Have you been playing with the idea of trying out or getting back to yoga? Let me help you find the motivation to get started with these 7 great reasons to practice yoga as a parent.
1. It’s a flexible activity
One of the things I love about yoga is its incredible flexibility – which makes it the ideal practice for us parents, by the way.
You can practice yoga almost anywhere and with very little equipment (I’ll try to remember that next time I’m trying to find excuses while on holiday or on a business trip).
No matter your level of fitness, your age, or your condition, you’ll certainly find exercises and poses that suit your situation and will quickly have a positive impact on your health, well-being and stress level.
Another reason to practice yoga as a parent is that you can adapt the length of your flow to your needs and/or schedule. From the 5-minute morning session to the 45-minute flow when the kids are away – everything is possible!
2. It improves sleep quality
One of the major benefits I’ve noticed since I started practicing yoga on a regular basis is a very positive impact on my sleep. I usually wake up often and have a light sleep. However, after a short time of regular yoga practice, I started to have a deeper sleep and to sleep through the night more often.
I actually wasn’t expecting this kind of impact within such a short time (three weeks!). I realized that I was sleeping better and the only part of my routine that had changed was that I had added yoga to it.
For extra good sleep, you might want to end your day with a yoga session including particularly restorative poses such as the child’s pose, the standing forward bend, the reclining bound angle, or the corpse pose.
3. It teaches you mindfulness
As a parent, we usually rush through the day already thinking about the next thing we are going to do. Not only is this very exhausting, but it also prevents you from living the moment and connect to your body.
Yoga is the perfect opportunity to take a break and focus only on what is in the present moment. It helps quiet your thoughts, pay attention to the now and connect to your body by breathing slowly and concentrating on the poses. You’ll see that this is a particularly efficient way to recenter.
If you’re with the kids, you might want to include them to your practice (only if the situation allows it, of course). Breathing exercises and yoga poses can be fun and will teach them self-awareness, calming techniques, and much more.
4. It helps relieve stress
Being a combination of conscious breathing, stretching, and meditation, among other techniques, it’s not a surprise that yoga is a powerful tool to keep stress at bay.
Allowing yourself to just be and showing self-compassion and awareness relieves you from the pressure that you carry around.
It’s been scientifically proven that yoga practice helps lower the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, and cope with feelings of anxiety. Some studies also show that it helps reduce symptoms of depression.
5. It teaches kids healthy habits
Practicing yoga is also a great way to teach your kids healthy habits. My sons see me doing my yoga sessions and, especially the younger one, likes to participate or sometimes even suggests doing some yoga before going to bed.
Teaching them breathing techniques is a useful tool for them to learn to recenter or calm down. The exercises can be easily adapted. For younger children, playing to be a locomotive or a puppy, or roaring like a lion can be much fun. Elder children might like the challenge of a difficult pose.
6. It’s an opportunity to take me-time
As a parent, it can be difficult to find time to nurture yourself. However, making sure you make time to refill the batteries on a regular basis is crucial to have the resources needed to take care of your family. That’s the only way to provide the emotional and physical support they need without you ending drained and even resentful.
Integrating yoga to your weekly or even daily routine is a great opportunity to reconnect with yourself and turn inward. This time is just for you. Ask yourself: How do I feel? What do I feel? What do I need?
7. It allows you to stay fit and healthy
Obviously, yoga is a great way of staying fit and healthy at all ages.
It helps lowering blood pressure and reduce various types of chronic pain, such as back pain or migraines. It also allows you to improve your flexibility, strength, balance, and posture.
When choosing the right poses, yoga can also help boost and re-energize you. There’s nothing better than an uplifting yoga session in the morning to start the day!
Its diversity and flexibility are only a few reasons to practice yoga as a parent. Not only will it help you stay fit and healthy on an emotional and physical level, but it’s also a great way to teach your children the importance of body-awareness and mindfulness.
And I promise you’ll soon find many more benefits… including having a perfect excuse to wear yoga pants…