Introducing your toddler to yoga
Isn’t it the worst feeling when you’re at Mum & Baby Yoga and the teacher gives you ‘that look’. The look which means your little darling is disrupting the class, and the look that means maybe those tiny little babies don’t really like having a toddler finger in their eye or rammed into their mouth.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
You can now bring your little investigator to Parent & Toddler Yoga, here at the elbowroom, where we celebrate poking, exploring, climbing, toddling and manage to sing a few songs and play a bit while we’re at it!
Alternatively here are some ways to do a bit of yoga at home with your wobbler or toddler:
Show your toddler how to relax and breathe
This is an important skill and how wonderful if you can introduce it at a young age? All you need to do is put on a nice bit of soft music, sit (or lie) in the middle of the floor, close your eyes (if you dare!) and breathe. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate your breath a little to show them what you’re doing. They’re probably not going to sit in lotus pose and meditate right away, but the very act of seeing their adult doing it plants the seed and eventually, with consistency, they will join in!
Chanting is lots of fun for toddlers and something they can mimic. Whether its humming, chanting a few ‘Ohm’s or getting into some sanskrit chanting it will help to calm and relax them and also help regulate their breathing. This is particularly useful for helping them come out of tantrums or mini wobblers.
Turn your postures into animals
As you’ll know from that time your little one joyfully muttered their first expletive, toddlers learn by example. So, woof your way through downward dog (don’t forget to use your leg in the air to wag your tail!), meow and moo with cat and cow stretches, ‘ssssss’ like a snake for cobra etc. Practice in front of your toddler making it interesting for them. Eventually they’ll have a go themselves.
Emily McElarney is a yoga teaching mum of three. She teaches Toddler Yoga and Mum & Baby Yoga every Tuesday morning from 10.00am.