Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
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
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