As a mom of three children (ages 6, 4 and 1) I completely understand the sleepless nights, the evenings where the kids are wired and running around when you are ready for bed and those nights where the fussy starts at 2 p.m. and you have no idea how you will get through the rest of the afternoon, dinner, bath and bedtime routine.
Yoga can be a great way to have your child relax, stay calm and be focused. Here are some postures and techniques that you can try at home.
Set the Mood
Have the kids take a bath. (I find mine calm down quicker if I get in there with them for mama snuggles.)
Dim the lights.
Get rid of all distractions ― toys in the area, cell phones, bright lights, etc.
Turn on some soft music if you think that may help. (My little ones LOVE music.)
Standing Forward Fold (touch your toes!)
Have your little ones bend over from their hips and reach for their toes. Spend some time hanging out here. Encourage them to let their arms, neck and head hang lose.
Have your little ones walk their hands forward from their standing forward fold and come into downward dog. Rest like a quiet dog here. No barking because we don’t want to scare the other doggies!
Have your kids come sitting down onto the floor either on their knees or their bums. Take one ear over toward one shoulder and rest here for a few breaths. Then take your head over to the other side.
Have them sit on the floor and extend one leg long and fold the other leg into a butterfly wing. Reach your fingers down your long leg all the way toward your toes. See if you can kiss your knee and rest here quietly.
Legs Up The Wall
Find a wall close by and rest your legs up the wall. Make sure your bum is all the way against the wall.
Come resting onto the floor (or your bed!) like a sleeping star. Feel yourself floating into the sky. You may also want to do some Balloon Breathing.
Just like so many other things, this routine and easing into sleep can take practice. Repetition and familiarity is key for younger children (and adults!) when creating a new bedtime routine.
Wishing you many evenings of peace and sleep!