Let’s face it the holidays get stressful! We are running around to this event and that, making your lists and checking them twice and before you know it you are worn out! The same goes for our kids, they get worn out too.
These 5 yoga poses are a quick way for you to slow down either on your own, with your kids or with your family. They will reconnect you to what’s important about the holidays. It will give you ALL time to breath, laugh and enjoy each other’s company, because really that’s what the season is ALL ABOUT!
My girls love when I get down on level with them and PLAY! So if you choose to do these 5 poses with your kids make it about fun and being silly and moving your body. Its so important they we teach our children how to take care of themselves by taking care of ourselves. So grab your yoga mats or large towel’s and let’s get to it!!
- Cat/Cow Pose – This pose is wonderful for releasing and opening up the spine. It’s brings tone to the belly and begins the connection of mind, body, breath. *Come onto hands and knees. Placing your hands under your shoulders and knees just slightly behind your hips. On an inhale take your shoulder blades down your back, begin to tilt your sitting bones up, let your spin dip and extend your chest and chin forward. *On your exhale draw your tailbone down, pull your belly button to your spine and take your chin to your chest. *follow your breath for a few rounds warming up your spine and quieting your mind.
- Downward facing dog – Release tension from the back of your body, open your hamstrings, lengthen your torso, build strength in our shoulders and get some serious blood flow to your BRAIN! *From hands and knees take your hands one hand length in front of you and then keeping your knees slightly bent lift your hips to the sky(for kids give them the visual of having a tail and lifting their tail to the sky). Take your chest to lengthen towards your thighs, creating a long line from your hands all the way up to your sitting bones. Alternately bending and lengthening your legs is a nice way toopen the legs more (for children, tell them to walk there dog ). Hold your down dog for a few breaths or come down and then go back up a few times.
- Airplane Pose – Work on your balance, strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your legs, core and back. This pose is fun for kids and adults, once you gain your balance you can feel the freedom of feeling like you are flying! *From standing bring your weight into your right leg. Pull the sides of your waist back to engage your core and take your shoulder blades down your back. Focus your gaze in front of you on something that is NOT moving. Slowly begin to lean forward taking your left leg back behind you. Reach your arms back behind you, open your chest and keep that back leg active(foot flexed). Hold for a few breathes, slowing come up and switch sides.
- Tree Pose – I love tree pose it brings your mind, breath and body into balance and harmony. A fun and challenging way to practice this pose is with a partner. *Standing next to your partner, place your arms closest to each other onto your partners back. Bring your weight into your leg that is next to your partner and take the opposite foot up to either your calf or inner upper leg (press your leg into your foot and your foot into your leg). Once you both find your balance you can take your outer arm and bring your palms together in a prayer position. Try to hold for a few breathes before switching sides.
- Handstand – This pose may not be for everyone, but I can guarantee that your kids will be all over giving it a try and they will REALLY enjoy seeing you try it too! I suggest you use a wall or have someone there to catch you ankles when you come up (wall is BEST). *Facing the wall place your hands shoulder distance apart on your mat(be about 6-8 inches away from the wall). Walk your feet in so you are in a short down dog. Focus your gaze on the floor between your hands and DON’T MOVE YOUR GAZE AS YOU KICK UP. When your ready pull your belly button to your spin and kick up(like a donkey kick) your legs to the wall. If you are not quite getting there ask someone to help you get your legs up. Hold as long as you can. This pose will stimulate and energize you, plus it’s a LOT OF FUN. If you don’t get it don’t worry just have fun, laugh, be silly, I always tell my students, life’s to short to take everything seriously, it’s just yoga! BONUS 6TH REST POSE – If you have an extra 5 minutes I highly recommend you take savasana pose together. Lay on your backs, close your eyes, let your mind focus on your breath, let your muscles relax over your bones and enjoy the next few minutes to just BE! Come up slowly to seated, face your family, bring you hands together at the center of your hearts and bow deeply to each other with the peace and love you have for them shining out!