1. INSPIRING BY DOING
The more your family sees you on the mat, the more likely they will join you. They will gain curiosity and give it a try themselves! Things that are familiar feel safer, and when something is familiar, our brains steer us towards it. The more used to being on the mat that your family is, the more likely they will look forward to it as an activity! Sometimes we are hesitant about the unknown, therefore encouraging them by being the role model in our actions and showing them how much fun you’re having or how healthy and good you feel after.
2. PITCH IT AS A BREAK TIME ROUTINE
You can build a routine break time daily. Whether your partner or child has a routine such as studying or work, create a yoga practice as a means to provide your family members with a chance to relax and get their energy out in between schooling from home, or work. Use this as a bonding time and a coping technique! Deciding on the right time of day is crucial and varies depending on your family. Everyone needs a break, studies have proven that breaks can reduce and even prevent stress. Taking breaks throughout the day can improve one’s performance in their everyday tasks and is essential for one’s physical and emotional health. Many people turn to technology for a break, but yoga is a healthy break that is nurturing for the mind, body, and soul.
3. HAVE A PLAN & KEEPING IT LIGHT AND FUN
Plan the practice in advance, especially when it's for your children, so you can assure you have new and exciting poses for them to try and make sure you are constantly changing things up! Children love new and exciting activities, but keeping new poses short and fast will keep your child intrigued and want to continue instead of quitting from boredom or uncertainty. You can add some colouring, toys or whatever they enjoy also on the mat. Getting on the mat doesn’t just have to be for a yoga practice, but you can colour or play and get your imagination running. Planning ahead also allows you to ask your child what poses they want to work on in advance to assure they are included in your planned practice. Practice makes perfect, but planning also makes perfect. Having a guideline written down that your children can review and have a sense of what’s happening ahead of time will make for a smooth yoga session! It's perfectly alright to learn along the way, but having a plan helps to keep everyone in the loop and make for a session with intention.
4. PLAYING MUSIC THEY LOVE & START MOVING THE BODY
A good tune can get anyone moving and dancing. Once you get a family member to move a little and laugh they will more likely be open to joining you in a movement practice and a mini stretch. Find out what music they like first and play it, start dancing and you’ll be surprised how fast they may join you. For your children, you can put on their favourite sing along song and unroll both your mats and sing with them and jump on the mat. Getting the energy moving as a start will encourage a family member to stretch with you and will keep a practice on the mat light hearted.
5. GROUP CLASSES OR EVENTS
Put on an online class that seems interesting - Or bring a family member to an event or family group yoga class online! This will feel new and exciting for them, and provide them an opportunity to learn from someone else. Not only is it great for learning other ways of doing yoga, but it gives you an opportunity to work together and achieve a goal with one another. With the lockdown and social distancing rules in place it may seem like an obstacle, but online yoga classes and events can be just as fun. It brings a sense of togetherness within the yoga community and can make something that seems new and challenging, to be more fun and understandable. Learning yoga is a process but classes and events can make that process seem more versatile, exciting and enjoyable.