Yoga Six is a yoga and fitness studio that offers a broad range of heated and non-heated yoga classes, boot camp fitness classes and meditation. Yoga Six offers monthly workshops and biannual yoga teacher training in addition to its daily class offerings. Yoga Six aims to change the way people think about and experience yoga by focusing on modern, results-oriented yoga to achieve visible results. For more on Yoga Six and to find a location near you, visit www.yogasix.com
If you’re a parent, you know the struggles that often come with bedtime. Tooth-brushing turns into a dance party or a sibling tickle-fight. As you’re reading the goodnight story, your little one is wiggling relentlessly and hanging halfway off the bed. You turn out the lights and leave the room, only to have your child reappear seconds later claiming they can’t sleep.
Sound familiar? If it does, yoga might be the answer.
Guiding your children through the following yoga poses helps them expend leftover energy and learn to understand how their bodies work. In addition, you’re teaching your kids how to start over when things aren’t working and reset the way their energy is focused. Teaching your children breath work and calming yoga poses gives them the tools they need to calm their bodies and minds for bedtime, or anytime—a lifelong tool that will continue to serve them well.
Start with your hands at your sides, extended and engaged, with hands open and facing front. Stretch your arms and fingers down and outward, then inhale, slowly stretching your arms out and up, raising them to meet palm to palm over your head. Keeping your shoulders down, exhale and lower your arms back down to the starting position. Repeat five to ten times, moving with your breath.
Stand tall, reaching the top of your head toward the ceiling, with feet together and arms resting at your sides. Inhale and lift your left foot, resting the sole of your foot on the side of your right ankle (or above your knee, for those with excellent balance). If this is too difficult, rest your left toes on the ground with heel on your right ankle. Bring your hands together in front of your chest in prayer position, focusing on one spot for balance. Rest here for five breaths, then switch feet.
Sit on the floor, reaching your spine nice and tall, and bend your legs to bring the soles of your feet together. Roll your shoulders back and down, and place your hands on your ankles or hold them palm to palm in prayer position in front of your chest. Breathe into your belly for a count of five, then exhale for a count of seven, repeating five times.
Begin on your knees, sitting back on your heels with your arms resting at your sides. Slowly bring your forehead to the ground in front of your knees, keeping your behind on your heels. Allow your arms to rest at your sides, or reach them straight in front of you with palms flat on the ground, keeping your behind pinned to your heels and shoulders rooting down. Breathe deeply into your belly for ten rounds of breath.
Lie on your back with arms and legs straight and relaxed. Allow your feet to fall naturally to the side and relax your fingers with your palms facing the ceiling. Let the floor hold you up and close your eyes, taking slow, natural breaths. As with every yoga practice, ending with savasana allows the benefits of the poses to sink in, while oxygenated blood circulates through your body.
Practice these poses before bed with your children. By the end of the series, your kids will feel relaxed, calm, and ready to sleep. Before long, you’ll hear the sweet sound of your sleeping kids breathing softly.