Planning for a big family vacation, are we? Actually achieving the rest and recreation you need is not that easy to achieve while you take off and touch down at your destination. Traffic jams, flight delays and waiting at the baggage claim sure does drain out all the energy from you and your family.
It is quite easy for us adults to cope with such fatigue through our checklists and stress relieving items that we pack along with our essentials. It is very difficult for a child to have any sort of control over themselves or their surroundings. In such situations yoga comes to the rescue. Here are five poses that can help your child relax.
Get your child to lie down and place her favourite stuffed toy or her hands and ask her to slowly breathe in through the nose watching her belly fill with air and slowly flatten with each exhale. Such diaphragmatic breaths are known to have a psychological effect on slowing down the child’s heart rate and lowering the blood pressure, thus bringing down the stress from chemicals. Your child can emotionally connect and focus on a positive and calming energy enabling them to regain some control.
Sometimes waiting in line takes a toll on us adults as well, you can only imagine the effect on children. How about you try a standing pose while awakening their imagination. This way they can have a bit of fun as well while stretching and strengthening their body. Ask your child to try and mimic the tree pose, giving her yet another opportunity to balance and focus. He can get into position by placing one foot either against the ankle or higher up closer to the thigh and gaze at a stationary spot. Encourage her to reach her arms out as if she is “growing” out her “branches”. You will be surprised with the answers you get to the question “What tree are you?”, resulting in a cascade of giggles. This improved your child’s responses. A little reminder amidst all that fun, remember to switch!
Yes, we agree, sitting on long flight or even cramped up in the back seat with sibling on long car rides is not very comfortable. There may not be much room to stand or stretch your legs. In such situations you can indulge your children in some stretching for the upper body. This can include shoulder rolls and stretching the hands towards the sky giving them the feeling that they are reaching out to the stars and clouds. Coordinate breathing in with raising their arms and breathing out with lowering them. If you are onboard an airplane you can get up and do the star pose. This is when you stand with your legs and arms wide apart thus stretching your entire body. If you are feeling at war with your fatigue you can get in to the warrior pose where you stretch and bend your legs. You can also do this when you make a pit stop while on the road.
Poses to Connect to the Earth
Once you reach destination vacation you often fall victim to travel fatigue and jet lag. Same goes for your children thus losing their balance. This can be helped by performing some grounding poses. One effective pose is the downward facing dog pose. You can do this by placing your hands and legs on the ground while raising your hips towards the sky thus making your child feel steady and firmly grounded. Your body gets relieved and relaxed with the pressure that is applied from this pose. Top it off with a nice little woof! One of the most favorite poses even with us adults is the Savasan or the relaxing pose. All you have to do is lie flat on your back and relax every muscle in your body thus weighing down on the earth.
New surrounding and new people give your child a bit of a scare if he is not used to sudden change. Try finding a tiny little spot that will give him a feeling of being secured and having a personal space. Ask your child to sit back on his heels, place his forehead on the floor and stretch his arms forward or place them along the sides of his body. This way your child can regain control over the situation around him.
If you parents also feel like the journey is taking a toll on you feel free to join your children in all these poses and encourage them while refreshing yourselves!