For some parents, the yoga studio is a place to briefly escape from the little ones and have some “me” time. But other moms and dads have discovered that setting up a family yoga experience at home with the kids can be super fun and rewarding.
Setting up a home yoga practice doesn’t require a lot of work. In fact, you’ll just need a few basic essentials to make establishing a home yoga routine easier. Once you’ve created the proper home environment for yoga for kids, proceed with purchasing these items for your practice.
Yoga mats are the obvious necessity for beginning home yoga. While you can certainly practice without one, having a mat helps for two reasons. They make getting in and out of the poses easier on the body so that little hands and feet aren’t slipping around the carpet or hardwood floor. And they signal to your brain, “Hey, it’s time to do yoga!”
This is especially useful for little ones because as soon as they see the mat hit the floor, they know it’s yoga time. Mats range greatly in price and style. Look around for mats and let the children select the ones they like!
It can be really discouraging to begin a daily routine, only to realize that it’s too difficult to get into certain poses. Bolsters, foam blocks, and blankets can help make the poses and meditation more comfortable. Kids really enjoy sitting on blankets as they provide cushion.
Straps and ribbons can help you reach your toes, practice partner poses, and even play games, such as “Walk the Line”, a balance game akin to walking a tightrope. Other fun tools include hula hoops, balls, and small parachutes!
Meditation is one of the more tricky aspects of yoga for adults and kids alike. There is no shame in creating and utilizing resources that help kids understand the purpose and methods of meditating. Some of the more popular tools are sparkle bottles, singing bowls, electric candles, or anything that will naturally intrigue kids.
Think of how babies react to lights and slowly moving items. This is the same concept. You want to encourage your kids to sit as still as possible so that their mind is clear and they can hear and see the sparkles, the ringing of the bowl, etc.
Because kids are sensory-seeking little humans, music becomes a critical component to a daily practice. Music breaks up monotony, gets them moving, and encourages imagination. Most kids’ yoga songs actually are flows in themselves. The songs take you through a yoga story, a sun salutation, or a mini-practice. They have fun beats and are a great way to ensure a fun practice.
When the time comes to chill out, music exists for those peaceful moments too. Music that induces delta wave activity in the brain has been shown to calm people of all ages. It serves as a wonderful way to end the practice!
Crafting and other activities that require attention and heightened awareness are mindfulness-based activities. Developing mindfulness has been demonstrated to improve cognitive function and social-emotional intelligence. Therefore, yoga-inspired crafts can be a great addition to your practice.
They do not need to be complex nor elaborate. Simply lacing cards or beads, coloring, or making affirmation cards can make your practice well-rounded and special for kids.
Preparing a space with these resources encourages daily practice and will inspire your family to love yoga in its entirety. So go scout some deals and have fun setting up your yoga routine!
Heather Horrell is a yoga teacher and perinatal professional who loves crafting and coffee.
Image credit: Creative Commons user ganatlguard (no changes made).