So, you'll be spending a lot of time at the park this season, right? You've got your circuit: slide, swing, see-saw, sandbox. You're there for the kids, but have you ever thought of having a little fun yourself? Here are three ways you can practice your yoga while at the park with your child.
1. Hang. The monkey bars aren't just for kids anymore! Hanging is incredibly beneficial for the body and also incorporates gripping and pulling: two actions that are important for health but absent from your typical adult yoga class. When I started on the monkey bars as an adult, I couldn't believe my lack of grip strength. This was due to sensitive wrists from two pregnancies and all the heavy lifting and carrying I do daily as I care for my young children. If this is you, you can start to build strength back into your hands and wrists by practicing the monkey bars alongside your child. And I can guarantee your child will enjoy seeing you swing like a monkey!
Hanging itself is great for stretching, stabilizing, and strengthening your shoulders, but my personal favourite benefit is the spinal decompression! Letting your spine decompress and lengthen - there is nothing like it!
2. Balance. Whether it’s on a beam, low rope, or net, use the playground to give your body a balance practice! Start low to the ground and work your way to include more height. Balance is integral to good health, and creates stability in the body by keeping you strong from your feet and ankle muscles through to your core. Our whole-body balance (body, mind and spirit) is greatly affected during the process of creating and growing a family. Especially for the mamas, focusing on our balance through the post-partum years can bring equilibrium to our bodies, minds, and families. Balance goes far beyond the physical body!
3. Be Present. Yoga is so much more than movement or poses. It is about connection. Take your time at the park as an opportunity to be fully present with your child. Turn off your phone and tuck it into the bottom of your bag. Tune in to your child’s experience and imagine with them! Family Therapist Scott Noelle says it well: "Children feel most secure when their parents are fully present: body, mind, and spirit." When you make the conscious decision to invest in your child's playtime, you will see the reward. They will show great benefits such as deep security and less anxiety, and that's a win for both of you.
When I need to get back to what I know my children want and need from playtime with me, we listen to this song together, Feeling Free by Jessie Farrell.
I'm also happy to share that Appleseed Yoga is thrilled to be included on the Top 40 Kids Yoga Blogs at Feedspot.com! Check it out!