Bringing Yoga Into Your Home

April 28th, 2010 by Dionna | Leave a comment
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Guest Posts, Healthy Living, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Strive for Balance, Toddlers

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Today I would like to welcome Acacia, who has written a guest post on the benefits of kids’ yoga. Acacia is a part-time SAHM, a part-time yoga instructor at the Yoga Patch, and an intuitive artist. She fills her days with a lot of play with her 3 year old son Everett (and she has one on the way!), a little bit of responsible mommy stuff, and a little bit of blogging. You can normally find Acacia over at Be Present Mama, where she writes about yoga, being present in your life, and her experiences as a mother.

This article is the third in a three part series on Kids’ Yoga. In the first article Acacia introduced Kids’ Yoga classes and outlined some of the benefits. In the second article Acacia spoke specifically to how Kids’ Yoga has influenced children’s performance in school and in specialized treatments for illnesses and disorders. In this article, Acacia discusses how you can bring yoga into your home as well as where your child can take classes in the Kansas City area.
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Bringing Yoga into Your Home

Creating a yoga practice at home is easier than it sounds. The beauty of kid’s yoga is that you don’t have to be an expert on poses, you just have to be open to the experience of yoga through your child’s eyes and willing to learn a little about the poses and activities. Marsha Wenig, creator of YogaKids video and educational curriculum, recommends thinking of yourself as a facilitator rather than a teacher. She suggests, “Guide your children while simultaneously opening your heart and letting them guide you.” How do you do this?
Be willing to play! When you are moving through a series of animal yoga poses bark like a dog, meow like a cat, or hiss like a cobra snake. Count or say the alphabet while holding poses. Make up a song that you can add yoga poses to. As you perform various animal or nature poses ask questions that spark creativity and deepen your child’s connection to the outer world.
For example, encourage him to really imagine being a cobra snake with no arms or legs, extending and twisting its spine. Wenig says that in helping your child make those connections he “begins to understand that we are all made of the same ‘stuff.’ We’re just in different forms.”

Resources for Kids’ Yoga Ideas and Activities

You can begin searching for ideas and activities on the internet, yoga videos, cards, activity books, or blogs. Be Present Mama features a bi-weekly kids’ yoga activity. To add to your collection you can check out these websites:

YogaKids www.yogakids.com
Spiraling Hearts Yoga Games & Activites www.spiralinghearts.com
Wai Lana’s little yogis http://www.wailana.com/yogastore/subcategory.php?sid=72
Angel Bear Yoga www.angelbearyoga.com
Helpful Tools and Props
There are also several videos and how-to books available at the public library.
You might also want to slowly collect a few supplies, starting with a yoga mat. A standard size mat works just fine but you can buy a kids yoga mat or if you have more than one young child, you can buy a regular mat and cut it in two.
A lot of the games and activities, especially for children younger than tweens, call for inexpensive crafty items but sometimes household items are a good alternative. Pom-poms used in an activity called “toe-ga” can be replaced with cotton balls. Feather breathing works just as well with pieces of toilet paper. Beanie babies can be used in place of bean bags for a yoga card toss game. Really motivated or artistic? You could even create your own yoga cards. The one item I really encourage you to spend on is a yoga activity book like the one from Spiraling Hearts. It has more than 20 games and activities, pose instructions and illustrations for only $10.
Lastly, a few books I recommend for kid’s yoga:
Storytime Yoga: Teaching Yoga to Children Through Story by Sydney Solis
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Ann Power
My Daddy is a Pretzel: Yoga for Parents and Kids by Baron Baptiste
The Yoga Zoo Adventure by Helen Purperhart
Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Unstoppable Me!: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer
Incredible You!: 10 Ways to Let Your Greatness Shine by Dr. Wayne Dyer
I Think, I Am!: Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations by Louise Hay
Yoga Classes in the Kansas City Area
Check out these studios for Mama and Baby, Kid’s or Family yoga classes near you:
Darling Yoga at 117th and College Blvd in Overland Park (www.darlingyoga.com)
New Day Yoga at 152nd and Metcalf in South Overland Park (www.NewDayYogaStudio.com)
Yoga Patch at Gregory and Wornall in Kansas City (www.yogapatch.com)
Northland Yoga Center near Briarcliff Village in Kansas City North offers once a month kids yoga club (www.northlandyoga.com)
Plaza Wellspring with Yoga with Becky holds free family-friendly Laughter Yoga on Friday nights. Laughter Yoga is a very different experience than most yoga classes. It alternates playful movements that initiate laugher and deep yoga breathing. (www.beckyyoga.com)

Resources
“Yoga for Kids,” Marsha Wenig, Yoga Journal, http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/210, 2010.

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