5 Yoga Poses to Help Relax Nighttime Wiggles
Updated: May 2, 2019
Bedtime can be a challenging part of the day for parents and kids alike. As parents, we are tired from our day and ready to rest. Expending more energy at the end of the night can be exhausting. Our sweet children on the other hand…are balls of energy! (How?!) Jumping around, running across the room and demanding play time. Luckily, there is a solution for both of us!
Bedtime yoga! Taking 10 minutes with your children each night before bed and doing a few yoga poses with them can help wind down energy and start setting the body into relax mode. In addition, you are creating some quality bonding time with your children and they think you are still playing!
Here are 5 Yoga Poses that your family can include each night into a bedtime ritual to help promote bonding and create a positive nighttime routine.
(Note: Remember each child is different in their own unique way. Some children may appear quite tranquil after only a night or two of these and some children may require longer periods of time to reach that point! Be mindful and patient with your children. Remember each time you do this, you are spending special time with your child and the time spent will not be wasted!)
1. Dangling Monkey Pose
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale, hinge at the hips and fold your torso over your thighs on your exhale. Grab elbows of the opposite arm and swing back and forth at the hips. Allow the body to be heavy here and take 5 – 10 deep breaths. This pose will deeply stretch the back of your legs and create space between each vertebra in your spine. Once completed, keep your knees soft as you push into your legs coming back up to standing.
2. Child’s Pose
Starting on your hands and knees, push your hips back to rest over your feet and reach your arms out in front of you. You can also take your toes to touch, knees wide and push your hips back from here. Take 10 deep belly breaths here. Child’s pose is great for promoting stress reduction and allowing the muscles on the front of the body to relax.
3. Staff Pose
Start in a seated position with legs extended out in front of you. Point your toes to the sky and lengthen your spine. Take a deep breath in, flex your abdominal muscles and bring your chest over your legs - keeping your spine tall. Let your hands rest where ever they land. (Upper thigh, chin, feet, etc.) This is a great pose for upper body strength and helps to cool the body down.
4. Legs Up the Wall
This is a fun one with many benefits to reap! Seat next to a wall, getting your hip as close to the wall as you can. Take your arms behind you and lean back allowing your legs to swing up to the wall. Adjust yourself accordingly to get your hips as close to the wall as possible. Your arms can be taken out to a T shape, resting over your belly or holding hands with your child! This pose is great for allowing the mind and body to relax and relieve tension. Stay here for 3 – 4 minutes or however long is comfortable.
Meditation for kids? Oh yes! This one may take some practice but can be very beneficial if practiced consistently. After you’ve completed the above poses, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Have your child focus on listening to their body breathing in and out. Encourage them to focus on this breath and if any thoughts start to come up, simply repeat the word “empty” silently. Be mindful of keeping a peaceful environment during meditation so your children can create a positive assimilation with the process. Start with just a minute or two and slowly work your way into longer periods as your children develop their patience.
Congratulations! You’ve just established a bedtime yoga routine with 5 easy poses to work on each night. I hope you and your children enjoyed this time together! After this series, you may want to reflect and journal for a minute each night to see how the experience changes for you and/or your child each week.
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