Kids’ Yoga – Summer of Awesome

The cashier at the grocery store asked me how my weekend was.  “Great!” I said cheerfully.  “Oh yeah?  What did you do?” he asked.  I stood silently for a minute.  I couldn’t recall one single thing that I had done.  I started feeling idiotic, standing there quietly, so I replied “Um, not much, I guess.  Some yardwork?”  He smiled and nodded, clearly thinking I was perhaps the most boring person on earth.  

I don’t find my life boring to live, but I often think it might sound fairly boring to the average person.  I mean, yardwork?  And yardwork wasn’t even TRUE, other than watering my plants, but I couldn’t think of anything to say and the best I could come up with was yardwork.  Here are some of the things that I DID do on Saturday: walked the dog, baked a banana bread, made salsa and discovered, not for the first time, that breathing while putting onions and jalapenos in the food processor is not a good idea, as my burning eyes told me for the next few hours.  My Saturday night was spent drinking wine, by myself, while watching the NYPD Blue episode where Kelly collars a rogue cop in order to save Martinez from wearing a wire and becoming part of the rat squad, and while I enjoyed all those activities I do not necessarily think that they are all that compelling, once I have written them down.

This weekend marked the last of the kids’ yoga class.  During the month of June, the boys have taken a Sunday afternoon yoga class for kids at the studio I go to.  Have you ever forced your children to do something extracurricular that they did not want to do?  Until this month, I had not.  I believe that my children need a lot of unscheduled time to just play, and so other than soccer they have been registered in no extracurricular activities.  When my studio started offering classes for children, I mentioned it to my kids every once in a while, and they were always unequivocally not interested.  Then one day Mark mentioned that he would like to try it.  Bam!  I immediately registered both of them for the four week session in June, much to Jake’s chagrin.  He didn’t want to take a yoga class, he was scared to take a yoga class, it would be boring to take a yoga class.  I coaxed and cajoled and promised that if he just tried it, if he just tried three classes and he still didn’t like it, he didn’t have to go to the last class and he would never have to do it again.

Jake has a tendency to be anxious in new situations.  He is outgoing, he makes friends easily and plays happily, but when it comes to trying something new, he hesitates.  But I thought this would be a good fit; I thought the breathing techniques would help him if he was nervous and I thought the postures would be good for his, how shall I put this, lack of coordination.  I emailed the teacher, a lovely and sweet young friend of mine, beautiful on the inside and out, and on the first day her face lit up when she saw my boys.  She asked Jake to set up his mat next to hers.  I waited the 45 minutes for the class to end and when he came out of the studio, he was glowing and happy.  “I think I want to come back next week, please” he said.

When the session ended on Sunday, Jake spiralled into sadness.  He was sad to leave the studio, he was sad to leave his teacher.  He sobbed on the drive home, until he picked up the little flower that the teacher had made for each of the kids.  “When I’m sad or mad or nervous I’m supposed to smell this flower,” he said, and started taking calming deep breaths, smelling the flower, not crying anymore.  

Jake in Turtle pose.
Mark in Tree.

Downward dogs.

Fun benefit of kids’ yoga – seeing them do yoga in their pajamas!  Mark in Bow.

Jake in Butterfly.

Comments

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  2. Your weekend sounds better than mine because I was languishing thanks to a bout of the plague. This by the way, accounts for the lack of kale chips at my house.

    Your boys look so cute with their yoga mats. I wish we lived closer — then my boys could do yoga with your boys! My two did a yoga class (with Mr Wrath, no less) two winters ago. They loved it, but they were the only boys in a group of 12 (extraordinarily giggly, squealing-prone) girls. I honestly feared for their eardrums, and understood when they asked not to re-enroll.

  3. Your kids are adorable doing yoga. My daughter sometimes tries to do it from the videos and books I have at home.

    And I always hate it when I know I had a good weekend but I can’t remember anything that I did.

  4. I was just thinking the other day that I wish my parents had made me do some extracurriculars. My default was always “I don’t have to? Then I’m not going to.” I was lucky my college of choice was having a low enrollment year, because my grades were great (“have to”) but I had zero (ZERO) extracurriculars (“don’t have to, not going to”).

    I’ve been working on how to apply this with my own kids, who seem to have similar tendencies. One thing I did this summer was write down all the activities taking place at the library (crafts, dances, henna lessons, owl presentations, etc etc.) and I’m just taking them there. Not saying, “Hey, do you want to…?” but just “Time to go to…”

  5. Future yoga fiends. That’s awesome. Your friend, the teacher, sounds like a great teacher.

  6. Your little boys are more flexible than I am! And i do yoga…in a hot room…I should be all kinds of loose and flexible…ok, maybe not loose.
    I gotta go now and be introduced to the finer points of the chicken dance. Apparently it’s awesome 😛

  7. Call me boring too then because I think your weekend sounds perfect! Doing the things you enjoy!

    Love the yoga poses. I think yoga is so great for all ages. In the past you rarely saw guys doing it so I’m glad to see that change!

  8. Sounds like my kind of weekend! 🙂 Love the yoga pics, too cute! Thanks so much for joining TGCBB!

  9. fun, it would never occur to me to put my boys in yoga, maybe they would like that, if it makes them quiet I am all for it! thanks for joining in with TGCBB

  10. Love the yoga pics!! How cute. Are they zen when they are done? 😉
    Thanks for joining #TGCBB!

  11. Thanks so much for linking up for TGCBB! So glad to have you! I need to get Gabs more into yoga, she loves it!

    See you next year m’dere,

    Nancy

  12. Kids and yoga are a perfect combo. Is that mean they are going again? I blogged about that towel today.

    LisaDay

  13. Holy shizz balls. I wish I had that flexibility. Sigh. I have to take the yoga for bad backs. I’m surrounded by geriatric folk and I worry that some of them may get too relaxed and release some…ummm…stress from their rears.
    PS. Summer is not over
    PPS. Watering the flowers is a productive gardening task in my book. Save the hard labour for the husbands.

  14. Wow, your kids are in yoga – that’s great. I’d like to start my daughter too – esp. when I start up again.

    I often find I’m at a loss as to what I did most days b/c its never all that exciting, you know? How jazzed can you get over laundry and grocery shopping 🙂

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