A research shows that more than half of the people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. They also added that yoga helped reduce stress. The children can also have sleep problems just like adults because of stress, anxiety, etc.
When children are sleep deprived,
- They will have difficulties controlling their emotions.
- They are more likely to lose the ability to concentrate.
- This can lead to problems both at home and at school.
- And finally, this can lead to an exhausted family.
Therefore, yoga before bedtime is good for the whole family. Especially in this challenging time, the children are not in school… Bedtime yoga with kids as a family:
- It will decrease anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and heart rate.
- It will increase your child’s ability to handle stress.
- It will give them a more positive outlook.
- The kids will have a better memory and an increased ability to problem solve.
- Bonus: There’s no need for special equipment to do yoga with your kids. Just wear comfortable clothing and keep your feet bare. The carpet works great!
Now it is time to take your bedtime story ritual a step further. Turn off all distractions like cell phones and television. Dim the lights or light a candle to create a calm atmosphere. Get ready for some stretching, twisting and breathing and relaxing together. Just make sure you listen to your body and teach your kids to do the same.
12 Yoga Poses to Help Children Sleep Better:
1- Mountain: The hardest pose in yoga! Standing tall and perfectly still, eyes can be open or closed, breathing steady. We are immovable like mountains. It improves concentration and focus, calming the mind and nervous system.
2- Tree: Standing tall, place the sole of the foot on the side of the calf, staying strong on the standing leg for balance. Bring your hands together at your heart and grow your branches up tall. It improves balance and opens the shoulders and chest.
3- Woodchopper: Standing tall, legs wide, we criss cross our fingers behind our back and fold forward. It opens the shoulders and calms the brain.
4- Childs Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body. It soothes the mind and relaxes the body.
5- Seated twist: Sitting with our legs easily crossed, place your right hand flat on the floor behind you and your left hand on your right knee, looking over your right shoulder. Then switch sides. It is good for digestive system and calms the mind.
6- Turtle: Sitting up, bring the soles of your feet into touch. Slide your arms under your legs, lowering your body down towards the floor. It quiets the mind and increases flexibility in the hips, strengthening the back.
7- Head to Knee: Sit up tall, legs out long. Bend one leg, so the knee drops down to the side and the sole of the foot is pressed against the inner thigh of the stretched leg. Slowly fold forwards over the long leg, keeping the chest open. Hold the foot of the long leg. It stretches the spine and calms the mind.
8- Dog: From all fours we tuck the toes and press our feet and hands into the floor. We lift our bottoms to the sky, stretching our legs long. It strengthens the arms and legs and improves digestion.
9- Cat & Cow: Come to hands and knees. Tuck the toes and arch the back round, looking into our middle. Now arch the other way, lifting the bottom and chest. It stretches the spine and core.
10- Candle: Lying flat on our back, arms down by our sides, we lift our legs and feet up to the sky. If there is wall space, you can put your legs up the wall. It calms the mind, improves digestion.
11- Whale: We lie on our back and bend our knees, so our feet are flat. Arms down by our sides. We press into the feet, arms and hands to lift our bottom up slowly. Then we lower back down slowly. It calms the mind, alleviates anxiety.
12- Crooked Branch: We lie on our backs and take our arms wide. We bend our knees and lift them up. We take our legs over to one side and let them rest on the floor. We turn our head to look in the opposite direction to our legs. It lengthens the spine, releases the lower back, opens the shoulders and calms the mind.
*The kids yoga pose illustrations belong to Yogalin Yoga.
If you still have some time, you can read a relaxation story to your child:
A Guided Relaxation Story – Frederick by Leo Lionni: Frederick is a dreamer whose endless store of supplies warms the hearts of his fellow mice and feeds their spirits during the darkest winter days.
A Relaxation Story about Changing Feelings: My Magic Wand is a short relaxation story about Winnie the Witch.
A Guided Relaxation For Kids: The Dream of MooMoo is about a curious cow that loved dreaming.