Most people I know who practice yoga, do so alone. It makes sense. Yoga is a time to unwind, delve deep, and manifest self-truth. Oftentimes, for newbies, they come to class seeking refuge. Naturally, when we become parents, that solace is even more critical for our health. It doesn’t surprise me-not really-then, when the first thing people ask is “is there yoga for my child”? Much of the time, they are seeking a separate class for their little one. While this is fantastic (you do need your time and they need theirs, no doubt!), I encourage adding in family yoga in the mix too!
Family Yoga is Powerful
While I obviously think that there should be ample opportunity to practice alone, without interruption, and in relative silence, I also believe that yoga is a powerful communal experience, and one that should be practiced with loved ones too. This is especially true for kids. Not only is yoga beyond the one or two hours a week we spend in the studio, it is all-encompassing for understanding ourselves and how we walk through our daily life. Balancing the need to seek the refuge alone with the need to share in the experience and use it as a teaching tool to our children is crucial.
When we roll our mats out together, hearing each other draw in air, and let go of worry, we understand each other a little better. Our kids feel safe. They are happy to do what you are doing because, in their eyes, you are the coolest. But it is more than that. They learn that the silence and stillness is just as important as the salutations and the silliness. After all, family yoga is different. And because of that, we as adults, learn to embrace our inner child for the hour we practice. We can then approach our children with more innocence and patience, and they in turn, can approach us with more trust and vulnerability. Family yoga is integral for relationship-building by sheer virtue of its ability to help us reflect and connect.
Family yoga is a great habit
We spend way too much time focusing on the next day, the next year, even the next hour as parents trying to keep our children alive. How often are we spending quality time together? How often are we truly present with our kids, and how often are we learning from them, and they us, about what it means to slow down, breathe, and enjoy our precious time on Earth? Yoga is the key to grasping this philosophy. It can unlock how you spend your weekends at the park playing, how family meals unfold, and all the other fun stuff we do as a cohesive unit. Practicing yoga as a family opens conversations and understandings about our lives together and it creates unforgettable memories for everyone.