If you don’t know your downward dog from your frog, your cat from your cow, then maybe it’s time to explore the animal kingdom of yoga with your kids.
*This post includes a book review – not sponsored, but I did receive a complimentary copy
There’s an Old MacDonald’s farmyard full of postures, or asanas to try together, and whether you can touch your toes (or not so much), there’s calm and connection to be found amidst the fun and laughs.
And according to a ‘Mother Om’ who should know, there’s a whole lot more to be discovered.
“The ancient practice of yoga gives us the tools to manage the emotional journey of motherhood,” writes Leonie Percy, founder of Yoga Mamata (pronounced Maa-MAA-taa, it means ‘mother’s love’) and author of Mother Om.
Her debut book, written genuinely with a mother’s love, is full of practical optimism for connecting with our kids and building compassion in the world through cultivating the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness for ourselves, and sharing our practice with our kids.
As Leonie espouses, and I’ve also found – as parents our yoga practice (and our lives of course) are enriched and shaped by what our kids teach us.
Our children are our gurus, and we can be the change we want to see in our childLeonie Percy
Proud Mum alert – sneak peak of some proofs of photos I’ve just had taken of the kids and I doing yoga.
Regular readers know about my kid’s meditation videos and my personal yoga journey, which I’ll take to a new level when I start teacher training in seven weeks (eek! I have sooo much pre-reading to do).
But reading Leonie’s book was like a (yogic) breath of fresh air, a perfect blend of tips and wisdom that just (vinyasa) flows from the principles of yoga (and a bit of Buddhism), to insights from her own parenting challenges (as a single Mum, after the sudden breakdown of her marriage), to practical tips for yoga with kids, on and off the mat.
It sort of felt like I was sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat with Leonie (we will meet one day) – her writing is simple, honest and heartfelt.
While I knew we’d share the same philosophies before I even turned the first page, I was also heartened to know that some of the ideas I’ve tried out on my kids, especially in terms of encouraging mindfulness (in myself and them), are techniques Leonie has taught in her classes with success.
Plus she offers a wealth of ideas I haven’t thought of or tried. Her ideas support preparing for motherhood through pregnancy, ongoing self-care, early bonding with baby and then tips for finding mindful moments with young children, even at the dreaded toddler age.
Naturally yoga and meditation for kids is play and sensory-based – think yoga sushi, a game of rolling kids up in a yoga mat, bee-breathing to help kids get mindful, and the spaghetti trick (get your kids to imagine themselves as hard, uncooked spaghetti, relaxing into soft, flexible al dente pasta). There are ideas for older primary kids too.
Leonie’s mission is to help Mums (and parents) to ‘stress less’ and Mother Om ($24.95 including postage) offers lots of lessons to do this.
You can dip into the book for quick ideas or flow through the chapters – you’ll be empowered to find ‘one (or more) mindful moment’s a day with your child’, without even going to a yoga class! (If you live in Sydney, Leonie does weekly kids yoga classes (and Mum and bub) classes in the Eastern suburbs and offers private family yoga consultations by appointment). She also offers yoga retreats, just for Mums.
Since Leonie graciously offered me a copy of her book, I’d like to pay the love forward by shouting a reader a copy. Just comment below to enter.
PS – I spied the lovely Grace Titioka’s twinions on Leonie’s website, so I’m sure she can recommend classes first-hand.