Yoga for Kids and Grandparents

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For Grandparents' Day, we’re excited to honor the cherished role that grandparents play in our lives. Many grandparents share caregiving responsibilities — and understanding today's childhood is often a challenge. Connecting across the generational gap with changes in media and technology can be tricky, so it's more important than ever to find ways to engage together.

Yoga is a great way to bridge that gap because children and seniors need to be active to stay healthy and grow — or at least not shrink! Only do what feels safe and breathe.

Here are the top 7 yoga poses kids and grandparents can do together:

Butterfly pose: sit with the souls of the feet together and gently flap your wings. Tell each other what color your wings are. This opens the hips.

Cat/Cow pose: on hands and knees arch the back and look up for cow. Then curl the back and look at your belly for cat. Crawl and stretch your paws/hooves by lifting one limb at a time. Do make the animal sounds! This creates mobility in the spine.

Downward Dog pose: from cow pose, curl toes down to the floor, lift hips up and wag your tail. This pose lengthens the spine, strengthens the arms, and stretches the legs.

Monkey pose: from dog pose, walk your feet and hands toward each other to stand. Relax your head and upper body toward the floor and swing your arms side to side. This stretches your back.

Sun pose: from monkey pose, slowly stand tall and reach your arms to touch the sun. On you tip toes, turn your sunshine all around in both directions. This lengthens your whole body and strengthens your calves.

Tree pose: stand on one foot with your other foot on your shin or ankle. Hold hands to keep the trees steady. This strengthens the standing leg and promotes better balance.

Cobra pose: rest on your belly and pretend to be slithering snakes in the grass. This strengthens your back. Then, take a rest together and be sleepy snakes.

Remember to listen to your body and get trained because there’s so much more you can do together to promote physical fitness and mental health.


How to Share the Labor of Love

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On this Labor Day, I’m reminded that if If American women earned minimum wage for the unpaid work they do around the house and caring for relatives, they would have made $1.5 trillion last year.

Women’s Unpaid Labor is Worth $10,900,000,000,000

A mother’s love is priceless, right? A labor of love is productive work performed voluntarily without material reward or compensation, an altruistic work or undertaking. This is what parents, especially mothers, do for their children, and ultimately, society.

One idea to share the load is to have dads take on bedtime. In particular, burning the energy to prepare for sleep. How? Yoga. Here are 3 ways to help the kids wind down and be ready to rest:

1. Frog Jumps: squat like a frog and jump up and down several times. Jump as high as you can and land on your feet. Try this 8 times.

2. Donkey Kicks: from downward dog, kick both feet up to your bottom at the same time and land on your feet together. Try this 5 times.

3. Star/Mountain (Yoga Jacks): Stand tall and strong with hands at sides, then jump feet and hands wide to make a star. Then, back to the mountain. Repeat 10 times fast.

After these active moves, kids are typically ready to cuddle, read and rest. If not, do the whole thing again until they are! You can learn more health tips in our Zen Parenting workshop or Warrior Training. Look for other ways you can share the load.

Try the Post-it challenge to see how much both parents are responsible for around the house. Take note!


Summer Yoga Camp Reduces Stress

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This is what we do. We’re in the last weeks of summer camp and it’s been a total joy! Studies have shown that mindfulness reduces disciplinary actions and creates a more harmonious environments at home and in the classroom.

“What we learn on the mat translates to life off the mat. Everything you need to know, you can learn in yoga.” - Michelle Wing, Founder, It’s Yoga Kids®

Kids yoga is about so many things! Here are the top three:

1. Confidence. “Fake it until you make it” doesn’t work here. Kids know what’s true and what’s not true for them. Confidence comes from consistent positive experiences and outcomes. Results. That’s it. You can’t fake that. Yoga builds it because everyone can be challenged and successful — over time.

2. Resilience is built through failure and perseverance which leads to confidence. The way to level up is to be challenged — to fall and get back up — to break through barriers physically and mentally. Yoga does that. If you are not paying attention, you will fall. Hard stop.

3. Adaptability is you ability to accept what is happening RIGHT NOW and adjust to it. This is a pivotal skill that leads to both resilience and confidence. To know what you can control and what you can’t and to manage it. That’s total presence. We learn it in yoga.

The camp, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with optional extended day until 4 p.m., teaches kids how to manage their emotions and their bodies. It also creates connection to and appreciation for the earth because we’re the the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco — nature at it’s finest!

“I felt a lot of stress in basketball. After yoga, I’m carefree.” - Kevin, age 6

Yoga camps are offered on school holidays and spring and summer breaks.

 Barbie does yoga and meditates to help kids

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Let’s talk Barbie. I had one Barbie growing up. My mother made her clothes to match mine. I didn’t play with her other than to change her clothes. I preferred puzzles, blocks, bikes and sports.

My daughter had a handful of Barbies - none of which she played with, only admired. I was not a fan of “perfect” Barbie. I didn’t think she was good for girls’ self-esteem. Perhaps unfair of me, I judged her looks vs. her accomplishments. She is a doctor, writer and president amongst many other occupations, and of course, fashionable and fun! Good balance, right?!

My niece asked for Barbie Breathe with Me Meditation Doll, with 5 Lights & Guided Meditation Exercises, a Puppy and 4 Emoji Accessories — and I bought it for her. I was impressed Barbie was doing yoga and meditating. Later, I was appalled when there was controversy about this doll: 'Satan Is After the Children'—Christian Influencer Says 'Yoga Barbie' Can Lead to Demonic Possession.

Now, there’s the Barbie movie which I saw with my 21 year old daughter yesterday. I must say: RUN, don’t walk to see it because it’s LOL funny — and meaningful. Amongst many memorable moments, my favorites are two times where Barbie pauses and looks inside herself.

The first time, Barbie looks inward is when she’s trying to determine her next action. What she she will do to solve her problem (no spoiler here). She closed her eyes, sitting up tall and seeks answers within. Then, she knows what to do. I loved this because it happened so quickly, but it created clarity for her next step.

The second time, she’s face down on the floor feeling hopeless! This one lasted a bit longer; she truly felt her despair. Then, she has an idea in collaboration with the other Babies, including Weird Barbie, and a plan is created to solve their problem. I loved this moment too because even when we think there’s no hope, something changes in the stillness.

Like Barbie, you can practice yoga and meditation too. The science supports you. I’ll show you how every step of the way.

Postnatal and Baby Yoga for Postpartum Depression

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What’s the difference and what can you do? Try Baby and Me Yoga. Here’s why:

The baby blues are characterized by irritability, sadness, and trouble sleeping, not uncommon for any new parent. The baby blues usually start within the first few days after delivery and last up to two weeks. They don’t require treatment.

Postpartum depression is more intense and may complicate a mother’s ability to care for her child. PPD usually starts soon after having a baby, but it can develop up to a year after giving birth. It requires treatment. Now, there’s pill to help those with the most pressing and persevering symptoms.

Yoga helps in either case because you are not alone. There are specific postures that build your strength and confidence, a caring community creating connections with other mothers and parents, and proven practices that help reduce anxiety and calm baby.

  • An estimated 500,000 US women each year suffer from postpartum depression, which can account for up to 20% of postpartum deaths.
  • About 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

If you or someone who know is struggling, here's the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!