Ever thought about doing yoga with your kids? In addition to family meals and bedtime rituals, more and more families are adding yoga to their daily routines. If you have yet to establish a home practice with your kids, the benefits might surprise you. "Family yoga can become a way of life," says Amy Gabrielle Witmyer, owner of the Sacred Space Yoga and Wellness Center of West Orange, New Jersey, who has been practicing with her husband and their son, Juaquin, since the 9-year-old was in uterus.
In a world where cooking has become a once in a blue moon event and where fast food has dominated weekly meals, gaining weight has become an issue now more than ever. Kids are becoming over weight and obese, just as their parents are gaining weight as well.
Children of today would rather spend their time on the internet, their video games, and watch TV than go outside and play. Because lifestyles have changed over the years, weight gain and weight loss needs have changed too. Here is where amazing yoga may be of help.
The rewards of a family practice are long-lasting, including not only well-documented benefits like weight loss, increased concentration, muscle tone, and better school performance, but also stronger bonds among family members and better social skills in the world at large. If you have a good practice, you can't help but take it off the mat.
Remember though, if you really want family yoga to work for you, you also have to match it up with other important factors such as eating right, living healthy, doing your yoga routines regularly, maintaining positivism and enjoying your time on your mat - your sacred space. That brings up a key question: How can yoga compete against other enticements for children's attention? How do we keep from having to insist our kids practice with us? The answer, veterans agree, is modeling.
Practice yourself. Then yoga becomes part of the furniture for the kids. When the household is studying something deeply, the walls are vibrating with that knowledge.
So whenever people begin to practice yoga, all the people in the household are going to absorb some of that.
Stories, games, partner poses and massage are all likely elements in a family yoga class. Unlike adult classes that may include slow and sleepy sequences, too many props or sweaty aerobics, these classes are child-centered and built for fun.
Variations are given for each pose or activity to accommodate the students in class. For example, parents stand steady in tree pose (vrksasana), while children dance like the wind. Or, parents line up in downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) to make a tunnel for the children to crawl through.
As the concept of Family Yoga gains popularity, it's not unusual for families to complement a family vacation with Yoga classes. What better place to learn and practice these wellness therapies than the land of its origin - India (where it originated more than 5000 years ago)? Yoga and Ayurveda are the most renowned therapies of India that have gained international popularity and repute.
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by Aman Sharma