In yoga, and in the yogic life, there is a constant search for balance and peace both within ourselves and our relationships to others. As a mother of two, I am always seeking to bring this wisdom and balance to my style of parenting.
Here are five ways I have learned to be a yoga parent.
1. Respect your children and their light: First and foremost, if we want to be respected, we must respect. Too often it seems that parent-child relationships can be one-sided in this way. Think of how you are tied to this young life and the ways in which mutual respect could shift the relationship for you both.
2. Include them in your practice: My morning yoga used to start before my girls would wake up… until one day I saw my three year old roll onto my mat and move through some poses on her own. I realized I was missing a teachable opportunity for both of us! Ditch the studio once in a while, and go to the park or beach and practice with your little yogi.
3. Be Patient: Remind yourself how young they really are and how your words and actions have the ability to comfort and heal, or bruise and breakdown. The choice is up to you.
4. Get out in nature with them: It’s about to get dirty! Get outside: hunt for bugs and shiny rocks, get some earth in their hands, go for a hike or climb a tree. So much learning happens for all human beings when we experience nature.
5. Listen: We are a talking generation; everyone has something to say, and very few have honed the ability to genuinely listen. Your children feel this. Be available, be mindful, be genuine with them.
Parenting, like yoga, takes practice, patience and true love. Don’t miss the joy in either journey.