When I first started doing a lot of yoga, my family in Idaho was kind of in shock. I discovered it in the early '90s, and back then it wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is today. But I kept on my path and started showing my parents gentle yoga postures and breathing exercises, and slowly, things changed for them: My mom started to notice less strain in her neck and shoulders, and my dad loved how much more range of motion he was getting in his golf swing. My sisters-in-law started doing my yoga DVDs regularly, and most of my family members have come to my yoga retreats. Even my older brother has started doing yoga regularly. I have my whole family on a path to wellness, and it feels so good!
I was set up on a blind date with my now-husband through one of my yoga students. I make sure he does yoga with me, and I am a huge advocate of doing yoga with my children. Yoga saved me during my pregnancies, and I know my babies felt comforted from within when I sat and connected to my breathing and moved my body gently in restorative yoga while they were inside my tummy.
My older son has been doing tree pose since he came out of my womb, and I did a lot of baby yoga stretches with him when he was an infant. He was always on my mat near me when I practiced. I would hold him and use my ujayii breathing to calm him down when he was crying. He’s now 4 years old, and he does down dog, warriors, tree, eagle, and even tries to stand on his head with my guidance. Timothy definitely has a yoga body, and I want to nurture that.
My twins are 8 months old, and I do similar breathing and baby yoga stretches with them. It’s incredible to watch children naturally breathe deeply through their diaphragm and sit up nice and tall in a cross-legged seat. I want to take advantage of keeping their limbs supple and their spines long since this is their body for life. I love to see them stretch their arms up after a nap and grab their feet in happy baby pose while lying on their backs.
If you, too, want to make yoga a fun, mindful, healthy experience for your whole family, here are some tips.