We were greeted this morning to very chilly weather...-41C with windchill! I called off our morning trek and we instead opted to do yoga in the basement, where there was room for all of us to spread out.
We whipped up our yoga practice on our own. It was somewhat of a challenge to find something to engage everyone, as well as safely practicing with the toddler zipping around and the dog believing that yoga mats are for him to flop down on. Nonetheless, we prevailed! Here are some strategies we tried to make our practice enjoyable:
~ Every child and adult had their own mat. It was relatively easy to ask Astrin to return to her mat so that the other children could have the space they needed to get into the pose. That being said, we didn't mind if she crawled through our legs while we were in Warrior II or under our backs while we were in reverse table-top.
~ Many of the yoga poses are named for animals, so we made the animal sounds to go with the poses. For example, we went through a cat-cow sequence while meowing and mooing, we wagged our tails and barked while in table-top and downward-facing dog, and we barked and clapped like seals while rolling on our backs. Silly, but fun.
~ While we explored the breath at the beginning of our practice, by seeing what it felt like to fill our bellies with the breath, I didn't instruct the breathing as we moved through the poses.
~ The children picked a pose or two that they like to do and we did them together.
~ The children had an opportunity to create a pose of their own.
There are a plethora of books and videos out there that are tailored to doing yoga with children. Some in our library include:
~ Yoga Kids ABC's with Marsha Wenig
~ Yoga Journal's Family Yoga with Rodney Yee
~ Storytime Yoga with Sydney Solis
~ Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford and Martina Selway