Changing the World with Family Yoga: Spending Quality Time Together
In a world where parents and children are so busy, family yoga provides a wonderful place to spend healthy and happy, quality time together.
No mobile phones, no iPads or TV, no other duties... it's just you and your children. You might be surprised, but that does not happen often in the 21st century.
Family is so important, and time and care is needed to nurture and make it work; yoga is perfect for this! Children, parents, and even grandparents get to enjoy practicing yoga together and strengthen their bonds while they support each other and have fun.
The Importance of Play
In their constant struggle to juggle all of their responsibilities, many parents have become way to serious!
So this is my favorite thing about Family Yoga; it teaches parents how to play!
The most common response we hear from parents after a few Family Yoga classes is that things are different at home now, and EVERYTHING is more playful and fun!
Bridging The Gap
Family yoga is very special; it is a rare opportunity for both parents and children to observe and learn from each other and a great way to bridge the huge age difference between them.
While playing yoga together as a family, we exchange roles a lot. For example, while doing Dog Pose, parents (who are usually the leaders) get to be led on a dog walk by their children.
Children (who are usually the receivers) get to give to their parents when they massage them while in relaxation.
Parents get to see how their children learn and how they interact with other children and adults. And children get to see their parents as learners, something that doesn’t happen very often, setting a great example for their children.
Until a certain age, children think that their parents are superhuman; that they never get tired, never run out of time or money, and that there is nothing that they can’t do… it is good for the children to realize that their parents are not perfect.
There are many poses that the children can do and the parents can’t, and some activities that the children can do better than the parents. This humanises the parent and eases the pressure that their children’s expectations can create.
In addition to all of the other great benefits of yoga, all of these gestures help to relieve tension in the parent/child relationship.
Opportunities for children to develop and learn skills through playing alongside their same-age peers and provide opportunities for children to build confidence and a sense of self and belonging to a group. When a child is included, you will notice how they can confidently engage in play with peers and are supported to explore their worlds to make new discoveries. You will see them being encouraged to build independence and self-help skills and to take part in the program. They will develop a sense of who they are, and of belonging within the group
Words: Gopala Amir Yaffa
Gopala is the Co-founder of Rainbow Yoga, which provides life changing yoga education around the world. Rainbow Kids Yoga is now offering children and family yoga teacher training online and in-person. Visit www.rainbowyogatraining.com to learn more.
Originally published in Connected Caregiving Spring 2022