotional regulation skills and let go of societal expectations.
Join us and discover the transformative power of practicing yoga and mindfulness with your children.
Click here to see what is included in Family Yoga Game Night.
Becoming a master builder
Yesterday, I became the ultimate builder with my kids. We ventured into the trees, determined to build our own den. When we got there, we found a beautiful den that had already been built and I asked the kids "Do you want to play in this one, or will we still build our own?". The answer was of course "Build our own!".
We don't buy lego sets that are already made, because where's the fun in that?! Playing with the set is fun for a while, but most of the time it goes on a shelf for display or gets broken up and made into something else.
We wanted to create something unique and special, something that we had created together!
And you know what? It was a total success! Not one argument arose between my little builders. They supported each other, carried heavy branches together (we're talking almost a whole tree on some occasions), looked out for me when I got a little too close to the thorny brambles and really leaned into the teamwork required to make an awesome den! But the best part? My 10-year-old said to me - "all the anxiety disappears out here in nature. It's like none of that stuff matters. We need to do this every week!". They both really enjoyed it, as did I!
Sthira and Sukha
Parenting is a lot like building a den. It takes effort and patience to raise children, but when we create a safe and nurturing environment for them, we can find ease in our role as parents. And when we practice yoga together, we can tap into that same sense of ease and connection.
In my yoga classes I often talk about the concept of sthira and sukha.
"Sthira" refers to effort, while "Sukha" represents ease. Together, they form a balance that is essential to a successful yoga practice and can be applied off the mat as well. In parenting, effort refers to the energy and determination we put into our parenting, while ease refers to finding a sense of calm and relaxation in our interactions with our children.
On the mat, finding the balance between sthira and sukha means holding a pose with strength and stability, while also finding ease and calm within the pose. For example noticing where you are gripping in a pose, especially if it is a challenging pose and you're gripping or holding your breath. It's the balance between holding on and letting go.
Off the mat, it means finding a balance in life between effort and ease, working hard but also taking time to rest and recharge. This balance can help us to find a sense of peace and harmony in our daily lives.
By practicing effort and ease in our parenting, we can create a balanced and harmonious relationship with our children, one that is both loving and supportive.
Family Yoga and Sthira and Sukha
To create a family yoga practice, it's all about finding the right balance. Think of it like mixing a smoothie: you need a little bit of strength (sthira) and a little bit of ease (sukha) to get the perfect blend. This might mean doing some challenging or energetic poses and games as a family, but also taking time to breathe and relax.
And let's be real, it's not always easy to find time for yoga when you're a busy parent. but incorporating yoga into your day can make a huge difference. By doing this, you're not only teaching your kids healthy habits, but also creating a little bit of peace and harmony in the family.
Teaching Sthira and Sukha to Children
In children's yoga, sthira (effort) and sukha (ease) are important because they help kids find balance in their practice. By teaching kids to find strength and stability in their bodies, while also practicing with a sense of joy and relaxation, we can help them learn to regulate their emotions and focus their minds.
Here are three playful ways to practice sthira and sukha with children:
1. Tree Pose with a twist
Have kids stand in tree pose, with one foot pressing into the ground and the other resting against the inner thigh. Then, challenge them to slowly turn their heads from side to side, as if they are looking for a bird in the branches. This playful variation encourages kids to find both sthira (steadiness and effort) in their standing leg, and sukha (ease) in the soft movement of their head.
2. Resting pose with a story
End your class/ family yoga session with a final resting pose, like savasana, and invite kids to relax completely on their mats (or on a blanket or even their bed). Then, tell a calming story or guided visualization that encourages them to find both sthira in their bodies (finding stillness and grounding), and sukha (relaxation and calm) in their minds. For example, you might guide kids through a visualization of floating on a cloud, or taking a peaceful walk in the woods. This restful practice helps kids integrate the lessons of sthira and sukha into their bodies and minds.
3. Sthira and Sukha Exhales
Breathing practices can be a powerful tool in finding balance between sthira and sukha. By consciously controlling the breath, we can regulate the nervous system and calm the mind. Slow, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. This can lead to a more balanced state of being, allowing us to find both stability and comfort in our bodies and minds.
This practice can help balance the flow of energy in the body, promoting harmony and well-being. This practice is good to practice with older children (7+) or just for ourselves!
Parenting with Effort and Ease
Incorporating Family yoga into your parenting approach can bring about a sense of ease and effortlessness to your family life. As a mindful parent, you can cultivate a conscious approach to parenting that promotes balance and harmony.
In this post we have covered the concept of Sthira and Sukha, which refers to finding the balance between effort and ease. We have spoke about how to practice this concept both on and off the mat. I have shared ways to practice yoga with children in practice and in parenting. Embracing this approach can help you to find more balance in your life, your parenting, your teaching, and in the lives of your children.
Other posts of interest
Yoga and Sadness
The practice of yoga can be an effective tool for children to process and move through sadness. It is important for children to know that it is okay to feel sad and that yoga can help them regulate their emotions and build resilience.
Mindfulness techniques, deep breathing exercises, and gentle movements can empower children to acknowledge and process their sadness.
As a mum and a children's yoga teacher, I know firsthand how sadness can engolf our little ones. Life is full of ups and downs, and it's crucial that our children learn how to navigate their emotions in a healthy way. That's where yoga and mindfulness can come in.
