Yoga and Mindfulness are proven to have many benefits for the whole family- from the tiniest babies to the eldest grandma.
Incorporating small practices of yoga and mindfulness into your child’s daily life can improve focus and concentration, lead to fewer tantrums and better sleep, and most importantly of all, help you build and cement strong connections with your family.
It does not always have to be complicated, and there are many little practices you can do on a day to day basis that will help bring more calm, connection and play into many small windows of time in your home.
We recently invited a group of mums and little ones to Maison Tini to show them just how easy it can be to build mini practices of yoga and mindfulness into our busy lives at home. And it’s so much easier than you might think!
Here are our Top 4 practices that you can start with today.
1) Practice Daily Positive Affirmations
Have you heard the famous quote by Amy Weatherly: “Children have this amazing way of becoming exactly who we tell them they are. If we tell them they are strong, they become strong. If we tell them they are kind, they become kind. If we tell them they are capable, they become capable. Speak life into your kids, so they will have what it takes to tackle their own life one day.”
Practicing Positive Affirmations with your children is a powerful tool. You can use an Affirmation Card Deck to add to their lunchbox and write a little personal note on the back to remind them of their worth, or let them pick a card that speaks to them and hang it on the fridge as a reminder for the day/week. Make sure you use
affirmations that are phrased in the present tense. For Example:” I am Unique.” Not I want to be, or I could be.
2) Discover Partner Yoga
Yoga with Children is playful- so why not use some fun partner yoga poses to bond, build trust and goof around the house a little?
From simply sitting back-to-back in Easy Pose to feel the partner’s breathing, to more complicated poses like the Double Downward Facing Dog, or silly ones like the Double Forward Fold, you can find many ways to move your bodies together. Why not create your own Partner Pose?
A Yoga Card Deck like the YogaMagic Partner Yoga Cards can help your child have a friendly visual cue, as well as giving them the choice of which poses they would like to try.
3) Do some Mindful Colouring
For children, traditional meditation techniques can be difficult. In comes Mindful Colouring! A time without distractions, that keeps the hands busy and the mind calm. Mindful Colouring exercises the mind and brings focus to the day by stimulating both the creative and the logical parts of the brain, improving your child’s motor skills. Colours spark creativity and decrease anxiety.
Try colouring in yoga poses, or print out Mandala’s or Positive Affirmation reminders to remind them of their superpowers, and combine with trying out the coloured in poses.
4) Breathe Together
Deep and calm breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system, or the ‘rest and digest’ mode of the body, meaning it helps us feel more calm, grounded and focused. By
teaching kids breathing exercises we are giving them valuable tools to help them deal with big emotions. Whether they are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or any other big emotions, a simple breathing exercise can work wonders to help bring about some calm.
As with everything else in kids yoga and mindfulness, bringing an element of play to it will help you succeed.
Almost everything your child is interested in can be made into a breathing exercise. Does your child like police cars and ambulances? Take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out through your mouth mimic the sound of a police alarm.
A great help to discover many different ways of breathing is the IMYOGI Breathing Deck .This stunning deck includes 25 breathing exercises for kids. The cards have an illustration on the front and the instructions for the breathing exercise on the back.
Kate and Lauren from YogaMagic are two mums on a mission to bring yoga and mindfulness into every household and classroom in the Middle East. They are invested in helping all children to build their own positive future through learning about and adopting the tools they need to enhance their mental well-being.
They are the UAE’s first and only mental well-being consultancy and store for families and children. Their product selection, some of which is now available at Maison Tini, comes from all over the world and serves to show families just how simple these life-changing practices can be.