Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.Dr. Seuss
Our children are the future. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children the life skills they need to live a happy, joyful and rewarding life. We believe the best way to teach is to lead by example. However, before rushing into action let’s pause and ponder on what we want our children’s future happiness and well-being to look like.
We have all heard about being mindful but if we are honest with ourselves we do not practice it enough. Mindfulness is very simple, we set aside time to sit and do nothing for several minutes. That’s it! It’s so simple, so why do we not do it? We know it’s good for us, we know it helps our concentration, improves our mental health, and is key to controlling our reactions. For the majority of us, it is harder to sit in stillness than it is to have a full schedule all day every day. This is what we need to change for our children. We need to encourage moments of stillness, reflections, and pause. We need to work on it for ourselves but more importantly for our children.
Let us lead the way by teaching our children how to be more mindful so we will have a society in the future who will be more compassionate, more caring, more focused, more kind towards each other, more deliberate with their actions, more conscious of social issues, owning the responsibility to help heal the planet……the list goes on. We truly believe the future is bright, it starts with us, we need to start living our lives now in this very moment. Notice how you feel, notice where you are, notice your breath and take a deep inhale & exhale everything out through the mouth. Be present in our lives and our children will be present. Be content where we are right now and breathe.
Another way to improve your mindfulness is to practice yoga. Yoga-based movement builds strength, flexibility, and body awareness and is beneficial for adults but is equally beneficial for children.
Mindfulness practices help children recognize, express and regulate their emotions and prosocial stories and games help children build positive social skills. Mindfulness practices will encourage our children to be more confident, more body-conscious, and show more compassion to themselves and to others. As parents and educators, we can bring yoga to our daily lives in every way. It doesn’t need to be a long practice and we don’t need to sit still on fancy yoga mats. It could be as simple as practicing yoga in a playful way on your couch, bed or by the beach!
Here are 5 ways to incorporate yoga into playtime with your children:
1. Breathing techniques; if your child loves dragons, you can make the sound of the dragon and do dragon breaths together. If another child loves farm animals, making the animal sounds such as cow would allow them to have an audible breath.
2. Make up a story and act it out with yoga poses!
3. Play “which animal am I?” and each person acts out an animal with their bodies using yoga poses and the other person has to guess what animal it is.
4. Coloring mandalas or making mandalas together is a great way to relax the mind.
5. Freeze dance yoga! Play your favorite song and when you stop the music, you can freeze into your favorite yoga pose!
Üphoria Yoga studio truly believes yoga is just as beneficial for children as it is for adults. Their programs and academy-style programs for kids are growing in popularity. With a child-centric and play-learning curriculum, they encourage kids to explore, be creative, and imagine with yoga, mindful games, songs, and stories. Classes are catered towards every child’s unique abilities and all the children’s interests. Children will leave feeling calm, aware of their bodies and minds, and will be better equipped to get through anything in the day.