Mother and kids yoga classes have begun to appear everywhere. When a mother and child do yoga together, it’s an opportunity for them to exercise and learn healthy habits. But it’s also a time for them to bond in a unique and calming way. Mother and children’s combined yoga started out as a way for new mothers to lose weight after giving birth, without having to find child care, but it has evolved into a new and fun way to engage with your child in a safe, non-competitive environment.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, yoga has been used for centuries as a way to decompress and relax. More recently, this ancient practice has been realized as an excellent tool for building strength, flexibility and balance.
For the highest-quality instruction, search for local yoga centers with certified instructors. Yoga centers are still rare, but more are popping up across the nation. To improve your health through yoga, visit a hospital, college or gym. Hospitals frequently offer inexpensive or free classes, and colleges are much less expensive than most yoga centers or gyms. Gym classes usually require a membership but offer the most rigorous instruction, which is beneficial for weight loss. You may also try your local parks and recreation center or other kid-friendly groups. Locations like Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YMCA, YWCA and children’s gyms may also offer mother and child yoga.
There are several types of yoga taught and practiced throughout the world. The most common in the Western world is Hatha yoga. No matter the type of yoga taught, most mother and kids classes are similar. For older children, you and your child will mostly work separately to achieve the poses, though some poses will occur together. For babies and toddlers, you will use the young child to do unique poses that both work your muscles and pique her interest. For the most part, mother and kids yoga classes are a bit lighter in mood than traditional classes while staying focused on the main goals of greater strength, balance, breathing and flexibility.
Before arriving to a mother and kids yoga class, it is important to discuss the equipment needed for class participation. Typically instructors prefer students to wear clothes that allow easy movement. Children will probably be most comfortable in leggings or sweatpants and a T-shirt. Other necessary equipment may include a yoga mat, exercise ball or tension wraps. These can all be found in most sporting good stores or large retailers’ sporting goods sections. To avoid wasting money, inquire as to whether two of each piece of equipment are needed or if one will suffice.
Recent studies by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have suggested that yoga has far-reaching health benefits for both mother and child. For mothers, studies suggest that yoga can reduce blood pressure, back pain and feelings of depression. Children can benefit from better sleep and elevated mood. You can both enjoy a boosted immune system and lowered risk for arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Some studies have also suggested that yoga can help women quit smoking. A report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that breast cancer patients experience their lowest stress levels after a yoga session, which further illustrates the soothing benefits of yoga for stressed-out moms and their kids.