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Do Yoga. Yoga is a most empowering practice. No matter your ability or disability, it works for any age from birth through adolescence. No other activity that kids do can match all its benefits. Not one!

Capable. Babies are born to do yoga, from the fetal position at birth (Child’s pose) to walking which requires balancing on one foot (Tree Pose).  Each developmental milestone for baby’s development is a yoga pose. If babies can do yoga, then we can all do yoga! 

Courageous. Children of all ages almost always take on challenging poses in yoga. That bravery, the willingness to fail or succeed, translates to the classroom, sports and performing arts. When a child feels supported in their effort and not condemned for their outcomes, it promotes a growth-mindset enabling them to take calculated risks and achieve their best over time.

Confidence. Yoga works for all ages and kids are good at it regardless of their ability. This builds confidence in young children who are learning how to manage their bodies, and especially for middle-schoolers and teenagers whose bodies and brains are chaining rapidly. Puberty is quite un-nerving! Yoga builds their skills with healthy mindset and movement habits.  


Nearly every adult who does yoga wishes they had learned it sooner and especially in the teen years!  They say, “If I had Yoga, it would have saved me from doing a bunch of stupid things for other people’s love/approval.”

We know women and moms do yoga, but what about dads?  There are 10 million men practicing yoga in the US, up from 4 million in 2012.  Approximately half of men become fathers according to WebMD.. 

We see so many dads at Family Yoga on the weekends.  It’s been interesting to hear why dads come to yoga. 

Here are popular responses:

  • “At first, my wife made me come with our toddler, but I actually really liked it,  and I wanted to come back.  Now it’s become our regular daddy/daughter time.” - Jay G.
  • “I was always curious about yoga, but the environment was never right. The gym was to busy and a yoga studio was too intimidating for a newcomer. I’m surprised how fun, challenging and accessible yoga is for me with my athletic kids. – Michael L.

Yoga is truly for everyone. Dads too!  

Parents often ask us parenting questions at It’s Yoga Kids®. We have some thoughts that don’t quite fit into the typical models. You can easily compare theories, traits, effects, and proponents of each style, and see well-researched science. We would add a parenting style to the to the list and we’d call it Zen Parenting. It’s how we teach successfully at It’s Yoga Kids®.

Zen Parenting is a hybrid of Authoritative Parenting and Gentle Parenting that emphasizes parents being calm problem solvers who value listening to their children’s input to create win-win outcomes for both parties whenever possible. The parent is the clear leader here and does have the authority to guide and/or make decisions and be empathetic allowing feelings to be felt, including disappointment. ☹

It’s based on a structure or framework that is mostly predictable to create safety, but also flexible to build adaptability. It’s a Go With the Flow model that includes regulation, reflection, resilience and responsibility so that over time, kids can fly their own helicopters!

Check out WeTheParents.org, a family resource promoting simple, meaningful parenting.

When you ask parents worldwide what they want for their children, survey results show these top three desires: healthy, happy and successful. That resonates for me, as a parent, and for most of the parents I know. Yet, what I’ve noticed over the last decade in our school environments, and what current statistics on youth wellness validate, is in stark contract. 

What a growing number of parents actually do is different than what they say they want for their kids. What they do resembles more of the bionic kid: a faster, better and smarter one. This shows up with over-scheduling, over-indulging and over-pressuring for performance in school, in sports, and even in friendships. This phenomenon is resulting in a significant increase in anxiety, depression, and suicide for today’s youth.  

It’s natural for parents to want more for their kids than what they had, but at what expense?  Helicopter Parenting, and the latest trend, Lawnmower Parenting, have significant drawbacks to the health, wellness, success and happiness of our kids. Some parents’ overzealous intentions may not translate to their ultimate outcomes for their children. And worse, they can damage the relationship over time, which can lead to severe pain and unhealthy coping methods for kids. Substance abuse affects 50% of kids under 18. Self-mutilation affects 1 in 4 kids teenagers.

Being a kid is difficult. Being a parent is difficult. We need each other and we’re in this together. Every time I read an article or hear an expert author speak on this crisis, I think Yoga is a solution. Yoga elevates one’s awareness, attitude and actions. Through meditation, mantras and movement, it can be a healthy coping method for parents and kids to make better choices for themselves and for their relationships. Understanding the “why” behind our actions can be very powerful to change our actions. 

For me, the biggest lesson in parenting is when to give an encouraging push and when to back off and support. And that is different for each kid. Mistakes are bound to happen. When a line is crossed on either side, we work to be accountable for our actions and to make the relationship right again by communicating our intensions, feelings and re-aligning them with the reality of what is happening in the moment. With this, we can better respond with loving care to achieve our highest potential.

Yoga can help with kids sleep and help them wake up in the morning. It takes 2 to 10 minutes to incorporate Yoga into your routine at home.

Follow these simple tips:

3 Steps to get Kids to Sleep at Night

  1. Move. Goodbye Yoga sequence
  2. Meditate. Body Scan. Relax every body part starting with toes to head 
  3. Mantra. Breathe in: I am safe. Breathe out: I am loved.

3 Steps to Get Kids Up in the Morning

  1. Meditate. 10min of awake but quiet cuddle time
  2. Move. In bed: Body tapping or wiggles body parts from toes to head. Out of bed: Hello Yoga sequence
  3. Mantra. Set an Intension or a Word for the Day

The Sanskrit word ‘mantra’ translates to ‘instrument for thinking’, they are a powerful way to direct your mind towards positive thoughts, feelings and experiences.

 

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Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!