The hustle and bustle of the season is in full effect! At this time of year, it seems especially odd to think of raising kids in a time when parents worried about children “getting enough stimulation.” With a two year old that is more-than-comfortable with a smart phone and a four year old who already battles the pressures of over-scheduling, I’m looking for more opportunities for my kids to decompress.
So I’m teaching my children the power of stillness NOW.
Enter the best pose (and often said to be the hardest to master) in Yoga: savasana. Don’t let the Sanskrit scare you off: dead body/corpse pose is traditionally the finishing pose for a yoga asana (or posture) practice. Savasana is different than taking a nap, it said to be the place that “exists in the middle space between sleep and effort.”
It can be done after any yoga practice, recreational activity, or any time of day to help relax. Lie on the floor with your back touching the mat in a modified starfish (or snow angel!) position.
Let the palms face up, and with the legs ankle to hip width’s distance apart let the feet gently roll out. Yes, ultimately eyes should be closed, but I’m more interested in kids having the opportunity for stillness in the body and mind.
We invoke a trick from Kids Yoga Guru Brandi Allen and adopt “breathing buddies” — where kids chose a soft stuffed animal (Beanie Babies work fabulously), and place them on their stomachs as they watch the animal and their breath go up and down.
You can pick a nice relaxing gentle song as background music –instrumentals usually work best for us. When the song is over, gently role to your side, come to a comfortable seat (criss-cross-applesauce, anyone?) and acknowledge the feelings of peace that accompanied the practice. We like to bow at one another with our hands at heart-center in prayer position with the salutation “namaste” (roughly translated: “the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you.”)
If you want a little more yoga, check out the additional Make and Takes posts on practice for the whole family. And if you’ve got a bundle of joy on the way this Holiday season, or you’re looking for the perfect gift for a Pregnant Goddess, check out my friend and colleague Cassie Lopez’s new pre-natal video.
Tis the Season!