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Is Family Yoga a Success?
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July 10, 2005 - 10:08 am
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I am new to the forum. I have been asked to teach Family Yoga, which will include kids ages 9 and up. Any suggestions as to how to incorporate kids into a yoga class? This will be adults and children. So far I have only taught adults. Any experience or resources that you can share?

Thank you,

Lisa

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July 10, 2005 - 6:44 pm
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Hi Lisa,

Welcome to the forum. Wai Lana has many Yoga materials for children. You can find them at: https://www.wailana.com/ This will give you ideas and activities, to make classes interesting.

Nine years of age and up is optimum, so you probably won't run into many of the discipline issues, that are more common in a "Mommy and Me" type class. Never the less, you should put together a basic set of rules and don't be surprised if the adults try to teach their children, while you are teaching.

Therefore, your policies apply to adult and child alike. This advice is based upon the feedback I receive from studio owners, independent contractors, and my personal experience in working with adults and children in the same class.

Lastly, I would suggest active Vinyasa classes to keep talking and potential problems to a minimum. Please let us know how you progress.

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August 14, 2006 - 3:40 pm
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Just make sure the rug rats are under control in your yoga class. <img src=" title="Laughing" /> The parents behavior will cause you create more rules than the kids. Would love to hear how your Yoga Kids classes are going.

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October 23, 2007 - 10:49 pm
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Family Yoga: This is a great concept for most families, but it is worth noting that this type of class can attract some parents who desire to be in control of every aspect of their childs life. This type of parent will be easily noticed from the start, when he or she corrects their sons or daughters every move.

Therefore, it is best to establish who will do the cueing, assisting, and correcting. One unchecked parent can ruin the entire class. Kids acting like kids are understandable, but when parents act like kids, it is time to put your diplomatic skills to the test. Thats why it would be wise to have guidelines in place.

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December 26, 2007 - 10:50 pm
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Family yoga is a peaceful way for families to bond and do something really fun together while practicing yoga at the same time. Family Yoga time can establish great health habits, which will last years. Once a family has established a steady yoga practice, they can practice at home or at a Yoga retreat together.

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April 6, 2008 - 5:40 pm
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Families get together to practice Yoga for many reasons. It could be bonding, exercise, stress relief, or anything else. Yoga postures stretch, tone, and strengthen the body, of anyone who takes up the practice.

The benefits of family yoga are numerous:

Self-Esteem

Lower Blood Pressure

Physical Fitness

Weight Control

Proper Breathing

Improved Athletic Performance

Stress Management and Reduction

Flexibility

Strength

Inner Peace

Spiritual Growth

Hatha Yoga massages the vital organs and strengthens the skeletal body. The postures increase mobility, increase the range of motion, and help families maintain optimum weight. Some families consider yoga to be an exercise they can do together, just like biking, hiking. or baseball.

Family Yoga has a gentle approach to life and to exercise. Yoga practice can be adapted to meet each family members needs - babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, seniors, and physically handicapped can practice Hatha Yoga as a form of physical and mental fitness.

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April 27, 2008 - 10:01 pm
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I agree. One of the most important benefits of family yoga time is healthy bonding. Some families don't even eat meals together. Family yoga is a great way to get your family together.

Notice that families who do activities together - stay together. This is no accident. Bonding time is very important for all families, so Yoga can be a big help.

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May 8, 2008 - 1:23 pm
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Namaskar Eartheart,

You are correct. Families have to find fun activities to do together. Yoga, soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, swimming, dancing or anything they find fun is a good thing. The problem is most families struggle for money. This happens everywhere and both parents are working too many hours.

We are like the hamsters on the wheel in a cage. We run, we work, we eat, and we sleep. Yoga is for appreciation and satisfaction of each moment. When you teach or learn yoga it is important to enjoy that exact moment. If you can share this gift with your family it is heaven on earth.

Jai,

Priyah

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February 13, 2009 - 10:51 pm
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Family Yoga can be fun for the whole family and a way to connect with each other. Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Parents aim to raise kids with calm bodies and quiet minds and Yoga plays a significant role in it.

Though parents may be difficult to handle at times.

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February 15, 2009 - 11:10 pm
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Namaskar,

Keep parents busy practicing yoga and there will be less time for them to cause you grief. <img src=" title="Laughing" /> Children are a blessing, but foolish parents aren't. Yoga can make a difference for young families, but yoga teachers must have the patience of saints sometimes. Good parenting 101 should be a mandatory course in junior high schools.

