Lately, I’ve begun to think of incorporating yoga into my routine with my daughter, Bella, who just turned two. She’s always loved to watch me do it, but for a while it was frustrating to try to practice if she was awake. She’d run around, knock me over, pull my hair to get my attention, or come lay on me during a pose.
I started to do it just during her nap instead.
But the past couple months, I’ve seen her begin to take notice of things she’d never really been interested in before. So a few weeks ago, I began to do yoga with her around again.
She was smitten with the mat, loving to walk on it with her bare feet. As I encouraged her to sit next to me for the beginning stretches, she would smile and try to mimic what I did.
Going online for her birthday, I looked all over for some type of program that would be geared for her age, but found nothing. The lowest age range I saw was 3, and I know between 2 and 3 there are major motor skill adjustments to be made and didn’t want to frustrate her.
So I decided to check out a book on Toddler Yoga from the library and see what they said. For the most part, at this age they encouraged simply practicing beside the child and letting them join in when they wanted.
Once again, I started to practice with Bella beside me in the evenings. There is no pressure, I want her to love it on her own. She comes and goes as she pleases, but loves to sit and grab the bottoms of her feet, try a downward dog, stretch her arms out on the mat for a child’s pose, and lift her hands to the sky in delight each time I do.
I have to stop on occasion when she gets too close (I might whack her on the next move), or she is frustrated when she can’t figure out what I’m doing – but there is lots of praise and encouragement, and sometimes even laughter as I watch her strike a pose.
My hope is as she gets older we find a place near us that will allow us to practice together, and that it’s something she grows to love as much as I have. But for now, it’s just another thing she does to be like me. And that’s the most special part of it.
How do you manage exercise with children? Or, what types of athletics are your children involved in?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from Diana in El Paso, TX. She can also be found on her blog, Hormonal Imbalances.
Photo credit to CreativeDC. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.