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Yoga With The Family: A Mini Class To Get You Started

Family | Lifestyle

Oli, our 7-year-old son, had a dream. In his dream, Oli was swimming in the ocean and was chased by a shark who turned into a crocodile who then morphed into a monster. As he was swimming as fast as he could away from the monster, he finally reached the shore, where my wife Angel and I were both sitting and working on our computers.

Oli was screaming at the top of his lungs for us to help him and save his life, but we were so absorbed in our laptops that we couldn't hear him at all, and didn't even notice he was there. Oli woke up just a second before the monster gobbled him up.

What do you think? What is the message? Too much technology in our life?

We have recently decided to turn off our computers and I-phones every day at 4pm when our children return home from school; a hard decision in a world where everyone expects you to be available 24 hours a day and answer your mails, texts and Facebook messages on the spot.

Don’t Let Your Kids Get Eaten By A Sea Monster!

We see so many families less engaged with their children and more with their beautiful faces turned down into a little screen. Let's try to consciously be more present with our kids before they are eaten by a sea monster!

Want to do something fun that will bring you and your kids closer together in the extra time created in the absence of technology? Try the following little yoga class with the whole family!

1. Warm up – Follow My Body

Put some fun music on and have the most experienced yogi in the family lead everyone through a Sun Salutation and other movements for the other family members to mirror. There is no talking. Everyone follows the movements of the leader silently.

One at a time, all the family members take turns being the leader for a few minutes.

2. Yoga Poses – Connecting

Each of the family members chooses three of their favorite yoga poses for everyone to connect through. In pairs or as a group, we explore different ways of doing this pose together.

We can hold hands; do the pose one in front of or behind each other, back-to-back or side-by-side. We can even do the pose one on top of each other! The only rule when we invent new poses is that it must feel good to all participants. We take at least three deep breaths in each partner or group pose we create.

3. Breathing – Shapes Breathing

Sitting down, one person guides the others how to breathe by asking them to follow the movements of their hand with their breath. When he raises his hand upward (slowly), it means to inhale; when he moves his hand horizontally, it means to hold the breath; and when he moves his hand downward, it means to exhale.

The leader can, in this way, draw an imaginary square with his hand, causing the other family members to inhale, hold the breath, exhale, hold the breath, etc. in a rhythmic way. Try any shape you want!

Stairs are my favorite. Do it for a minute or two and you’ll feel deeply relaxed. Of course switch leaders.

4. Relaxation – Anaconda Snake

Everyone (except the first person) lie with their head on the belly of the family member before them. We breathe deeply and feel how we lift and lower each other’s head with our belly as we breathe. We close our eyes and we listen and feel the breath moving like waves, helping us go deeper and deeper into the relaxation.

Don’t rush to get up, and finish with lots of cuddles and kisses… Enjoy!

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