Around the U.S. school is, or will be back, in session very soon. The transition from summer vacation to school can be stressful for both parents and children. By learning yoga and mindfulness tips, the transition will go more smoothly for the entire household! Change isn't easy. It can be hard to adjust to new routines. By doing things more mindfully, you reduce stress by bringing your entire awareness to the present moment. In the free eBook, Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School, by Aida Bielkus and illustrated by her children Daniel and Emilija, learn great strategies the entire family can learn to do together!
Here are some easy suggestions from the book:
1. Wake up with yoga. Parents and kids can benefit from learning to connect the body and breath. Tree pose is a great grounding posture! Stand on one leg. Pick up the opposite foot and place at the inner thigh or shin of the standing leg. Bring your hands together at your heart center and then reach them up in a wide "V" overhead. Instruct your family to feel firmly rooted into the earth as they reach toward the sun. This is a wonderful way to awaken the spine and stretch out. Also it's great to remind kids that, no matter what happen outside of the home, they have strong family roots that love and support them in all that they do!
2. Pre-dinner reset. With sports, friends, pick-ups/drop-offs, and other extracurricular activities, landing back at home and trying to settle everyone down can seem impossible. This is a perfect time to catch a collective breath. Make the sock eye pillow from the Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School eBook and rest/meditate for 5-20 minutes before you start the evening activities of homework and dinner. Taking a pause lets the mind release stress so activities afterwards go more smoothly and efficiently.
3. Smart talk. Sometimes getting your kids to talk about how their day was or how their interactions at school are going can be a challenge. The "Getting to Know Me" activity in the Mindful Monkey Goes Back to School eBook is perfect for drawing awareness to inner feelings. This activity creates a pathway for noticing the emotional body and thus builds mindfulness.
These activities can be practiced throughout the year to help the entire family feel less stress and more ease.