One Big Happy YOGA Family! The Advantages of Family Yoga
Between the intensity of work, school, birthday parties, swimming lessons, hockey, ballet, music lessons and a myriad of other family events, what’s an activity your family can participate in together- one that everyone will benefit from?
That would be yoga, of course. A proven success among families, it’s the perfect way to get everyone together for some fun, memorable experiences.
The advantages of family yoga are plenty and we’ll soon be sharing them with you. But first, let’s take a look at what family yoga is.
What is Family Yoga?
A growing trend these days, family yoga classes are those that can be experienced together as a family. That includes parents, sons, daughters, grandparents – even aunts, uncles and cousins. You might be wondering how they differ from regular yoga classes. In general, family yoga classes often include things like:
- Group and partner yoga poses
- Fun games
- Goofiness and playfulness
- Loving embraces and restful tim
They are also broken down into several sub-niches, such as:
- Moms and tots yoga / parent-child yoga
- Yoga for teens and/or tweens
- Kids yoga ages 5-9
- Family yoga ages 4+
- Yoga for mothers and daughters
- Yoga for fathers and sons
Family Yoga Classes
Nowadays, numerous yoga studios include family yoga classes in their schedule at least once a week. They may run all year long or be introduced bi-annually for a certain length of time. These can be drop-in or pre-registered classes.
Family Yoga Workshops
Held a few times throughout the year, these workshops generally involve preregistration. Unlike classes, though, workshops take place over one day or span across a few. They also tend to focus on themes, like strengthening bonds between mothers and daughters or developing confidence in teens.
Family Yoga Retreats Worldwide
Family yoga retreats are certain to be a growing trend across the world. They are basically yoga vacations geared towards families. Samahita Yoga Retreats in Koh Samui, Thailand, is just that kind of deal.
The Advantages of Family Yoga
There’s an old saying you might be familiar with: the family that prays together stays together. It works the same way when you flow together with yoga. Whether it’s prayer or practice, the benefits of yoga are sure to strengthen bonds and pull everyone in closer.
So what are the ways family yoga can be beneficial?
1. Helps Develops a Healthy Body Image
These days, poor examples in mainstream and social media have left youths with a completely distorted sense of body image. The studio space, in contrast, is one where people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds come together to explore the healing power of yoga. Self-acceptance is encouraged and celebrated. A good yoga teacher will continue to remind students of this.
2. Promotes More Healthy Habits
A regular yoga practice for your family is more than just one great habit. Yoga is shown to encourage the formation of more good habits, from additional exercise regimens to healthy dietary choices. It may even influence the types of relationships we choose to foster in our lives.
3. Develops Strong Bonds
Through group and partner yoga poses and sharing activities, relatives learn how to support one another, both physically and emotionally. As a result, trust is built and bonds between parents and children, or between siblings, are deepened.
4. Opens Up Communication
Yoga helps us tune into our inner space and honour our true voice. Naturally, flowing together as a family will open up a dialogue, giving everyone much to talk about. But it will also create the space to communicate authentically with one another on all other matters that arise.
5. Builds Confidence
A change many people notice after starting yoga is its confidence-building powers. That’s not surprising, considering how many asanas activate the solar plexus chakra, Manipura, which is associated with will power and confidence. Yoga builds the courage to express our unique and authentic selves to our family members. This confidence also spreads into other aspects of life, including standing up for ourselves, applying for new jobs, and making new friends.
6. Helps Manage Emotions
Imagine children learning how to sit in peace for 10 min, gaining control of their anger or anxiety by harnessing the power of beath. This would prove an invaluable skill. Recognizing this benefit, some schools have included yoga and meditation classes in their educational curriculum.
7. Connects Us With Community
What do kids look forward to more than their yoga practice with their parents and siblings? Meeting with their new yoga friends at the studio! Yoga brings with it a strong sense of community or belonging – sangha. Adults and kids alike will feel the pull to return even if only to connect with awesome friends at the studio.
8. Something Fun to Look Forward To Every Week
I remember my childhood Sundays during spring and summer as clear as yesterday. It was me, my sister and parents.
First, we’d visit Edwards Garden in Toronto, for a serene stroll among the most vibrant blossoms. Then we’d head towards our neighbourhood community center to happily splash around the indoor swimming pool. Finally, Sunday evening would conclude with dinner at St. Hubert’s restaurant. It was something to look forward to every week – and just the perfect way to kick off a new one.
Family yoga could be structured in much the same way – preceded by some other fun family event and followed by a lovely dinner at everyone’s favourite restaurant.
Family Yoga & Mindfulness Class at Modo Yoga Maple
We’re excited to announce our first-ever Family Yoga & Mindfulness Class– yasss! It will be held over the Family Day long weekend, and lead by Jess & Melissa! Click HERE to view all the details of this special class.
As you can see, there are numerous advantages to family yoga! The wonderful thing is that it offers the chance to directly immerse your family in an environment that promotes all the values you intend on teaching them. Some effort to round everyone up and get them on board with the plan might be necessary at first, but eventually, the momentum will pick up. Soon enough, everyone will be jumping at the opportunity to unite breath and body together as a team! Namaste.
Kyneret has been practicing and teaching yoga for over a decade. She began as a yoga teacher for Modo Yoga Maple in 2012, and has recently set off on a nomadic adventure to South East Asia. She remains active within our Modo community as a blog writer.
When not writing, she is fully immersed in the day-to-day adventures of travel life and actively seeks out as many foreign yoga experiences as possible to further her knowledge and skills! You can follow Kyneret’s travels on her instagram account @planes_trains_autoimmunity