When I saw that there was going to be a Family Yoga class offered at my preferred studio, I was so excited! I had been getting deeper into my individual practice for a couple of years and wanted to share this special thing in my life with my family. My son was a few months shy of turning two when we started our family yoga journey. Like any parenting decision, I found myself riddled with questions about this new thing we would be trying out. Is my son too young for yoga? Will he get anything out of these classes? What will happen if he doesn’t pay attention or tries to leave the room? My excitement outweighed my hesitation and I decided to take my little one to the class.
Liz Shakti’s class felt so magical from the moment it started! My toddler was more than a little bit interested. He participated in ringing the bell during introductions, doing some poses with me and his Dad with assistance, and he danced along with some yoga songs. My son enjoyed all of the parts of family yoga class: he enjoyed the songs, the partner poses, and the story. He enjoyed ringing the bell, helping with putting out the mat, and cleaning it at the end.
We continued to attend the classes regularly. Our experience was not without setbacks. He was a toddler after all! There were some classes where he wanted to nurse and have snacks for what seemed like the whole hour. There were some classes where he enjoyed playing with the door handles and visiting the studio hallway and barely participated. Like so many toddler-oriented activities, I still wondered: is he getting anything out of this? I can tell you now that he definitely got a lot out of those classes. Over the months, he became more and more able to introduce himself and interact with the other kids and parents. He learned the songs and would sing them all the time (and I can assure you that there is nothing more heartwarming than a two-year-old singing “Namaste” to you)! He started showing my husband how to do yoga poses learned in the class, and to this day his favorite pose to demonstrate by far is happy baby.
Perhaps the most valuable gift from these family yoga classes was that my son and I shared the experience of the yoga classes and learned together. We constantly sing songs from our yoga class to help with transition times at home. We regularly utilize many breathing techniques learned and practiced in class, especially balloon breaths for calming down. I am now immersed in Liz's amazing Fundamentals of Teaching Kids and Family Yoga course and learning so much each day. As my son grows and changes, we will continue to go down this path of yoga and mindfulness together, and it is a beautiful journey.