How Kids' Yoga Can De-Stress Your Crazy Mornings (Seriously): 10 Easy Poses to Try

kids yoga

I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way I can squeeze in one more thing in the morning. But Mariam Gates, author of the brand-new picture book Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story, begs to differ.

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The mom of two kids, ages 9 and 12, believes you and your own kids can fit in a few yoga moves no matter how much of a marathon your mornings tend to be.

That may mean putting on some music and doing a fun sequence as a fun wake-up while you’re still in your PJs, she says. “Or, it could be done after breakfast when lunches are made and backpacks are ready.”

The goal: Even if you only have three minutes, a little yoga can get the whole family feeling a little readier for the day.

After speaking to Gates, I decided (even as a non-yoga-doer) to give it a try. I proposed to my 11-year-old son that we should do some moves one morning, thinking there was no way he’d be on board with doing a 6 a.m. Balancing Table or Sun Breath pose.

But guess what: He was into it, I was super into it, and we’ve done it a few times.

Gates isn’t surprised.

“I think there’s an old adage of ‘move a muscle, change a feeling,’” says this Santa Cruz, California–based mom and director of Kid Power Yoga, a program that helps kids (and teachers) learn the benefits of yoga.

Plus, yoga might just be the ticket to recalibrating a lousy morning into a great one.

“Mornings can be such a rushed period of time between looking for socks and shoes and that paper that needs to be signed. And that time of day, maybe one of the few that the family is all together in one place, can quickly become the worst part of the day.”

Just taking a deep breath in and a long breath out can shift how that experience feels.

“For kids, the transition is quite quick from sleeping to out the door during school days,” she says. “The beauty of yoga is the teaching that we can’t always change our circumstances, but we can change the experience of them.”

But for all those who are still doubting that it’s possible to find time for some living room yoga, make no mistake: Gates is a realist.

“We’re not talking about doing a 30-minute yoga session with your kids every morning,” she says. “Frankly, who has time for that? But if we can do one minute, three minutes to shift the oxygen flow through the body, to move from fight or flight, we can use our bodies to shift the mental chaos of our regular mornings and make the morning run way smoother for everyone.” What could be better?

As for me and my son, while we’re not always in a state of a.m. relaxation, I will say that on the days we do our poses, we feel a teensy bit calmer -- even when a notebook can’t be found or a pile of field trip papers needs to be signed. For us, doing a little mother-son yoga has turned out to be one pretty great way to face the day.

Click through the slideshow above for 10 easy, fun poses your kids will love!

 

Lambeth Hochwald is a New York City–based journalist who covers celebrities, lifestyle stories, and trends.

Image via iStock.com/ vitranc; Sarah Jane Hinder/Good Morning Yoga

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