By Sophia Moore
Every parent is well aware of how chaotic mornings can be. You know how it is—someone doesn’t like the breakfast options, you can’t find that all-important permission slip, your daughter is having a bad hair day, etc.
To say that these issues can throw a wrench in your schedule is putting it mildly. So when your main goal is to get everyone out the door on time, the last thing you want to do is slow down. Adding an additional task seems laughable, but when it’s yoga, you may find that a small change can make a huge difference. In other words, mornings are the best time to begin a family yoga practice and gain the many benefits that it has. But, there are many other takeaways as well:
1. Strengthens the family bond
By nature, human beings are emotional and compassionate creatures. But, our mobile devices and other distractions of the modern world can leave us feeling more disconnected than ever. Setting time aside to do yoga with the family is a perfect way to reconnect with our loved ones.
2. Increases feelings of appreciation
With all the rigors of modern life, it can be difficult to find enough time for ourselves. A morning practice will reduce stress and calm your busy mind, leaving you with a feeling of appreciation for both yourself and your family.
3. Kicks off each day with a jolt of energy
There are many sides to yoga. For instance, it can be relaxing and restorative or it can be energizing and stimulating. When everyone is feeling groggy, the right morning practice (like a good cup of java) will boost energy levels. The best energizing poses include twists, backbends, and sun salutations.
4. Boosts motivation levels
Doing a morning practice three times a week requires a lot of discipline. But once you and your brood get into the swing of things, everyone will begin to notice a growing sense of self-empowerment and motivation. Sticking to your practice strengthens the discipline muscle and creates a feeling that you can do anything that you put your mind to.
5. Helps encourage everyone to go with the flow
Yoga postures encourage us to become more aware of the body and breath. As we relax into our poses, we learn to go with the flow and not resist the things that life has to offer. So don’t be surprised if after your morning practice your entire family is more mindful and calm—especially in tough situations.
Things to consider
Getting into the habit of doing a family practice in the morning can be easier said than done. Even if you succeed in getting everyone involved, the first few sessions are sure to feel “weird.” And, if you’re not wearing the right yoga clothes, it can add to this feeling of discomfort.
Many of us think that it’s okay to wear our regular clothes while doing yoga, but it can lead to uncomfortable situations when in positions like downward dog and pigeon pose. The right yoga wear can make all the difference and should be loose enough to allow movement but tight enough that it doesn’t get in the way.
Other helpful tips that you may want to think about:
- Go to bed at a reasonable time.
- Get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off.
- Eat a small meal (like a banana or a bowl of oatmeal) before you start your family practice.
- Do each pose, even the ones for alternate sides, for at least 30 seconds each. It won’t take up as much of your time as you may think.
- Try your family yoga practice for at least a month before you form an opinion. This will help everyone get in the groove of things.
The benefits of your family doing a mindfulness practice are numerous, but perhaps the two most important benefits are its ability to bring your family closer and making sure that everyone is ready to face their day. So what are you waiting for? Start a family yoga practice today. And, as always, namaste.