Yoga means union. Not only is it a path to union of body, mind, and spirit, but it can also be a path to connection with others, including (and especially) connection to those we love.
What is Family Yoga?
Simply put, Family Yoga is a term for any time children and adults practice any form of yoga together. Kids yoga doesn't always look the same as adult yoga. Sure there are asanas (yoga poses), breathing exercises and relaxation, but there is also a lot of fun built in! There are songs, dance parties, games and lots of laughter!
How does it work?
There are so many ways to make it work. In my classes, I have seen families that like to share one mat or other times when each member has his or her own mat; it really is up to you! Plus, there are many different ways to experience the class: both adult and child can do the poses, the adult can help the child get into the poses, and/or the adult can model doing the poses.
Sometimes grownups can be concerned that their child is not participating the "right way." We say, as long as your child is not disturbing others or harming themselves, they are ok! Often what I see is a child who will come in and out of participating one week only to be fully engaged the next. Likewise, a child that is shy or nervous may just want to observe for a while before engaging.
This is why it's important for the adult to model what it looks like to be present and try new things, even to fail and try again! When your child sees you wobble as you find your balance getting into tree pose, for example, they know that they don't have to be perfect the first time they try something. They may even try to offer you a helping hand of support.
Family Yoga is a great way for families to connect and bond.
Setting aside the time to be present in the moment participating in an activity together with no technology gives you the opportunity to spend dedicated time with your child. Children learn they are capable but also have their families there for support. Plus, it's also great for siblings as well! They can work together in partner poses, create new poses together, or offer assistance to parents together.
There's nothing better than Savasana Snuggles.
At the end of every yoga class, we have some time for savasana, final resting pose, or quiet relaxation. Here, we offer families the opportunity to snuggle up together, hold hands, look into each other's eyes, whisper "I love you's" or offer each other loving foot massages. Typically, even the most energetic of children may enjoy a moment of closeness with their loved one, in some way that works best for them. It can be a very sweet and tender moment for families to share together, the perfect way to complete the Family Yoga experience.
Want to experience Family Yoga with your family? Join me on the first Sunday of the month at Integral Yoga in San Francisco!