As a dedicated mother of two developing little people, I feel it is my duty as well as genuine desire, to support my children in developing a powerful emotional and mental arsenal to cope with any challenges they may encounter in life. To me, Mini Me Yoga definitely is one of the most essential tools on this quest. Although we’re still relatively new to Mini Me Yoga, I intend to continue integrating it into our regular activities because of the numerous benefits, many of which are obvious from the very start. For example, sometimes I suggest that we do some yoga when I sense an impending tantrum. As I witnessed in my son’s preschool, yoga does have a calming effect on 3 year olds and quite often we do manage to avoid explosive situations, or at least reduce their intensity with dragon breaths or a simple yoga flow.
Moreover, since they introduced Mini Me Yoga at my son’s nursery, he has become much more comfortable talking about his emotions. If I ask him how he is feeling after a yoga practice, his response is usually “nice, relaxed” or something along those lines. And the sense of importance and accomplishment in my son’s eyes when he teaches his dad or myself (i.e. adult people that are usually the ones who do the “teaching”) a new yoga pose, is absolutely priceless. What a great tool for developing our children’s self-esteem! Furthermore, we’ve found Mini Me Yoga to be excellent for bonding. In addition to strengthening the parent-child connection, it is a fantastic sibling bonding methodology. Although my little ones often fight over toys, food and all sorts of random things, when we do yoga together (as together as you can expect with a busy 1 year old), they seem to be on the same team, with my 3 year old son trying to help my 1 year old daughter master their favourite poses together.
So how did we get started? The Mini Me Yoga pose cards are a great starting point. They’re lovely, colourful, playful and contain visual depictions of each pose. My 3 year old likes to shuffle them and then pick a sequence of cards that we then perform as a yoga routine. At other times we follow short videos created by Mini Me Yoga in collaboration with my son’s nursery staff. These are also brilliant and include some story flows, which are great for developing children’s imagination. For example, when we read a story about animals, we perform yoga poses that are associated with those animals whilst reading the story. For longer stories, I find that doing a brief story-related yoga routine at the end works best for my highly distractible 3 year old boy. My little man has even started creating his own yoga poses to represent his favourite characters!
One of the greatest things about Mini Me Yoga is that although it offers a whole range of fun ways to spend quality family time, Mini Me Yoga games can also guarantee lots of fun at play dates and parties! My favourite play date game is Yoga freeze, which I first came across in my son’s nursery. We start by one child randomly selecting a yoga pose card. Then we play some super catchy dance music (think Psy’s “Gangnam Style”) and when the music stops playing, we all freeze into the yoga pose on the card. It’s great fun and a really good way of gradually transitioning from sugar fuelled madness that often unravels during parties towards some slightly more peaceful activities like nursery rhyme time. I’m sure as we practise Mini Me Yoga at home for longer, we’ll come up with yet more fun games that will continue to support my children’s physical and emotional development and encourage bonding between my children and between them and us, their parents.
Overall, I strongly believe that Mini Me Yoga represents a very simple, natural and fun yet powerful set of tools that support me on my quest to help my children develop solid foundations for a healthy body and soul. Given the benefits that both my husband and I have experienced in adulthood, I strongly believe that introducing yoga and meditation this early in life can only be beneficial. My personal hope is that through Mini Me Yoga techniques, we can support our children in developing coping mechanisms that better prepare them for emotional challenges that may come their way in the course of their lives.
So if you practice regularly, can you look forward to a new era of continuous harmony and calm in your family? Probably not but you might find that the tools you discover as part of Mini Me Yoga can sometimes help you pre-empt and hence reduce the occurrence of family- wide meltdowns. Will your children’s tantrums disappear with Mini Me forever and ever? Unlikely. However, with plenty of breathing and relaxation techniques (for your children AND yourself!), you may find that the tantrums become less intense. If there’s no magic formula for peace and harmony in your family and self-control in your children’s often turbulent minds, I strongly believe that Mini Me Yoga gets pretty close.
Michaela is a digital analyst by profession and a dedicated mom of two. She enjoys playing games, doing arts and crafts, and practising Mini Me Yoga with her 3 year old son Zak, and 1 year old daughter Isla (pictured above).