doing yoga with kids is better than meditation

actually, that’s all i have to say.  i’ve tried meditating with ruth and joel with mixed results but mostly they sit for about two seconds before joel gets up and wanders off to find a toy or chase the cat and ruth doesn’t ever seem to see any reason to be quiet for more than twenty seconds at a time.  their favorite part is fighting over who is going to blow out the candle i light at the beginning once we’re done and more often than not, i end up having to re-light it so they both get a chance to blow it out.  if i can manage to relax at all and clear my head for a few seconds, i consider the session a success.

however, i have recently, after i discovered in a beginning yoga class how inflexible i’ve grown, started doing a regime of yoga stretches almost every day, and have been very pleased to see that ruth (and even joel, sort of) take to it like naturals and actually like to do it.  the poses, after minimal instruction are extremely easy for a four year old.  her body hasn’t been hardened by years of inactivity, she hasn’t yet learned how to hold onto the tension in her deep muscle groups, and relaxing for her is as easily said as done.  she is new and flexible and light.  it is a beautiful thing to see and to know that if she keeps herself free of stress and stays active and flexible, she can always be so healthy.

she does have a bit of a problem holding the stretches for long.  i think i read somewhere that a four year old has an attention span of five minutes.  that sounds about right.  as soon as we get into one, she is “done” and wants to move on.  i try to tell her that you have to relax into the stretch, but i don’t think she sees the point.  joel tries to imitate the poses but really only lasts a minute or less before he’s off chasing the cat again.

if anyone is interested, we do the butterfly pose, the cat and cow (everyone loves to moo and meow along with that one), the squat pose, pelvic tilts, pigeon pose, child’s pose, and a rotating one that i forgot the name of but basically you sit cross-legged and place one hand behind you and the opposite hand on your body’s opposite knee and rotate your body around as far as you can then do the other side.  i tell you, i’m already feeling more vital and flexible.

i thought i would share this for anyone who has been trying to meditate with their young kids.  if you’re not finding a ton of success in this category, perhaps a switch over to yoga might be more age appropriate.  that’s what i’ve found.  though i do still highly value life long and habitual meditation, and plan to keep at it somewhat with the kids.  awareness of the self and the shedding of baggage can’t start early enough in life in my opinion.

take care and happy thanksgiving preparations!  i know it’s going to be a mad house over here.  and, would you know, ruth has decided to wake up early and is sitting right behind me in the rocking chair.  it’s going to be a long day, folks:)


Author: Terry

Welcome! I am a Waldorf and unschooling-inspired homeschooling parent of three, ages 2, 5, and 8 living in the metro Lansing area writing from the front lines of parenthood. Join me as I try to navigate homeschooling and bask in the craziness of life with young ones. Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

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