As I sip my morning coffee in a quiet space, before everyone wakes up and the fun begins, I reflect on the privilege and responsibility which comes with being a mom. I think about what I can do to help my son continue to grow his social and emotional wellness and be a happy, kind kid.
For my 9 year old son…the athlete, musician, artist and student, I realize I’ve tried to integrate yoga and mindfulness into it all. My son isn’t always a “peaceful warrior” and he is one of the most competitive kids I know. But every Thursday before his basketball practice he takes a weekly yoga and creative expression class at Tovami Yoga with Monique and they explore a theme which involves a bit of age appropriate self examination.
I love this class for many reasons but mostly I love it because right after class I get to walk down the street with him and know that whether we walk without talking or whether we are having a casual conversation, he is calm, sweet, soft and peaceful.
There are many great articles written about the benefits of Kids Yoga and many great studies and research about it’s benefits such as the Harvard Study written by Marlynn Wei, but the Number 1 reason I think it’s beneficial is the one I’ve heard expressed from hundreds maybe thousands of kids……“Yoga Feels Good”. Pretty basic!
I’ve found that most kids favorite part of their yoga and mindfulness class is Savasana. This is the final relaxation at the end of the class when they lay down and rest. Of course, this isn’t the case for 100% of the kids but I’ll bet it is for over 95% of them.
I reflect on this as a mom and as the owner of Budding Buddhas Kids Yoga. Why is this? Why is final relaxation their favorite part? Is it because they are maxed out from a busy life and trying to balance school, extra curricular activities, playdates etc, or are most kids not getting enough sleep? Do my kids classes have to much activity or challenge and they are exhausted at the end (I doubt this is the case)…..I’m not sure of the reason why they all love final relaxation but I do know that almost all children look and act more peaceful, calm and confident when they take a 1 - 3 minute pause at the end of the class. In fact, we take peaceful pauses throughout the class and they are always more focused, calm and respectful after the pause.
So, whether it’s sitting or laying down next to each other and taking 10 deep breaths, or stopping and giving your kid a long hug or doing a short Kids Guided Meditation, a 1-3 minute peaceful pause helps children and parents reset and approach the rest of the activity, transition, homework etc. with a positive, calm, happy feeling.
I understand this may sound a little impractical and crazy and even a little to touchy feely but if
your kids seem off and out of sorts why not take a pause, lay down, sit down or hug your kid and breath. Just for a couple minutes. Maybe it will feel good for both of you and isn’t that the point!