f you haven’t yet heard, Wednesdays are our Guest Blogger Series day! It’s a day where Stacy and I get a bit of a mid-week break while getting to share with you some of our favorite online bloggers. And for their hard work, they get the benefit of your readership – we encourage you to please show all of them your support by visiting their blog and social media links at the end of this post!
This week’s guest is our personal friend Sima, a yoga instructor out here in Virginia. The photostream of incredible poses coming from Sima and our friend Aimee is what inspired our family yoga evenings that have appeared on our Instagram page. Unfortunately that has been put on hiatus due to a tragic shoulder injury. But I think I speak for our whole family when I say thanks to Sima for giving us the bug!
For a period of time we have our kids captivated with what we do and say. I am not sure when it ends because my daughter is just turning 6 but I know it ends because I remember asking my mom to pretend she didn’t know me when we were in public. (I’m sorry mom, what was wrong with me?) I am hoping that this won’t happen but in the meantime while she wants to dress like me, eat like me and act like me I am going to use the time wisely to set a great example.
Lila, my daughter, often asks ‘why don’t you eat bread?’… when she gets mad at me she yells, “I’m going to go eat gluten.” It is at this moment I pat myself on the back. When we have some free time she is not asking to turn on the TV (not saying it never happens) but often it is “can we go for a run”, “can we weed”, or my favorite “can we do yoga?”… obviously my answer no matter what I am doing is yes!
In the beginning I encouraged Lila to find perfect alignment but I realized it wasn’t fun for her anymore… kids want to watch you discover and as you discover they do as well. So don’t worry about what poses they can or can’t do.. Do a practice that will suit your needs and your kids will follow where they can, join when they want and watch with delight in between. More importantly don’t wait and you can’t start too early; I started doing yoga with Lila from the time I could exercise again… she was mesmerized with the movement.
There are tons of yoga videos you could put on or online sources that I use as guide. But if you have a little bit of time and some creative juices my favorite thing to do is to unroll mats for the whole family and play a game of discovery. Start off with a question while you all sit face to face. “Do you want to go on an adventure together?” I ask my daughter. “YES!” She screams. So I follow up with “Where do you want to go?” and sometimes the answer is “Paris” or if you could get the answer “Target” you can work with it. The point is start to let imagination take you anywhere… So then ask, “Well how do you want to get there? On foot? Running? Car? Airplane?” Let the answer dictate the shape you take with your body.
If it is run, get up in run in place on your mats. If it is an airplane put your arms out like wings, dip your chest down and lift a leg to look like an airplane.
Then ask “What do you see now that we are here?”, “I see the Eiffel Tower!”.. “Can you try to make the shape of a tower?”, I ask. She puffs out her chest proudly as she stands tall, spreading her feet apart and lifting her arms overhead. If at first your kids say, “I don’t know.” Show them. The more fun you have the more fun they have. Depending on each child’s personality there could be more or less work to do on your end. Think outside the box make bridges with your body (downdog or table, see pictures) Let the answers and questions continue as you play a game with your children while moving around…After you
have exhausted yourself on your imaginary travels, sit back to back and without speaking try to see if you can make your inhales and exhales sync together. Then after a minute or two talk and find out if you were right. End up by lying down in starfish side by side or stacked. Try to stay there as long as they can
without your child(ren) getting a case of the wiggles.
The funny part you can make yoga as traditional or non-traditional as you want with your kids. They just want to be with you, be you and will continue to emulate you until one day they don’t.. So don’t sit any longer.
Get up. Move. Play. Love. Laugh. Live. Yoga.
Stacked plank (we were a bridge)
Devoted mother, experienced yogi, avid athlete and former business owner, Sima Tamaddon has always understood and practiced the importance of a balanced lifestyle for the mind and body. After a car accident left Sima severely limited in mobility, she used the experience to inspire hundreds of individuals to achieve their athletic potential and overcome life’s challenges through yoga. With the focus of achieving a healthy mind and body balance, Sima’s adoption of Paleo truly completed the circle on the essentials of a well-rounded lifestyle – as the nutrition philosophy encompasses the pure, natural state in which Sima’s teachings have always been grounded. Check her out at RX’d Yoga and on Facebook!