Getting a toddler excited about yoga

FullSizeRenderThrough months (although it seems like years) of trying to get my toddler son to do yoga with me, I feel as though I have finally discovered a way to get him to be excited about practicing with me.  I have put a lot of theories through the trial and error process and just one seems to work.  I’ve mainly been focusing my time on practicing ‘in front of’ (not always ‘with’) him in hopes that he’ll want to mimic what Mommy’s doing.

This only seems to work sometimes and the times that it does, he usually only joins me for a few minutes and then wanders back to his Hotwheels collection.  Ironically, after giving much thought and effort into ‘yoga’ing’ with my toddler, it was something my husband said that made all the difference.  Sometimes I guess I need the perspective of an outsider to point out what I’m too close to see.

The other day, my husband casually said to our son ‘wouldn’t it be fun if Mommy taught us a yoga class?  It’ll be so much fun to do yoga together!’  Immediately, our toddler came running over to me excited and impatient to start our yoga class.  I was stunned.  Was it really that easy?  Then, the 3 of us sat in a little circle and practiced some warm-up stretches and animal poses together, constantly making funny noises, interacting, and remarking ‘isn’t yoga fun?’  He was so into it that I literally ran out of stuff to do and the next day he request that I ‘teach yoga class’ without even being prompted.

If your kid is like mine, there seems to be just one obvious thing to get them to do yoga-

Talk it up!

It’s such an easy thing to do.  Obviously he could care less about the physical and mental benefits of the practice but just wants to know if something will be fun.  Will it make him smile, laugh, and forget about that cookie he had been obsessing over earlier?  Yes!  Before doing anything new, we usually trying to talk it up to him and yoga is no different.  He needs to know ahead of time that this will be something fun and definitely worth his time.  A little encouragement and positive remarks go a long way in his book.

If you’re considering bringing your child into your yoga practice, remember to talk about it before, during, and after class.  This will help them to have a positive association with it and if you seem excited about it then they will be too.  Oh, how much fun you’ll have practicing together!

Need another tool?  Check out the book pictured above.  It’s my favorite yoga book for kids.

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