Yoga and meditation are esoteric fuss at the highest level! That’s not even sport! And then always this feeble language. Only caffeine-free flat-white sipping wool socks with their children go to parent-child yoga anyway.
One should be prepared for these or similar reactions if, as a parent, one admits to his mother friends wearing high heels or his bearded, tattooed daddy buddies that they regularly go to parent-child yoga. Attention! In the worst case, you could be expelled from the playground.
Mostly expressions like vegetarian-vegan organic food and trilingual preschool motivation courses fall in one sentence. Nothing that a relaxed mommy or casual daddy would want to be part of.
But is parent-child yoga just a fashion trend? The answer is clear: Asanas for your child and you are not only valuable for the hipster offspring. 25 years ago a primary school teacher did yoga exercises with first graders in Berlin to reduce the stress level of her class.
What began as a “yoga club” for first graders quickly became so popular with children that parents insisted on integrating yoga firmly into the schedule. Some mothers who brought their children to school in the morning were very happy when they were allowed to take part in the “good morning yoga”.
However, there are still countless clichés and prejudices about parent-child yoga. We took the most common myths as an opportunity and asked @luisaharisch, our expert for parent-child yoga, in more detail. For us, Luisa took a close look at 5 exciting facts about the topic.
Luisa is a yoga teacher with heart and soul. Because she gave birth to a beautiful boy herself a few months ago, she shares her experiences with hormone yoga, back yoga, yoga during pregnancy, parent-child yoga and much more on her YouTube channel.
Your path to yoga began in your youth. There she was able to find trust, calm and strength through practicing. Since then she has been taking her followers on the fascinating journey of yoga through the interplay of movement, breathing and relaxation.
Myth 1 – parent-child yoga is no different from normal yoga
The basis of children’s yoga and yoga for adults are the same. Only the approach has been modified: Yoga for children is imaginative and playful.
Hatha Yoga from India is aimed at children’s perception: the way of practicing is very much oriented towards the perception of nature, plants and animals such as the tree, the crocodile, the dog, the lion etc.
In a yoga class especially for children, the same values are conveyed as in a “normal” yoga class – just in a different way.
A difference between yoga for children and yoga for adults lies in their goals: Where many adults set individual goals for their yoga practice – from sweaty workouts to relaxation – the goals can be more generalized for the little ones. It’s about joy, fun in movement and relaxation.
The individual asanas are performed for a shorter time in children than in adults. There are several reasons for this: Children should / cannot hold the postures for too long as they have less strength and stamina due to their smaller cardiovascular system.
In addition, the effects of an asana occur much faster in children. Children can also relax much faster.
Which methods and types of yoga should be practiced with the little ones: Our children are as individual as we are – so just playfully try out what is good for them.
Myth 2 – parent-child yoga is too easy
Yoga can be strenuous for both adults and children. Of course, this depends on several factors, such as your own perception, strength and endurance, the intensity and the type of yoga. But everyone agrees on one thing: Yoga challenges you both physically and mentally.
Myth 3 – parent-child yoga only stimulates the children’s imagination
Especially in childhood, a time of intense shaping, yoga can, in addition to promoting the imagination, offer the child the opportunity to get to know their own personality better through practice and experience.
This allows the adolescent to experience a positive alignment of his personality and thus achieve lasting positive development
Calmness and mindfulness can be learned through yoga. These qualities will make it easier for a child to acquire additional skills and improve social skills. Children are very agile and flexible, so it is important to work on stamina and strength. This is done through an appropriate yoga practice. The important thing is:
- The conscious perception of the interplay of body and breathing activity
- A great self-awareness
- Health and respect for one’s own limits and possibilities
All of this happens in the active exercises. Another benefit of this practice is that all of the senses are stimulated. The aim of the asanas is to get the feeling of a stable balance and the release of tension.
Coordination, dexterity and the ability to move should be expanded. What you learn will build trust in your own body. This gives the child confidence in their own strength.
In addition, the child becomes more aware of himself. The sense of mindfulness (in the form of appreciation for people and animals) is also strengthened. And because of the group dynamics, social interaction is also promoted.
Myth 4 – It is difficult to keep the kids focused
My experience here is: If you get completely involved with your child / children and organize a playful, creative and flexible yoga class, they won’t get bored.
Children want to be actively involved and involved. Just try out whether your child prefers long or short runs / holding an asana. Maybe you prefer to practice in the morning rather than in the evening.
Perhaps you will also incorporate a massage into the final relaxation, spoil your child with it and at the same time strengthen the bond with him / her.
Basically you should both like it! Only do what feels right for you, otherwise your child will feel it too. As long as you two are fine, your relationship will definitely be fine. You may even manage to establish a whole new routine within the family.
Myth 5 – Real men don’t do parent-child yoga
The nice thing about yoga is that it is so multifaceted. Almost anyone can practice yoga, even if one is physically limited. In this case, you simply adapt the exercises so that they feel good despite the restriction.
You can even do yoga with your baby. With it lying next to you on the mat, you begin to flow. A toddler will want to interact with you and even want to exercise on top of you or under you.
Here I recommend you allow it. Maybe just do a short sequence of your exercises. If your child starts to imitate your movements, then you can get them involved – relaxed, relaxed and easy.
Maybe in the beginning there are only two asanas such as the dog or cat / cow. You can then improve at will.
If your child is already in kindergarten or elementary school, then you are welcome to insert small sequences, i.e. a series of several asanas in a row.
Just try out the sun salutation or go on a little mental world tour / safari with your child and see which animals you will encounter.
Whether mom or dad, as long as you all have fun, it’ll be fine. I wish you a lot of joy and all the best – your Luisa!