Author: Monica Mallo – Mom, PYC Faculty, & Yogi
I didn’t realize we were making memories, I just knew we were having fun – Winnie the Pooh
Parenting can be some of life’s hardest work and even despite its challenging aspects, the love for my children makes it my mission to get back up every time it gets hard, every time I feel the sweat & tears, because they are worth it. Through the years, I have read and studied more books about parenting than can fit in my bookshelves, I’ve listened to fellow mothers, and professionals in the field. I use what I’ve learned from my practice and from Kids Yoga/Mindfulness Training to bring them back to centre when things get tough.What has and continues to work best has been the simple & profound practice of Yoga. Remember, Yoga is not just about tree pose or sitting in a meditation, but instead so much more. The history of yoga is so rich in tradition and offers a portal of connection to self and others.
Yoga can happen anywhere. You do not need a yoga room. Or a class room. To be honest my best classes for my children have been in the their bedrooms when they feel bad about something, or in the living room when one of them is suffering from anxiety, or in my bedroom when they can’t sleep. Knowing how yoga has helped me support my kids, every parent can benefit from taking Kids Yoga/ Mindfulness Training. Here are 5 impactful lessons you can bring into your home:
1. Put yourself in your kids shoes.
Remember what its like to be a kid? Often we don’t and we like to solve problems from our ‘adult’ mind. We might try to communicate in a language that our children don’t understand, or we listen from a place of trying to fix instead of feeling what they are going through. As a parent, to have the ability to feel what your kids feel may just be what they need to feel heard & whole.
2. Trust your kids.
Trust that they are responsible enough to figure things out on their own. When you want to intervene, take a moment of pause and give your littles some space. The discipline of breath work and mindfulness can retrain your brain to not be as reactive. With some time you will be awed that they can come up with some amazing solutions on their own.
3. Teach them what you know to be true.
It may not always seem like it but Mommy and Daddy are still their biggest heroes. They listen to what you have to say, so be wise with what you share. Teach them powerful tools to connect with themselves, others and their surroundings so they will know what to do when they have feelings of anxiety, boredom or restlessness.
4. Bring playfulness back into your life.
Having fun with the family is a sure way to get the kids off their devices but first we need to remember how to have fun. I always say kids can smell fear and a phoney from a mile away. It isn’t always easy to connect back to those carefree moments in your childhood but trust me it’s a MUST. Learn to have fun again, reconnect back to those days when a simple game using creativity and humility produced the biggest laughter. Your kids will rather be hanging out with you than any on screen.
5. Love thyself.
Jane Travis once said “The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have”. If your children see you value yourself, forgiving yourself, loving yourself, they are sure to follow in your footsteps.
Just like yoga, parenting is a practice. How have you brought yoga into your home? How do you share your practice with your children? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram – we’d love to hear from you!