Yoga was vital to keeping calm, centered and in shape during my pregnancy with S so I recently started practicing yoga again to avoid being buried in stress this pregnancy. The best part? S can do the yoga with me! Making time for a wellness activity together has allowed me time to workout (finally!) and show S how important taking care of her own wellness really is. Keep reading for a few quick tips to get your family started on their own wellness routine.
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Keep it Simple
Kids generally have a short attention span and sometimes an activity like yoga or just quiet breathing exercises can be a tough skill to master at first, so keep the number of the items in the routine low and slowly adjust or add on as you both proceed. A good 5-10 minutes a day is short enough to fit into your busy schedule and not too long that the kiddo will be over it. Right now S and I work on tree pose, child’s pose, cat-cow pose, and downward dog. I really love a good seated spinal twist, too, but S doesn’t quite understand that one yet (see pic below).
No one likes being left in the dark. Make your kids a part of the decision process when choosing what activities to do, how often and when by giving them options and explaining what it means to practice wellness. Share what wellness means to your family so that your kids can understand what makes it important, and how it’s different from just going to the gym and working out, or running around a field. Wellness means mental strength, eating well and working out to the best of your ability so I try to do 3-5 minutes of breathing exercises on my own a few times a week and will start adding that to our wellness time once S gets more confident in the yoga poses and is ready for the harder step — creating her own calm and center. I’m really excited for this because I’m hoping it will help her process some of her emotions in a way that’s healthier to her and others (opposed to slamming her door like a teenager and snapping at me when I ask a question).
They say to dress for success, right? Well, it’s true. Be sure you have all of the equipment you need ready and that everyone is wearing the appropriate clothing. Make sure your clothes aren’t too baggy or too tight for the activity, and that it allows you to perform well without injury. Buddha Pants provided S and me with matching Black Aztec pants for our yoga activities that allow us to focus on our time together, not what we’re wearing. I can’t get over how cute S is in her pants and I love how comfy mine are with my 4-month pregnant belly— It’s so hard to find things that fit me comfortably right now! Plus, the pant folds into its own pocket for easy store and carry, which makes my life a lot easier.
This is a big one. No one in the family will want to participate in family wellness time if it sounds like a mandatory thing they’re forced to do or where there’s criticism over how things are done. S and I have fun with our yoga poses because we’re spending time together and both just trying not to lose our balance during tree pose. It’s a fun time to learn a skill and bond. I don’t put a lot of pressure on it, either. I ask S if she wants to practice yoga with me at a certain time, set everything up and work on it with her for as long as she’s comfortable doing it. Whether it’s one minute or 10, we’re working on it together. If I’m not done yet when she is then I’ll continue my minutes of wellness and she might decide to start again, watch or just do her own thing (I’m telling you, this 5-year-old is a mini teenager).
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How do you share wellness time with your family?