Photo by Pierrette Wiseman

I am in the middle of teaching a 4 week long family yoga class. I love teaching these classes. There is something very special about parents sharing the yoga experience with their children.

The benefits of family yoga:

1. Increased Connection—Through yoga games and poses families connect in a way that is very different from when pursuing other family activities. There is no out doing the other person. Each family member sees each others strengths and weaknesses which brings everyone to a common ground and a mutual appreciation. Each family member connects with their own breath and body while feeling the powerful connection of the group breath and the support you get in group poses.

2. Finding Joy—Family yoga involves taking yoga less seriously. Yoga games and partner poses encourage correct alignment but don’t focus on it. The focus is in finding the fun and joy in moving one’s body and sharing with your loved ones. Partner poses, in particular, tend to lead to many laughs as bodies of different sizes try to join together in one pose.

3. Finding Peace—There is a lot of movement in my classes. The vinyasa is not standard. The class may pick animal cards one day creating a flow unlike no other. It may start with moose pose than flow to ostrich to the more traditional eagle and then down to whale pose and then back up to flying squirrel (my favorite). You will not learn the majority of these in your heated power classes, but you will move and sweat and laugh and share and finally come into savasana. It is this last moment of silence and joined breathing that brings a calm into the room and hearts of parents and kids alike.

4. Learning Tools For Life—Family yoga teaches breathing techniques that both kids and parents can bring into their lives to head off anxiety, hot tempers or tired minds. Poses are taught that will release energy and help kids ready themselves for bed and rest. Parents can take the partner poses into their living rooms for moments of deeper connection when video games, sibling fighting or one’s typical frenzied day becomes too much.

It doesn’t matter what reason you try a family yoga class. Just do it!