Parents blame society and school systems for not bringing their children up right. Sorry parents: Whatever age you are, do your job and guide your children. Advice to kids yoga teachers: Give a set of rules to the parents ASAP. Read them and go over them. Make sure you make eye contact with the parents. <img src=" title="Laughing" /> Don't allow a dumb parenting moment.

Peace,

Hamed

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May 4, 2010 - 5:42 am
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Doing yoga with your family will increase sociality. I think that all the family members should spend time in the morning together doing yog along with other members to be fresh and social all through the day.

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October 1, 2010 - 10:39 am
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Would You Consider Making Yoga a Family Practice?

By Jennifer Tallini

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word for "yoke" or "join together." Essentially, it means union. It is the science of uniting the individual soul with the cosmic spirit through physical disciplines (postures) and mental disciplines (meditation). Why not use the practice of yoga as a family activity to do together?

Although yoga is considered to be scientific by modern standards, it comes from an ancient tradition. Archaeologists have found figurines in what appear to be yoga poses that are 4,000 years old.

We can certainly get to the soccer field or the tennis courts with our kids, but what about pulling out the yoga mats together? My 7 year old daughter loves to imitate the pretzel-like poses that I get myself into and the yoga stretches really compliment her ballet classes, aiding in her overall flexibility (not to mention her attention level!). My 4 year old son giggles away, but has lots of fun pretending he's a dragon as we show him nostril breathing. They both enjoy watching and following along to a children's yoga dvd. My son still watches more than participates, but he's getting there...my daughter has learned several asanas and is really starting to "get" the deep relaxation that comes at the end of our practice.

When people refer to "yoga," they generally mean Hatha Yoga. "Ha" and "tha" refer to the positive and negative currents of our energy, and the flow of breath. Hatha Yoga is the yoga of physical well-being, designed to balance body, mind, and spirit. It is practiced for the purpose of strengthening and enlivening the physical systems, although it also opens us up to spiritual awareness.

Stretches and postures harmonize the positive and negative currents of our energy resulting in vitality, inner balance, mental calm, and purified awareness. The correct practice of Hatha Yoga encourages physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity plus confidence. What better attributes can you teach your child?

I attend mostly vinyasa classes where poses flow from one to another in conjunction with the breath. More advanced vinyasa has an even faster pace. Some of my friends prefer a Bikram practice where the room is very warm (hot yoga).

But in all forms of yoga, no matter what you favor, "Yoga is the cessation of mind." - Patanjali. That concept in itself is a big deal in the way our children behave in the world - quieting those little minds after a full day of school and activities can be quite a challenge. But as many yoga instructors point out (and many moms will attest to this seeing change in their own mini yogis) yoga in children improves their concentration, focus & attention, it develops/improves balance and coordination, it improves sleeping patterns (woo hoo!), it encourages a positive mind/body connection as well as promotes calm and ability to be less reactive. The list goes on but just these few things can make a huge difference in a child's day and growth overall.

So, at the end of the day, when the table is cleared of dinner and the kids are running the halls of your house with a case of the crazies or if they have cabin fever over long winter days indoors, remember your yoga practice, pull out a couple of yoga mats, pop in a great children's yoga dvd and get into downward facing dog with your family together!

Jennifer Tallini, Owner

https://www.yogawithstyle.com

https://yogawithstyle.com/category_26/Yoga-Mats.htm

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October 4, 2010 - 9:47 pm
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Ways to Get a Whole Household Interested in Yoga

By Ntathu Allen

As a parent, or even as a child, Yoga is an ideal practice to share with your family. However given the shortage of time and constant pressures on family members to fulfil school, work and social commitment it is quite challenging to find ways to encourage your family to participate in yoga.

As a Yoga Teacher, I am always asked "do your children practice yoga?" People have images of me spending glorious Sunday afternoons with my children practicing yoga. In fact the reality is, my children (three teen daughters, twins aged 16 and 19) have grown up with me practicing and teaching yoga yet do not have their own yoga practice. To them yoga "is mum's job!" When they were younger, my children attended yoga classes I held at their school and at home would sit quietly with me whilst I meditated or practiced yoga.

