We all have heard about bonding with babies and how important this is. But there isnt really the same amount of emphasise placed upon the continuation of this bonding. Yes you will always be mother/father & child but there is the posibility to create a bond, a relationship that is so nourished & safeguarded that it grows in depth and stregth just as your child grows in age.
Its important to also know how to bond with others. To make friends and to feel settled with teachers etc. Learning about relationships and bonding is something that begins from conception. In order for children to be aware and compassionate with regards to others, they first need to develope an understanding of themselves. I like to call this 'Inner Bonding'.
Inner Bonding is simply about identifying feelings and how they affect the body. To start with this can be as surface deep as what toys they like to play with......how do they feel when they are playing with these toys? Happy? Relaxed? Excited? full of beans?
Yoga can be a marvellouse route into exploring and teaching your child about;
Their physical body
How their body and emotions link and what this can feel like
How to identify feelings before they feel to big to handle.....
How to create and find relaxation
With regards to the emotional & social aspects of yoga the calm pace at wich learning is encouraged and the absence of pressure to performe can help to set sturdy foundations for emotional development.
By participating in Yoga alongside your child you are not only sending the positive messages that, this is an activity that is worth while but also that it is fun and something special that you do together. Todays life is crazy, hectic and speedy! Everyday can seem like a total whirl wind, like, 'Oh did that day just happen? How did I get from breakfast to dinner time? Where did all those hours go?!' So to create some Space in your week for some family Yoga can be not only beneficial but absolutly heavenly. A time when there are NO mobile phones, NO TV, Just you and them sharing a space, sharing a flow of movmement and a breath of air together.
Now forget all that you have seen on Instagram and Pinterest about Yoga.... Its not ALL about contorting yourself into an upside down, inside out, Lycra clad pose whilst levetating and humming OM! Well, it can be if you want, hich leads me to this point; Yoga is all about you. Exploring your stregths and your areas for development weather that be on the Mat with your body or off the Mat with your mind.
Kids Yoga is special and needs extra consideration because children are very maluable. When I say this I mean their bodies are physically not set yet. They are still growing, there bons are still developing, fusing and hardening. Their brains are working over time with internal mind/ body communications as well as receiving all the information being transmitted from the world around them. With these two areas of consideration it is important that children do yoga that is specialised for their age (not Adult Yoga). So when you are exploring Yoga as a family it might be a good idea to start with yoga appropriate for the youngest age up.
I am often asked what parenting style I have personally adopted and I just answer 'Yoga Parenting'..... Now I havent even looked this up (and I dont want to) to see if this is a 'thing' or not. Because to me Yoga Parenting means FREEDOM....Freedom to be the parent that you want to be. Freedom to pick and choose ideas or theories to follow, freedom to not be confined to set rules and boundaries because every child, every family, every day and often every situation is different and as a parent you need the courage, energy and tools to decide what is best.
I am not totally dellusional.....(I have a two year and for a long time was a class room teacher with a Nursery class of 52 at one point!)......I know that there are days maybe even weeks when it will not be practicle to explore Toddler Yoga on the Mat and that is ok! But what you can explore every day is your own mindfulness, your love and your relaxation which will positivley impact upon your family. ', This is your ' Yoga Off The Mat', your 'Yoga Parenting', your #lovenotcontroal and dall that jazz......
Yoga can help you listen and tune into your child and their needs and channel your positive energy and mindset. If you can drag your tired parent body into a space where you feel relaxted, positive and confident you will be teaching your child about these things and that is when your can find some Magic Moments.
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