School’s out for summer… don’t let that thought fill you with dread, instead embrace the fun and chaos of having 6 weeks (or more) off with the kids and “living la viva yoga”.
The summer holiday is perfect for introducing yoga to your kids or even to the whole family if you have relatives visiting.
The sky is mostly blue and the sun is sometimes shining, so get out into the many surrounding parks and start doing some family YOGA.
If the weather isn’t great (which doesn’t happen often in the UK, honest) clear a space in your home, light a scented candle and make time to practice with the kids. If you’re away, EVEN BETTER…. use the amazing natural scenery, hot sun and beautiful sea to make the most of your yoga practice.
Here are 5 top tips from Jackie Haigh of the The Little Yoga Studio on how to practice yoga with your kids this summer
Do you already have a personal practice?
If you already have a personal practice, think about how you can modify some of the more difficult poses for the kids and other family members who may be new to yoga.
Sketch out a sequence that you think will be suitable for the time you have. I find stick men always do the trick! You may just want to freestyle if you feel confident or just don’t have the time to plan a class.
There are loads of awesome kids’ yoga books and games you can buy to give you ideas on what you could do. I teach kids as well as teens and adults and would recommend the following book (which can all be ordered from Sheen Bookshop #shoplocal):
- Yoga Games for Children by Danielle Bersma & Marjoke Visscher
- Personal Trainer Yoga for Kids by Liz Lark
- Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs by Louise Goldberg
- Yoga Pretzels by Tara Guber & Leah Kalish
If you like to practice with music
Why not put a little playlist together on Spotify or any of other music app you may have on your phone? Music that you or the kids / family would enjoy during your practice and potentially invest in a portable speaker.
Yoga mats for kids
If the kids already have yoga mats that’s great, otherwise you can buy them locally or online. They vary in price; however, if yoga is new to you and your family start with a small mat or alternatively use a beach towel as that will be fine.
The time and place
Find a regular time and place to practice with your kids. I found early evenings worked well for my family on our last holiday, just before supper. Mornings work well too.
Be the teacher but then also let the kids have a go at teaching too.
They absolutely love it and can also be very entertaining. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions about how they are feeling. Get them involved as much as possible and see how they grow from the experience.
Always end with a little bit of meditation. If you’re inspired maybe talk them through a mediation that comes to mind but otherwise there are plenty of ideas on the Internet or in the books / games I have mentioned above.
In summary, use this family yoga practice over the summer holidays as an opportunity not only for the kids but also for you to play! At the end of the day this is what yoga is all about – to be playful, to explore ourselves, both mind and body. It brings us back to childhood again when we practised handstands, cart wheels, forward rolls, backward rolls, balancing and all the other fun movements we used our bodies for as kids.
Play brings us back to a place where time stands still and we are able to be present and be joyful. Play allows us to let go of doubts we may have about our own abilities or what we think we should or should not do. It allows us to explore and start to realise how almost anything is possible with practice and perseverance. So use your family yoga practice to open your mind, stay focussed, healthy, happy and to feel that little bit more connected to your family and yourself.
Namaste and PLAY!
The Little Yoga Studio London is local and we welcome everybody. We are very happy to help you on your yoga journey and look forward to seeing you at a class soon.