Can Yoga Help With Tantrums And The Terrible Twos?Published on
Find family flow with toddler yoga...
There’s no disputing yoga’s myriad benefits for mind and body. But you may be struggling to associate this calm, ancient practice (which is often performed in silence) with your energetic toddler.
However, we kid you not, with a few tweaks, patience, and a little imagination, yoga can be practiced with your toddler reaping a multitude of benefits for the whole family.
What’s the story?
If you’re game for trying toddler yoga in a group after lockdown, you can find specific toddler classes that are tailored to tots, nationwide. There is also a host of online toddler yoga sessions to be explored. But there’s no reason you can’t make up your own routine at home, especially if you have basic knowledge of yoga. The main thing you’ll need is your imagination and sense of fun. Toddlers aren’t going to make it through a round of sun salutations unless you use some artistic license…
For a warm-up, you could start by asking your tot to stretch up to the sky and say “hello to the stars”. Then ask them to bend forward, touch the floor, and say “hello to the earth”. You might say you’re on a journey to meet some “yoga animals” such as a hissing snake (cobra pose). And the “cat cow” sequence can be performed with the accompanying appropriate animal noises – you get the gist.
Using songs or rhymes will be a winner and do allow your child to break away from the mat and have a run around, if their attention is waning.
Short and sweet
Forget a 90-minute vinyasa class - yoga sessions with toddler probably won’t last very long to begin with. The idea is to make them fun, repeat regularly, and then over time, the sessions can become longer. You can even incorporate a short meditation at the end of the practice. To teach deep breathing, ask your child to imagine they are sniffing a pretty flower when inhaling and blowing out candles on a cake for the exhale.
For comfort, make sure your toddler has a drink to hand and that they are wearing stretchy clothes and breathable, skin-friendly nappies, like the range soon to be launched by Pura.
Why am I doing this?
As well as helping with body awareness, coordination and flexibility, toddler yoga improves concentration and is extremely calming. It’s difficult to throw a tantrum when you’re balancing in tree pose, and getting your toddler to inhale and roar like a lion while sticking out their tongue (lion’s pose) can help them expel frustration.
Let’s face it, toddlers can be trying, so yoga also helps with bonding. Gone are the days when your newborn simply fed, slept and snuggled in close. Your little person now wants to be up, exploring the world, and could be feeling all the frustrations that this new independence brings. Yoga allows you, and other family members, to spend uninterrupted time having fun with your toddler and sharing accomplishments. And the best way to end any toddler yoga class is with a big, well deserved cuddle! Om!
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