Guest post by Meera Watts, founder of Siddhi Yoga International.
There is no question, yoga comes with many incredible benefits for everyone. There are special breathing techniques that come along with yoga that can quickly diminish anxiety. Mothers are encouraged to do gentle yoga while they are pregnant. It helps to keep the body calm for the baby and raises awareness within the body. Once you’ve begun a family, the benefits are even more prevalent. Studies have shown the benefits for kids, mums, and dads alike. Here are some of the benefits that will positively affect your whole family.
Better Diet Choices
It seems that in the West, yoga is more popular for women. Traditionally, a mum makes the food choices in the household. When you do yoga, you get more into your body which prompts you to feel any toxicity. The body manifests the food we eat so if you notice yourself feeling inflamed or exhausted, you are more likely to make changes in the diet. There is a diet that goes along with yoga to enforce a healthy lifestyle. You are going to be more inclined to eat healthy foods when you have a yoga practice and you will want your family to get on board with it.
Getting the Kids Involved
Kids gain a lot of benefit from yoga. It helps promote creativity and activates the frontal cortex. There are a lot of kids out there that begin to suffer from mood disorders early on in life. Yoga has been found to counteract the societal issues kids face. They become more mindful at an early age. When they get upset, you can even help them hone breathing techniques to calm themselves down. They will also be more aware of their body whether they realise it or not. We will often eat bad foods because we have anxiety or feel insecure. Kids who do yoga have a greater knowledge of themselves that carries into their adult life. Instead of working around your yoga practice for when the kids aren’t around, get them to join you.
Dad Can Benefit Too
Men tend to have stiff bodies. They also carry a lot of stress which is often left not spoken about. Yoga allows men to become more flexible while building strength. This gives them more energy and keeps them talking about things. It might not be easy to get dad on the mat but with a little coaxing, he will feel the benefits and will likely take the logical step of incorporating it into his life. When you can share a practice as a couple, you become more of a team.
Greater Relaxation in the Household
Many women will take a break from their family to improve themselves. We know that when your cup runs over within yourself, you can give an abundance of love to others. A yoga retreat is a great way to get back to your own roots. It will directly benefit the whole family too. When you’re doing yoga, you can fight off anxiety daily. This means you have more patience and don’t get upset about things. Kids have a lot of energy and being a parent can sometimes be draining if you’re not looking at it through compassionate eyes. Yoga helps you find that compassion within yourself and gives you the ability to look outwards. It is often anxiety that creeps in and makes us react badly. You know yourself that when you raise your voice or lose your cool with kids, you feel terrible afterward. Maintaining a spaciousness in your heart allows you to be the best parent you can be. It also teaches your children to remain relaxed. Kids sense anxiety and it can be destabilizing for them.
More Awareness of Your Family
Kids grow up fast and we tend to miss out on the precious moments because we’re not present. There are a lot of responsibilities with running a household and parenting. So while you may be trying to give your kids the best in life, sometimes they just want you to listen to them and see them. The meditation portion of yoga helps you to train the brain to be present in life. When you have family events, instead of thinking about future obligations, you can just observe the beauty of the moment. When your kids tell you things, you will naturally stop what you’re doing and just listen to them. Kids need this interaction more than you know. It gives them confidence, it makes them feel loved, and it builds a wonderful bond.
There will be times in life when your kids will want their independence. It happens so quickly so you want to take the time to be there when they need you.
Taking time out to do yoga will benefit the whole family. Even if just one family member is doing it, your demeanor pours out into every room of the house. You can affect everyone positively. Yoga gives you more energy and clarity in your life. It’s easier to organize your thoughts so you get more done in less time. This gives you more time to be present when the rest of your family needs you. This is the power of yoga.