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was feeling very sad. She didn't know why she was feeling this way, but she just couldn't shake the feeling. Her mum, who loved practicing yoga herself, suggested they practice some yoga together.
They started with some deep breathing exercises, inhaling through their nose and exhaling through their mouth. Then they did some simple yoga poses, like downward dog and child's pose. As they moved through the poses, the little girl started to feel more relaxed and calm.
After their yoga practice, they sat quietly and practiced mindfulness. They closed their eyes and focused on their breath, noticing the sensation of each inhale and exhale. The little girl began to feel more centered and at peace.
These practices are just a few examples of how yoga and mindfulness can help children when they're feeling sad.
Four practices that you can try with your children
Yoga For Sadness - Practice
Join me as I lead the children through various yoga poses designed to promote emotional well-being. Throughout the session, I emphasize the importance of embracing and understanding their emotions, particularly sadness, as a natural part of life.
Yoga has been proven to enhance emotional regulation and resilience in both children and adults. By incorporating mindfulness techniques, deep breathing exercises, and gentle movements, this practice aims to empower children to acknowledge and process their sadness in a healthy and positive way. This video is aimed at children aged 7 to 12.
Want to continue to support you child's emotional wellbeing with Yoga and mindfulness?
A 5 Day Challenge to help children with their emotional well-being in just 15 minutes a day.
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.
Like that post?
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!
Other posts of interest
Why are Yoga teachers always telling us to breathe when we are always breathing anyway?
Breathing is something that we do to stay alive, our body doesn't need reminding, it just does it. Even if we were to hold our breath, our body eventually forces us to take a breath, so why do we need to be told all the time?
The truth is, many of us do not pay attention to our breath. Because it is always there in the background, working away without our attention, we simply forget. Many people have not taken a conscious breath in months, if not years!
By creating a relationship with the breath we can use it to help us calm down (or even to create more energy), to help us feel less anxious and help lift our mood.
The mistake I see people interested in working with their breath or introducing their children to different breathing practices is to skip the basics. they move straight on to the complicated or more in depth practices before building that relationship with their breath.
In this post I want to share with you how you can help your child most effectively start a breathing practice by starting with one must know strategy! Even if you have been practicing breathing techniques with your child, come back to this one! This is going to help improve your practice together so much!
One way to practice breath awareness is to practice breath sensing. Coming into a comfortable seat or laying down, children bring an awareness to where they are feeling their breath. They may feel it in their chest or belly, but we do not prompt them, we just let them sense it. We don't tell them where they might feel their breath, just let them tell us. This is important because it is going to be different for everyone, there are no wrong answers.
The 2 minute test
This is a great way to get older children interested in watching their breath as it serves as a little experiment. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Count how many breaths your child takes in that 2 minutes (or try this with yourself first). It may be tempting to try and slow the breath down, but please allow this to be natural and breathe as you regularly would.
Once you have your number of breaths divide 120 by that number. 120 because that is how many seconds are in 2 minutes. This will give you the length of one average breath. For example, say I time myself and I get 15 breaths. I do 120 ÷ 15 = 8.
This tells me each breath is 8 seconds on average. I am not going to go into what is 'good' and what is 'bad' because that is not the point, we are not doing this to compare or judge our breath in any way. And my number was completely made up so please do not compare to that. The point of this is just to bring that awareness.
Now we have this number, we can work within our own ratios when it comes to breath work and then we can look at where to go from there. This is going to be so much more beneficial to your child than just a made up number and random practices. We can now work with them to increase their lung capacity. This is important when we are using breathing practices for our child's well-being. We are working towards take slower, deeper breaths when we are trying to relax and calm, but we are doing it in a way that works for and with our child, because each child is unique.
Try practicing some breath awareness with your child this week. Try the 2 minute test and see what each of your resting breathing rates are. Let me know how you get on with this, I'd love to know.
Practice breath work with me
If you would like to dive deeper into breathing practices for improved well-being, book a call with me to see if working one to one would suit your family. You can book here: Book a free 15 minute discovery call with me
Family Yoga -a holistic approach to strengthen family ties.
While we do play a lot of games and have lots of fun in our practices, there is so much more going on too. We are creating an early interest and love of a practice that is truly life changing.
Yoga has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The practice originated in ancient India and has since spread all over the world. One thing I love about this practice, especially when it comes to caring for my families well-being is that it goes beyond just the poses. When bringing the practice of yoga into our everyday lives it can be helpful to understand the eight limbs of yoga. We can look at how they can be applied to our children's lives as well as our own.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
The eight limbs of yoga are a set of guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life. They include things like ethical guidelines, physical postures, and breathing exercises.
By incorporating these eight limbs into children's yoga practice, they can develop important life skills and build a strong foundation for a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.
In our fast-paced modern world, families are under a lot of stress. Parents are juggling work, childcare, and household responsibilities, while children are dealing with academic and social pressures. This is where yoga can come in as a transformative practice for families. By practicing yoga together, parents and children can learn to manage stress, improve their physical health, and deepen their connection with each other. Plus it is so much easier to find peace at home when there is less stress!
So, if you're a busy parent looking for a way to manage stress and connect with your children, why not give yoga a try? With its holistic approach to wellness, it just might be the solution you've been looking for.
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