Week after week, season after season, you’re there for your kids. Through thick and thin, soccer practices and dance recitals, runny noses and skinned knees, a parent’s job never ends. And while you love your kids, that doesn’t mean that the non-stop craziness can’t leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated and even a little (or a lot) burnt out.

Never fear, parents! If you’re feeling frazzled and dreaming of boarding school, try these three easy yoga techniques to take a break, find your center, and reconnect with your kids in a mindful way. These tools require no more than five minutes, and are appropriate for kids at any age.

SPELMAN_YOGA_2015-27-X3

1. Take a breath.

You’re in the car. Kids are yelling, toys are flying, and you are struggling to keep your eyes, and mind, on the road. Sound familiar?

Next time you feel that you’ve had it ‘up to here,’ take a moment to take a breath. Simply reconnecting with your breath can help you relax, so that you can better address the stress in front of you. Ocean Breath can be practiced alone, or with your kids, to calm your mind and bring everyone to a more tranquil state.

Ocean 2

Ocean Breath

Instructions:

  1. Inhale through your nose.
  2. Exhale, open your mouth “hahhh,” making the sound of an ocean wave.

2. Put your feet up.

If you find yourself with a rare moment of much-needed alone time, recharge to the fullest with a relaxation pose.

Even five minutes of legs up the wall can give you the extra boost you need to get through a full day, or can calm your mind for a restful night’s sleep. Kids fighting naptime? Invite your kids to join you in this pose for some quiet downtime together, and you’ll have no need for counting sheep.

LegsUpWall 1-3

Legs Up Wall

Instructions:

  1. Begin lying down on your back, lying horizontal against a wall.
  2. Inhale, bring your leg closest to the wall up the wall.
  3. Exhale, use your arms to help turn your body to bring both legs up the wall.
  4. Inhale, straighten your legs and flex your toes towards your shins.
  5. Exhale, extend your arms to a “T” alongside your body.
  6. Breathe.
  7. When you are ready, bend your knees and turn to one side.

*Can be done with Butterfly legs or bent knees with feet pressing against the wall.

3. Play a yoga game.

Yoga games can provide a new, fun way to focus your kids’ energy and allow them to work together in a non-competitive way.

No matter if your children are restless, bored, or bouncing off the walls, engaging them in a yoga game will bring the family together in imaginative play. This is a perfect activity for when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, or when you’re being pulled in three different directions at your community park. Are your kids in an extra animated mood? Help them disperse their excess energy by using a storm theme for your nature structures.

naturekids

Nature Kids

Directions:

Students name five or six structures found in the natural world. The teacher and students decide on yoga poses
that best portrays each structure. For example, Rock Pose portrays a boulder. Once the group decides on a pose
for each structure, students set up a natural landscape around the room.