Reconnecting with your Kids this Summer through Yoga & Mindfulness
Summer break is long, isn't it?
While we have been able to navigate through the first half of the summer break, the summer is still in full swing. For me, summer is a time to slow down, cut down on classes (since most of my yoga students are traveling with their families this year since it has become safer to do so again), and a time to spend more time with my children and reconnecting with them. I published some parts of this blogpost two years ago on my personal website, when I was pregnant with my second child, who is now a very active toddler. I knew it was my last summer with my firstborn son "alone", without her tagging along in every activity. It was a very special summer, as it was also the first one I had stopped working at my full-time corporate job, so I had much more time for him. At the end of each day, I was mesmerized by his great personality, the sweet boy he was, and the speed at which he was learning new things. However, some days were REALLY long, and sometimes we just wanted to do something that wouldn't require us to leave the apartment so we could avoid the unbearable heat during the peak of the Miami summer days!
Since this blog post is about reconnecting, I would like to share a couple of activities around yoga and mindfulness we have been doing together at home.
Free Yoga videos for you and your child!
We created this short 15-minute video that is perfect for doing with your little ones to wind down in the evening or before naps. It contains kids-friendly breathing exercises, yoga poses, and a short meditation at the end. We hope that you will like it and practice it with your kids! The more often you do it with your kids, the more they will remember each exercise and incorporate them into their daily lives.
Calm down, glitter bottle tutorial!
We also did a fun arts & craft project that resulted in a couple of beautiful calm down glitter bottles, a beautiful tool to use for mindfulness and breathing exercises. We are using them in our video, so if you want to have one handy when you practice, it would be a great idea to make a calm down glitter bottle before following the class.
To make glitter bottles, you will need the following materials:
• Empty water bottles (I recommend the Voss ones as they look lovely)
• Coldwater & hot water
• Clear glue (I recommend Elmer glue)
• Food Coloring
For a step-by-step tutorial, you can watch our short 3-minute video for creating the calm down glitter bottles. Just be warned that your little one might be begging you to do a dozen of them! :-)
Use Yoga cards while spending quality time with your kids
If DIY projects are not your thing, I would recommend this fantastic set of yoga cards called "Yoga Pretzels." It's a set of about 50 cards containing breathing & mindfulness exercises, yoga poses, and games - each card details kids' friendly description. "Yoga Pretzels" have been an essential part of my kid's yoga classes, and everyone loves them! One of my son's favorite yoga poses from the set of cards is the shark pose - I would love to know which one will be your child's favorite pose! :-) The cards are available on Amazon for only $8; this is the link to buy them.
Mindful walking became a must-do activity during the Pandemic year. We took morning walks around the neighborhood, observing details that caught our attention. One of our favorite mindful practices was paying attention to the different shapes and colored doorknobs on each house we encountered. The experience of reconnecting with my son during this activity was exceptional because of the silenced and calm streets. As you may already know, mindfulness practices are vital for helping children and adults come to the present moment, enjoy them now, as well as helping with focus and connection. And while we were isolated inside our apartment, going out and doing our mindful walks was liberating, relaxing, and re-energizing.
Today we continue to practice mindful walks, and while using our sense of seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, we have added other things such as: "name all the red things you can spot? - name all the white things you can spot? - "says bird when you see one? - "let's find 20 leaves that are on the ground under that tree" - lets lay under the tree and count the leaves" "lets lay on the grass and look at the clouds, can you see them move?" "can you name ten sounds you hear? - "can you smell anything? - "how does the tree feel like when you touch it, smooth or rough?
Everything becomes a moment for mindfulness!!!!
If you want, please share the mindful activity you do with your child. We would love to hear it!