Benefits of Parent-Child-Yoga
Practicing yoga together strengthens the bond between individual parent and child. This can be particularly important when there is more than one child in a family. For example, giving an older sibling this special time away from pesky baby brother/sister will make them feel more secure in their relationship with mum or dad.
In family yoga, the parent and child meet at eye level. This opens up the possibility of learning from each other, empowering the child as well as the parent to trust in their own abilities and who they are. It can also provide the starting point for respectful conversations about problems in the parent-child-relationship, and thus begin the process of healing.
Both parent and child strengthen their body and mind through the practice of yoga asanas (postures) and guided relaxations.
Parent-child-yoga keeps the physical connection going. The older a child gets, the harder a parent may find to hug and kiss and cuddle them – or indeed for the child to ask for it. Oftentimes we may be too busy to remember, and a quick kiss goodnight is all we can muster at the end of a long day. But respectful, consensual human-to-human touch stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin into our body, and this has been linked to reduced levels of stress and less general anxiety.
Parent-child-yoga offers the opportunity to take time out of our busy everyday life. It allows us to decompress, to let go of our busy schedules, and to recharge our batteries. Both the parent and the child are able to give each other their undivided attention and full presence.
Parents in particular can learn from their children during their time together on the yoga mat: By nature, children tend to be more present, more ‘in the flow’ than adults. Parents can learn from their offspring and rediscover their ability to simply be in the present moment.
Family yoga is a gift for life. It helps lay the foundation for a strong parent-child-relationship – one that is based on deep connection, love, and respect for each other.