I remember a few years ago I had a physical therapy patient who was a yoga instructor for a wellness facility. She was a mom of of a little girl who was 4 years old at the time. One of the first questions I asked her as a curious new mom was “How do you go to work teaching Yoga classes when you have your daughter to take care of?”
I was shocked by her answer.
She said “I take her with me and she does yoga with the rest of us in my class.”
“What? Really? Your little girl does yoga? How?”
I don’t know why at the time I was so surprised that a little girl is capable of doing yoga. Maybe I had this stigma about yoga being too difficult for me, so it must be way too difficult for little kids.
Years ago, my only experience with yoga was doing the yoga video from P90X, which was insanely hard. So I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of little children being able to participate in something so extensive.
Well, I was way wrong. My patient went on to tell me how with practice, her daughter was able to pick up the Yoga positions with ease. Now she’s doing all the classic yoga poses like triangle pose and warrior 1.
I just had my first daughter during this time, and I remember thinking to myself I want to be just like this mother-daughter couple. Having my child right beside me, joining me in my fitness journey, learning how to take care of our bodies the right way and making health a priority together was something I wanted to experience with my daughter.
As a mom, I want to instill healthy habits in my children at an early age so that they will grow up to understand the importance of health and eventually make it a priority in their life.
“Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
If you have a passion for something, like yoga, why not involve your children in your passion?
Sometimes we as moms allow age to limit our children from their potential. “My kid is too young to go to school, my daughter is too short to participate in basketball summer camp, my son is too slow to go for a bike ride with me.” There is always an excuse for why our kids can’t participate in something.
But with yoga, there is no excuse. Your kids can start now. Whatever age they might be, 2 years old to 20 years old, the time is now.
Yoga is a wonderful exercise option for little children because it is low impact, easy to follow and fun for your children to contort their bodies into unique positions.
It requires little to no equipment, and you can do it right beside your child in your own home.
I encourage you as their parent to not be afraid of inviting your children to join you in your workout routine.
Yes, there are times when I enjoy working out by myself without the kids interrupting my yoga routine, but I’m always surprised after I complete a workout with my children how much more rewarding it was.
You not only feel a sense of accomplishment because you just finished that killer workout, but you also feel like your duty as a mom was fulfilled by the fact that you have helped your child be healthier
7 Steps To Introduce Yoga To Your Kids
If you are wondering where to start, here is a list of what you need to do:
- Get your child their own yoga mat (this is not required, but is beneficial to prevent slipping)
- Dress your child in clothing that is comfortable, form fitting and flexible
- Take their shoes and socks off
- Do it along side your child, be their teacher and be encouraging
- Make it fun and exciting
- Start with easy poses first to set your child up for success
- Once your child has mastered the beginner poses, move on to more challenging poses
You can check out my favorite beginner yoga poses for kids, which is loaded with many ideas to help your children participate in yoga in a fun way. Some of my favorite yoga poses for kids incorporate animal poses!
There are also really creative yoga videos for children which are another entertaining way to get your kids excited about exercise.
Yoga To Improve Your Bond With Your Child
Kids absolutely love to be moving and playing around, but they even more love to be right beside their parents spending quality time together.
Yoga with your children is such a great way to build a strong bond with your child. They will grow up to appreciate that their mom took the time to teach them yoga and how to make exercise a priority in their lives.
Just imagine your child all grown up saying to you “My favorite memory with you was when we worked out together!” Ah, that puts a smile on my face just thinking about the possibility.
You have the role of making a huge impact on your child, so let’s teach them lasting habits of health and fitness.
I hope you feel excited after reading this post to start teaching your children how yoga can be a fun way to instil healthy habits at a young age.
Don’t forget to check out these 9 Beginner Yoga Poses for Children and have your children get started now.
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
Dr. Jena Bradley is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena and check out her blog here.