Such a wonderful Family Yoga Workshop this morning! Thirty yogis – big and small – joined me for a yoga adventure Under the Sea and we all had so much fun. We had mums, dads and grandparents taking part and children ranging from 3 years old to 12 years old so a real mix of generations. What struck me most during the workshop was just how much everyone was enjoying connecting with their children/grandchildren. The look of enjoyment on both the adults’ and children’s faces was so heartwarming and so rewarding for me as a teacher. The word Yoga itself actually means “union” so to be able to “unite” people in this way is really at the heart of what I do, or at least try to do through these workshops.
We began focussing on our breath and warming up our bodies and then continued through an array of “Under the Sea” related postures, most of which involved partner work. I found during my previous Family Yoga workshop that the partner poses were what people enjoyed the most so I included lots more this time and they were enjoyed by all. Just the simple exploration of what people’s bodies could do and how you could connect with your child/parent in a yoga pose brought so much fun and laughter. Family yoga is not about perfect poses but about exploring the shapes your body can make and having fun while you’re doing it. Obviously for children relating the “shapes” to animals or something they feel is fun makes it more interesting.
Partner poses help children (and adults) to learn trust, support and in yoga terms to help to find your balance.
Children love to copy their parents and so if they have something positive to copy this can only have a positive impact on them! Many of the parents who came expressed how curious their children had been about yoga, asking them about what they do when they go to class and expressing a desire to go to yoga too, so the workshop was the perfect opportunity for the parents to show their children what yoga is all about in a way that they could enjoy and identify with!
We discovered with our partners how your body can do such great things with the support of someone else who you trust – working with our partners we were able to fly in the air in “flying fish” and get deeper into poses like Shark pose. By trusting someone else and working together our bodies were able to do greater things.
But there was also time for calmer postures and for relaxation and quiet time and I was really surprised at how quickly the children were able to switch down and get into “relax” mode. They all laid still for 10 minutes while I guided them through a relaxation and visualisation with no fidgeting at all. Really quite remarkable considering how young some of them were!
After going through our postures and relaxation we took a short break and refuelled with some much-anticipated snacks, after which we continued with some yoga games which allowed the children to let themselves go even more and jump about and use up their never-ending supply of energy. We then closed our workshop by connecting as a group in our OM circle and then connected as families feeling our OM vibrations.
All in all a wonderful morning and hopefully some wonderful memories made for the individual families. Great also for the adults to reconnect with both their children AND their own inner child! Important to rediscover the child within and to let themselves be playful once in a while!