It's Sunday (or Monday or any other day of the week really!)...
You are at home with your kids and you wish you could do something together that is fun, educational and physical (after all, you do want tired kids by bedtime!)
The answer to that is, of course, YOGA :)
Follow this class step by step, and become your family's personal yoga teacher!
Take out the yoga mats, if you have them. If not, you can practise on the floor (I suggest you remove your socks to avoid slippery feet).
Sit your kid in front of you. If you have several kids, have them sit in a circle around you.
Ask them to sit with their legs crossed in front of them, and their backs long.
Place your hands in front of your chest, in prayer position. As you take a deep breath in, move your hands apart. As you take a long breath out, move your hands slowly back together.
If your kids are small, breath out from your mouth so they can hear clearly and know what to do.
Repeat this breath for 3/5 times.
Play the song of Kira Willey DANCE FOR THE SUN and follow the instructions.
While Kira sings "sun salutation dance for the sun", take advantage to do a couple of your own stretches: BUTTERFLY POSE* is a great one to start with kids of all ages. Another great one is, standing with wide legged stance and knees softly bent, move your arms from side to side, to give your back a bit of a warm up twist.
*Sitting with your back as long as possible, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. You may hold your feet, and move your knees up and down.
YOGA CLASS: LET'S STRECH AND BALANCE**!
- MOUNTAIN POSE: In this pose we want to be relaxed, yet strong. Just like a mountain. The mountains are not stiff, they are just very strong and stable, aren’t they? Placing your feet hip width distance apart, stand tall with your back nice and tall. Push your shoulders slightly back, but don’t stiffen up!! Let's play a game: I'll come around trying to move you. If you fall, it will mean you are very very stiff. If you manage to keep your balance, it will mean you are strong and stable as a mountain! (Tip! Look at a fixed point in front of you)
- STAR POSE: From Mountain Pose, let's do a few Jumping Jacks to get in and out of Star Pose.
- FOLDED STAR: Can you fold over and touch your toes? You can bend your knees if you need to!
- TWISTING STAR: What about touching your toes with your opposite hands?
- TRIANGLE POSE: Now, open your feet wide, as in Star Pose. Point your left foot out to the side. Bring the left hand, down towards the knee or the foot. Then pull your right hand up towards the sky. Do you feel the nice stretch you are getting on the sides of your body? I do! Lets do the other side. Remember, whatever we do on one side. We do on the other! (We don’t want the other side to get jealous!)
- DANCER'S POSE: Place the weight of your body on your left foot. Lift your right foot back towards your bottom and bring your left arm up towards the sky. How does that feel? Very wobbly? Look at a fixed point in front of you to help you concentrate. Now, what about trying to kick your right foot behind you while you hold it with your right hand. Did you get it? Alright!!
- BRIDGE POSE: Let's lie down on our backs now, place our feet next to our bottoms, hands on the ground. Take a deep breath in... and on the exhale, push your hips up to the sky! Remember, keep your head relaxed on the ground.
*Part of the "stretch sequence" was taken from Yoga for Children by Lisa Flynn , although the explanations for each poses are mine.
Have everyone make a straight line and get into Downward Dog. Now, the last person in the line, starts to crawl under all the down dogs. When they reach the end, they get into down dog and the next person in the line, starts to crawl.
If it's only you and your kid, you can take turns to crawl under each other's Downdog.
Put fun music to do this. Music Suggestion: La Bamba by Charlotte Diamond.
Lie down on the floor or on your mats. With your hips on the ground, lift your feet towards the sky and leave them dangling for a minute or so to reverse the blood flow.
Then eventually allow your legs to rest on the floor, close your eyes and relax listening to nice quiet music.
Music Suggestion: Kira Willey, Just Be