What they do have and this is what I encourage you to develop and share with your family, is an open mind, a flexible attitude to life, the understanding of 'healthy eating', knowledge of self-healing techniques, a caring and compassionate nature and trust in life. I believe as they get older, maybe have families of their own, then they will actively embrace a yoga practice - till then their interest in yoga revolves around seeing me do my daily practice and learning to embrace life on their own terms.

Putting all this to one side, from experience here are five tips and techniques I have used over the years which you may find useful to encourage your family to be interested in yoga.

Five Easy Ways to Encourage Your Family to be Interested in Yoga

1. Find a space in your home where you or any family member can safely practice yoga. This might be a space in the main living room or a quiet corner in your bedroom. In this space, all you need is space to lay down a yoga mat and maybe light a candle, burn incense and have a few soft cushions. Once here, if your children are young they can sit on the cushions and watch you or even join in at their own pace.

2. Be gentle. There is no point trying to force your friends and loved ones to join in yoga with you. Yoga is a personal journey, there are many forms and branches of yoga and you must trust that each family member will come to yoga in their own time and own path. It is more important for your family to see you regularly practice and live the benefits, then trying to press-gang them into joining a class.

3. Be creative. Yoga has many branches and schools. If your family is into singing, find a local yoga studio which offers Kirtain (devotional songs). Harmonising with your family through yoga songs and chanting is a wonderful way to uplift and unify your family's energy. Maybe your child or partner is artistic? If so, colouring in Mandalas, is a relaxing activity you can do together as a family.

4. Be open. Yoga encourages you to be open, to recognise individual differences and see beyond the illusion. Yogic stories and poetry are wonderful tools to share with your family. Stories about Krishna or yoga for children books are colourful and easily enjoyed by all ages.

5. If your child or partner have trouble falling asleep, there are lots of yoga relaxation DVDs or CDs they can watch/listen to, to aid a restful night sleep. After a few nights of restful sleep, your partner may be more inclined to accompany you to your class.

As you can see, it is possible for you to introduce yoga to your family. Yoga is a holistic practice with many shapes and forms to chose from. All you need to do is trust, find a space, lead by example and do your own practice; be gentle, open and creative and try other less traditional ideas. The more you live and be yoga, the easier it becomes for your family to accept and try out this ancient practice. I would love to which tips work best for your family. Drop me a line and let me know.

Ready to discover more yoga tips to help you rest and take care of yourself? Then I invite you to claim your Free Special Report "Energize Your Day - Top Ten Yoga Exercises To Jump-Start Your Day" when you visit https://www.yogainspires.co.uk.

Peace and Blessings, Ntathu Allen, Yoga Teacher

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April 5, 2014 - 1:17 am
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Teaching Family Yoga Sessions

Not all families fall into the cookie cutter image of the perfect family; the majority of families have hardships, struggles, stresses, and trying times. In these times, it is not uncommon for a family to turn to a group activity to bring them closer, and yoga is a healthy and low-cost option for the whole family. Not only can yoga bring a family closer, it has amazing benefits for both the parents and the children in a family. As an instructor, it is important for you to be in tune with the family dynamics, as well as it is vital to work with the family on an individual basis as well.

One of the biggest benefits for parents who enroll themselves and their children in family yoga sessions is that they are able to get out of the home and exercise the way they please without having to find a sitter or daycare for their children. This does not mean that you as an instructor must act as a childcare service, of course. It is important that the children are capable of practicing yoga, and it is also important for the adult students to recognize that they must ultimately watch their child, despite the classroom setting in which they might have thought otherwise.

Family yoga sessions are a good way for the entire family to come together without the presence of a competition. Especially in the case of siblings, exercise activities can become a source of tension and fighting. Yoga helps calm everyone involved, and the exercise is enjoyable and relaxed. There is no competition in yoga; no one is better than anyone else. It puts everyone in the family on an even, level playing field. It can also help them recognize the skills that they share as opposed to the traits that separate them from one another, which creates a closer family bond.

Teaching family yoga sessions involves careful planning as to what poses and sequences will be taught. Naturally, children are not as flexible and skilled as practiced adults, and there are some poses that can be detrimental to a child's physical health should they attempt them. A variety of poses should be taught, and the sequences should not be constantly repetitive, as children have a shorter attention span for yoga than adults do. Consideration should always be given to the variety of ages present in any lesson.

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January 5, 2015 - 4:06 am
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Family Yoga weaves the standards of the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success with individual, accomplice, and family yoga fun. If you want more information about yoga visit: https://aoteayoga.com/

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