Summer is coming… 3 Way to Practice Yoga with your Family

Summertime is fast approaching and children everywhere are gearing up for sun and fun. During school, families have a set schedule to follow. However, summertime can be a free for all. Bedtimes get pushed back and days may start a little later without the blaring alarm to wake up to. Yet, humans greatly benefit with routine and structure. Routines create familiarity and reliability. Lack of a routine can create anxiety.

Yoga opens a space to connect with each other without judgment or comparison to reduce stress and enjoy time together. Invest a few minutes each day and create a consistent yoga practice together as a family!

Even though as parents we work tirelessly to schedule our families’ summer with fun activities, camps, playdates, day trips and vacations, you can bet at some point your child will mutter the dreaded words…”I’m soooo bored!”. Instead of burying their faces in electronics to entertain them, why not spend a few minutes moving and breathing together?

Three ways to create your family yoga practice

  1. Practice diaphragmatic breathing mindfully on your mat
  2. Wake up each morning with movement
  3. At night, spend a few moments in a resting posture

“Out with the bad air, in with the good…” – Lloyd Christmas, Dumb & Dumber

1. Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing with your Family

Lay out your yoga mat alongside your bed. If my mat is rolled up in the closet, I won’t not be as diligent with my practice. It’s the 1st and last thing your feet will touch everyday; a physical reminder to care for yourself.

  • One minute of deep breathing can instantly change your mood
  • Practice in an easy seat or lying down on your yoga matDecreases oxygen demand – uses less energy to breathe
  • Decreases oxygen demand – uses less energy to breathe

Diaphragmatic Breathing Step by Step

      1. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart
      2. Inhale into your hand on your belly
      3. Then expand your ribs upwards and out
      4. Finally allow your chest to lift
      5. As you exhale, notice your chest drop, your ribs draw in and your belly contracts towards your spine
      6. Start with 1 minute of breathing and build from there

      You can’t change the weather outside but you can change your internal weather.

2. Wake up each Morning with Movement

Parents have enough to worry about daily, so instead of expecting your family to practice everyday for an hour with each other, keep it simple and introduce some of my favorite yoga flows and poses with your family.

Yoga is a personal practice so model that behavior by staying focused on only what is happening within the four corners of your mat. There’s no need to correct your kids if they’re not following you. One of the most powerful ways we learn is thru observation. We are modeling behaviors, reactions and habits all day long to our kids. Yoga gives parents the platform to model a positive, healthy way to build coping skills to handle what life has in store. Below is a fun flow for families to practice together.

Step by Step FamilyFlow Yoga® Hippie Cow Sequence*

  1. From Child’s pose
  2. Inhale Hippie Cow
  3. Exhale Child’s Pose
  4. Inhale Hippie Cow
  5. Exhale Downward Facing Dog

*Repeat this flow 3-6 times and match each movement with your breath

3. At night, spend a few moments in a resting posture

Let your family focus on their mat space without limitations! As in life, subjectivity, judgment, past experiences and opinions exist. In yoga, all those obstacles are eliminated when we come to our mats. Each pose in yoga has an intention to stimulate different body systems that facilitate an energetic exchange.

Crocodile Pose

      • Lie down on your belly and   rest your forehead on the back of your stacked hands.
      • Resets your nervous system
      • Physically grounds your body and quiets your anxiety

Legs Up The Wall

      • Lay on your back and swing your legs up against a wall, your bed or couch.
      • Reverses blood flow and lymphatic system
      • Calms and restores mind and body

Summer is the perfect time to invest in your family’s yoga practice. With the warmer weather you can practice together indoors or out; with or without a yoga mat. Whether your family is meditating, moving or mindfully breathing, together you’re developing effective coping skills to manage mood, stress and anxiety.

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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