Create a Family Yoga Practice for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, change up your old playbook. Instead of showering mom with flowers, macaroni necklaces and free hug coupon books; why not set up a space at home for your family to breathe, move and relax?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore flowers, homemade noodle jewelry and for sure I’d never turn my nose to a free hug! But, I’ve found yoga is a valuable tool for families to individually build self-confidence, improve overall health and wellness; as well as connect with one another.

Embrace your vulnerability and give your kids space to show off their strengths and reward positive behavior.

Creating a yoga class with your family doesn’t require rigorous training and certifications. Practicing yoga is a practice focused on progress, not perfection. Whether it’s learning patience in holding a difficult pose for 10 breaths or balancing on one foot; we are engaged in that present moment and ultimately gain coping skills that are translatable and applicable off our mats.

4 Key ingredients for your Family Yoga practice

1. Create a “Free” Space

Electronic Free

  • Ditch the screens and get your booty on your mat.
  • Without screens and other distractions, practice mindfulness and solely focus on what’s happening in the moment.
  • One hour with you family together breathing, moving and even laughing; without anyone’s head buried in an electronic device is truly magical.

Judgment Free

  • Please leave your ego at the door.
  • Sorry to be the one to tell you, but it’s impossible to compare yourself with others. You have your own body; everyone else’s is already taken.
  • Work with what you got; avoid getting hung up on under valuing what you are and over valuing what you’re not.

Fear Free

  • Fear is excitement sans the breath.
  • No one is limiting you but you, so avoid inflicting limitations and fear.
  • Mistakes are new opportunities where failure provides a foothold for success.
  • Everytime we embrace the edge of our comfort zone, we progress.
  • Let yourself and your family fail fabulously!

The most brilliant elements, the core of who we are, surface and shine brighter everytime we come to our mats.

2. Breathe; Mindful breathing drives intelligent action.

The only requirement in a yoga class is to breathe. Your breath is the largest tool you have to communicate between your body & brain. Breathing practices strengthens and quiets our nervous systems.

When stress and anxiety hit, we tend to take short and shallow breaths (upper quadrant or paradoxical breathing); which in turn, triggers feelings of stress and anxiety. Yet, practicing mindful breathing can allow you to control all systems within your body.

Rather than a short and shallow breathing pattern, practice long, slow inhalations through your nose with long, slow exhalations through your nose or mouth.

3. Movement; A Family that moves together stays together!

Flow with your Family; Sun Salutations

Keep it simple for everyone in your family. Sun Salutation A is a perfect flow for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Start with one round slowly and focus on your alignment. Next, link each breath with a movement to create a rhythmic pattern and consistent pace. Tying together your breath and movement, hones your ability to conduct your breath to calm and ground yourself no matter the situation.

  • Practice Sun Salutations to warm up your body with dynamic movements utilizing large muscle groups.
  • Invite your kids to lead (great opportunity to reward good behavior!)
  • Repetition and consistency, lead to personal progress and growth.

Sun Salutation A Sequence

Introduce movement with the below sequence. Start at the top of your mat with your hands at your heart or by your side.

A. Inhale Mountain pose

  • Firm your feet down into your mat
  • Knit your ribs into your midline
  • Soften your shoulders away from your ears
  • Stretch your arms high above your head

 

 

 

B. Exhale Forward Fold

  • Bend at your hips
  • Dive over your thighs
  • Tip your weight into your toes
  • Send your tail to the sky

 

 

 

C. Inhale Halfway Lift

  • Lengthen your spine from your tail to your crown and parallel your torso to your mat
  • Press your hands on your shins
  • Rock your weight into your toes

 

 

 

D. Exhale High Plank; Lower all the way to your belly.

  • Drive your heels back over your toes
  • Hug your elbows by your ribs as you come down to your mat
  • Align your head to your mat

 

 

 

E. Inhale Cobra Pose

  • Press the tops of your feet down
  • Pin your elbows into your sides
  • Draw your shoulders down away from your ears
  • Lift your heart forward and up

 

 

 

F. Exhale Downward Facing Dog

  • Hike your tailfeather up and back
  • Lengthen your arms and legs
  • Stretch your heels down towards your mat
  • Push evenly into your hands and feet
  • Soften your neck

From Downward Facing Dog, finish out the round with the below steps:

  1. Inhale Look forward
  2. Exhale Travel forward
  3. Inhale Halfway Lift
  4. Exhale Forward Fold
  5. Inhale Mountain
  6. Exhale return your hands at your heart or by your side

4. Surrender; Practice Exhaling

“As adults, we think we have a choice whether to either surrender or not surrender. But the truth is, surrender is inevitable. At some point we are all going to take our last breath. Sometime we are going to encounter a situation we have to leave or dissolve. While we don’t have a choice when we surrender, we do have a choice on how we surrender and how we carry ourselves through it.” – Julia Lopez, Owner, Honest Soul Yoga 

Don’t get stuck on how to – just do!

Meditation isn’t easy, but the benefits are worth your time investment. When you meditate, you release what no longer serves you. Start with a few minutes of quiet stillness and build from there. Creating your own mediation practice clears a path to navigate life and train our reactions to stress.

During meditation, if a negative thought crops up, instead of focusing on those thoughts, draw your attention to your breath and allow yourself to just be in the moment.Love yourself and let go of negative self talk. Replace thoughts of “I can’t” with “I am.”

To support your family’s practice, follow the link below for my audio guided meditation:

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation

So, this Mother’s Day, spend some time practicing yoga as a family. It’s the best way to connect without judgment, limitations and fear.

Adrienne started practicing yoga when she was working in the corporate world. She traveled constantly and always looked for ways to keep healthy and active while on the road. After completing her RYT-200 Power Yoga Teacher Training she was hooked! She completed her RCYT-95 as well as her RYT-500 Advanced Yoga Teacher Training. A mother of two girls, Adrienne has dedicated her time to deepening her practice and connecting with her students (especially families & kids!) on ways to allow their yoga experience to ripple into all aspects of their lives. Throughout Adrienne’s trainings, her passion has led her to co-found FamilyFlow Yoga®️. FamilyFlow Yoga®️is one of four accredited schools in Illinois to offer a 95 Hour Registered Yoga Alliance Children’s Yoga Teacher Training program. Adrienne teaches in yoga studios, fitness clubs, boutique studios, as well as in school and after school yoga programs. FamilyFlow Yoga®️ has become an expert in offering continuing education programs and workshop for yoga instructors as well as schools’ staff and administrations. She's committed to helping people reach their full potential both physically, mentally and emotionally.

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