Getting Started with Family Partner Yoga
My yoga and AcroYoga practice has changed a lot during this pandemic, especially living with a toddler while pregnant with our second child. A silver lining for our family has been that I don't leave the house to do yoga, so my son is getting A LOT of exposure. He often wants to climb on me, which is great strength training/weight sharing, as well as an opportunity for talking about consent and compassionate communication.
These are poses that children can share with each other, or adults and children can do together. I like to start by demonstrating a pose with a stuffed animal, if the kiddo is reluctant. The most important thing to remember is that this is supposed to be fun and a kid does not have to participate, unless they want to. If your child is not excited today, try again tomorrow, and in the meantime you get a little solo practice in!
Lizard on a Rock
Crawling on Table
Bear Cub in A Cave
L on Down Dog
Forest : Partner Tree
Start with the most stable poses, like Child's Pose and let your kiddo climb all over you or laze over you in a "Lizard on a Rock" backbend-- these are the closest thingsI receive to a "hands on assists" lately and I love how the extra weight feels. If it doesn't feel good for you, tell your partner and try something else. You can press up to Table Pose on hands and knees with your child on your back, or invite them to climb up, then practice Cat/Cow stretches. From Table, I may be able to push into Down Dog while my child keeps hanging on, uses me for handstand practice in "L on Down Dog", or he crawls underneath and pretends to sleep like a "Bear Cub in a Cave", he also like to drive his trucks through again and again.
Get creative with standing poses like the Warriors or Tree pose-- where can you find connection? How can you help each other balance? "Forest pose" is one of my favorites to explore with one to one hundred other people!
Discover a final resting pose that works for you and your family-- do you want to wrap up in blankets together for a "Burrito Savasana"? Do you want to snuggle side by side like "Bears Hibernating"? Or try lying belly down and allowing kids to stack on top, like "Sandwich Savasana"? Set a realistic goal for your quiet resting time, 1 minute per year of life is a great starting point and consider listening to the "Wiggle & Stillness Body Scan" Guided Meditation during or after.