We love doing yoga here at the Clubhouse. We get our mats, go outside, and enjoy Sun Salutations right out in the Sunshine. I have been doing yoga with my Clubhouse Kid since he was just a few months old. We did our poses snuggled together, making eye contact, rubbing noses. I encourage everyone to do yoga with their baby, those are memories I will always cherish.
As he got older, he was able to get into poses on his own, and the fun began. Through music and storytelling we have been able to use our minds and bodies to go on all sorts of adventures.
Yoga allows the kids to express themselves creatively while engaging their entire bodies. This increases body awareness, flexibility, focus, coordination, balance and concentration. They get to play, while exercising, and yes, even at the age of 3, they learn to develop connections with their inner self. We work on our breathing, exercise our ability to be still, and discuss how important it is to keep our bodies healthy. How's that for something as simple as engaging in a few fun poses?
Do they execute every pose perfectly? No. That's not what matters. If you're a yogi, you will notice in some of the pictures below that those are not the "exact" poses. Doesn't matter to us. He's 3, and that's what his rabbit looks like.
Do they love it? Absolutely.
Does it really work? I mean, can you really get a 3 year old to sit still and reflect, connecting with his inner self? Yes. Read through to the end of this post, and see for yourself ;)
Since there are so many yoga poses inspired by animals, Arthur was a perfect book to take to the mat.
Arthur is a dog, so where better to start than getting into downward dog?
We talked about all of the animals that Arthur wanted to be, all the while getting into those poses and pretending to be the animals ourselves.
Curling up like the Rabbit...
Slithering and hissing like the Snake...
Crouching like the Cat...
Then my Cat took off running... :D
We did a fish, a frog, a lizard, and a few of the other animals mentioned in the book. He even made up his own "wombat pose". I wish I could have photographed more, but I needed a good yoga session myself. Also, I like us to focus and connect when we're enjoying yoga, and so that means me putting down my phone/camera, and leading by example (or else the Cat takes off running). I have a few recommended good starter yoga books at the bottom of this post, and for those who like a good app, My First Yoga Animal Poses is a cute, colorful, illustrated app that reviews a lot of beginner animal poses, and it's free!
As we went through our poses together, we talked about what it might feel like to be something other than what we are. What a lizard may feel like laying in the hot Sun all day. How a cat uses the bathroom in a box, not a potty. Conversation was interesting as we went from pose to pose, connecting with what other animals might feel like, talking about why Arthur would want to be something other than what he was.
Then we came to the end of our morning yoga (and Arthur's story) so I asked,
"What would you like to be?"
"I only want to be me."
We reflected on that. Grateful that we can stretch and roll and slither, pretending to be all sorts of animals, and still appreciative that we are not those animals. Just as Arthur realizes at the end of the book, we are exactly who we are meant to be, and that's just right.