Do you make your family do yoga with you? Meditate with you? I try, but it is hard, particularly with my children. But once in a while I get lucky. Like this weekend. I didn’t have time to make it to Bikram Yoga class so I decided to do 20 minutes of Sun Salutations instead. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I set up outside on the patio. Just in case, I brought out some extra mats with me, and lo and behold, a couple of kids showed up. And a husband. I think they even liked it.
I never knew about Sun Salutations until my recent yoga retreats (you can read about them here and here), but I really like them! They are accessible, you don’t need anyone to guide you through them, they work a wide range of muscles, and they calm the mind. A perfect way to start the day when I can’t get to class for some reason or another.
I decided to do 10 rounds (5 on each leg) to get the blood going, but not to overwhelm anyone. The hardest part for the children seemed to be maintaining the correct form. They were so concerned about getting to each of the postures, that the form and the proper transition between poses was secondary. I can understand that from their perspective, but for the adults, the form is everything, particularly in the transitions, because without it, you can injure yourself.
This experience was a lot of fun and made me feel wistful for the time when my children were younger. I wonder what might have been if I had started my yoga practice then. Would it be a part of their lives today? As my children enter the teen years, they are more resistant to mom’s “yoga and meditation obsession” (yes, that is a quote). But they might not have been at a younger age.
Sometimes, I see beautiful yoga-inspired bed time stories in various shops. Some of the books combine simple yoga postures into the story. I imagine a time when I could have read these bedtime stories to them. What a wonderful habit could have been created. They laugh when I mention it to them now, but when they were small, I think they would have loved it.
Despite the resistance, I will keep trying to expose my children to the benefits that I have found from yoga and meditation and work to create opportunities for them to give it a whirl. Hey, if I don’t push too hard, they might even show up for another round of Sun Salutations some morning soon.
Readers, do you share your love of yoga with your children?