I used to have the toughest time getting my girls to calm down and get ready for bed. It was a nightly argument that sometimes ended with me frustrated and yelling, not so peaceful before heading to their slumber. So I created a new bedtime routine by adding yoga and some gentle massage to help my kids get their wiggles and giggles out and to keep myself calm and loving. This also allows for some sweet bonding with my little ones too.
Here is a quick yoga sequence you can try with your little ones. Remember to have some fun with them and allow them to be silly and get their giggles out. By the time you get to legs up the wall and you begin massaging them they will be calm and relaxed.
What you will need:
1 rolled up blanket, yoga mats (if you want to roll them out but not totally needed), essential oils for massage (I use doTerra oils and love the balance & serenity blends plus lavender for relaxation).
Check out essential oils here http://www.mydoterra.com/trueyogalifestyleoils/
Little Yogis Bedtime Yoga Sequence
Begin with some Downward Facing Dog. Tell your little yogis to walk their legs back and forth (or walk their dog). This will get the wiggles out of their legs.
2. Hero’s pose: This is another great pose to flush out the legs and is really good if your kids are sports players. From down dog come onto your knees. Place your feet a little wider apart so that when you sit your bottom can go in between your feet. If you can’t reach the floor place a blanket underneath you to sit on. Place your finger tips behind you and have them lengthen their spine to the sky while they ground their sitting bones to the earth.
3. Childs pose and Lizard on a Rock: From hero’s pose bow forward and place your forehead on the ground. You can have your child reach around and grab the soles of their feet and maybe try to rock side to side, rolling across the forehead. Lizard on a rock is a fun pose that my kids love. Come into childs pose yourself (make sure you take your big toes together and your knees apart). Have your child sit on your lower back and then slowly lay all the way onto your back, just like a lizard resting on a rock. To come up slowly press yourself up and let them slide down off your back.
4. Seated Forward Bend: Sit facing your child with your lets straight out in front of you and place the soles of your feet together. If you have siblings you can have them do this together. Reach forward and grab each others hands and then gently take turns leaning forward and back.
5. Pretzel Twist: Sit kriss cross apples sauce facing your child with your knees touching theirs. Place your right hands behind your backs and reach forward with your left hands to grab a hold of the others right hand. Gently pull each others right hands to twist and turn to the right. Look over your right shoulder then slowly come back to center and switch sides, placing your left hands behind your backs and reaching across with the right. Again if you have siblings you can have them do this together.
6. Legs up the wall: Help your child lay down and scoot their bottom as close to the wall as possible placing their legs up the wall. Then lay next them and do the same yourself. This is a nice time to just hang for a few minutes calming the nervous system and chatting. I like to take this time to say what the best part of our day was. I also like to ask my girls if there was anything I could have done better that day.
7. Essential oils and massage: This is definitely my girls favorite part! Grab your oils and have your child lay down with a rolled up blanket under their knees. My favorite blend is a few drops of doTerra balance blend and lavender. This combination of oils is super grounding, calming, and is also a de-grouch bomb!
*Sitting at your childs feet place a few drops of oil in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Place your hands first on the soles of their feet. The soles of our feet are very porous and will absorb the oils immediately into the system. As long as your childs feet are not ticklish, you can begin to massage them. Working the arch of the foot for a minute or two. Dont be afraid to use a little pressure while rubbing their feet.
*Then remove the blanket from under their knees and have them roll onto their tummy. Place 3 drops of oil along their spine, I do one by the neck, one in the middle, and one at the lower back. Then with your fingertips gently rub the oil up and down their spine. Take your thumbs and press the muscles along the spine away from the bone. You can then massage between the shoulder blades, the shoulders and neck a little. Whatever feels good and relaxing to them.
*To finish, have your child roll onto their back again and sit at the top of their head. Place your thumbs between their eyebrows and press out towards their temples three times. Finish their massage by rubbing your fingertips at the temples and in the scalp. Warning they may be asleep by this time :).
Remember to enjoy this time with your child because it will not only soothe them but it will soothe you too. I hope this helps your little Yogis settle down into a sweet slumber and I hope it gives you a moment of peace and joy together.
From my family to yours ~ Namaste