If your child has difficulty falling asleep at night, you’ve come to the right place. Bedtime yoga is the perfect solution! Not only can bedtime yoga help your child fall asleep, but it can also help them achieve a fuller sleep, regulate their emotions, and improve their learning abilities.
Keep reading to learn more about yoga, bedtime yoga, and the various ways it can improve you and your child’s overall quality of life.
Before we delve into bedtime yoga and how it can benefit your kids, let’s first sharpen our understanding of yoga in general. Yoga is a physical and mental practice that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Yoga incorporates strength, flexibility, and breathing exercises to improve general health.
But how did we come to know this ancient tradition? I’m glad you asked! The term “yoga” was first used in the Rig Veda, a sacred compilation of Hindu texts written in Sanskrit. Yoga then spread to surrounding countries in a variety of ways thanks to globalization.
Before yoga spread across the globe, it was developed and refined into a multifaceted practice by Rishis, or sages. The Rishis meticulously documented their findings and beliefs in another ancient text known as the Upanishads.
There are six major schools of philosophy in Hinduism, and yoga is one of them! Yoga has been around for ages, and it’s safe to say that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Yoga is a spiritual, sacred, and healthful practice with loads of benefits. But wait, what the heck is bedtime yoga, and why should you introduce it to your kids?
If you haven’t already guessed, bedtime yoga is yoga before bed, a calming and healthful practice that can be implemented into any bedtime routine. Bedtime yoga is a great way to expel any mental or physical blocks picked up throughout the day.
Bedtime yoga makes hitting the hay all the more peaceful, restful, and easy! If you have kids who have trouble sleeping or notice that they don’t wake up feeling well-rested, bedtime yoga is a great way for kids and tweens to get a fuller, deeper, and more-satisfying night’s sleep.
The best part about introducing bedtime yoga to your kids is that you can do it, too! Bedtime yoga is a great way to create wholesome memories with your kids and teach them healthy practices. Not only can you both benefit from bedtime yoga, but you can cultivate a happy, peaceful, loving home for you and your child.
Who knew that simple stretches and breathing exercises before bed could spark such an improvement in our daily lives? Well, the ancient sages did! Let’s take a look at the impact bedtime yoga can have on your kids to gain a deeper understanding of its significance.
Typically, kids between the ages of 5 and 12 are receptive and ready to learn healthful habits. It’s of the utmost importance to introduce healthy lifestyle patterns to your kids in their formative years so that they can transition into adulthood with the skills to succeed under their belts.
That’s where bedtime yoga comes in. It’s as simple as taking thirty minutes a night to be present with your child and teach them to practice mindfulness, stretch, and breathe properly. If you implement healthy patterns into your child’s life from a young age, they will be better equipped to regulate themselves in the future.
Regulation is a crucial skill to learn in order to be better able to cultivate your own environment and happiness; the earlier the better! In addition, if you’re child is happy, you can be, too. Here’s what bedtime yoga can do for you and your kids:
It’s all too easy to overlook the ebbs and flows of a child’s mood. It’s important to remember that kids have anxieties, too! They might worry about school, home, and the future. Bedtime yoga is a great way to reflect with your child and encourage them to reflect within themselves, both physically and mentally.
Keep reading to learn about the best bedtime yoga poses you can do with your child or teenager to promote a healthy lifestyle and active engagement early on!
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
Now that you know the long list of health benefits of bedtime yoga, it's time to practice! Here's a list of some simple and effective poses that you can practice with your kid or tween at home!
This pose is a great way to improve your child’s posture and teach them valuable breathing exercises. To practice this pose, have your child sit up straight, preferably on a mat or towel. Encourage your child to breathe deeply through their nose and focus on each inhale and exhale. After a few breaths, have your child bring their palms together in a prayer position and encourage your child to think about something they are grateful for.
Have your child come to their hands and knees (on your mat if you have one). Show them how to spread their knees to the width of the mat while keeping their hands and big toes touching the floor. Have them rest their belly between their thighs and bring their forehead to the floor. Encourage your child to relax their shoulders and jaw and focus on their breath.
To practice this pose, bring your child on their hands and knees, and have them alternate between cat and cow position. Teach them to sync their movements with their breath, alternating between cat and cow with each inhale and exhale. This is a great way to release tension in the neck and back, reducing built-up stress and anxiety.
To access this pose, start in child’s pose (refer to child’s pose). Have your child reach back to their heels and hold on to them, bringing their foreheads towards their knees. Hold here for a few breaths, inhaling and exhaling deeply. This pose helps relieve symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
To practice this pose, have your child sit up straight on the floor with their legs extended. Cross the right leg, keeping it bent, over the left leg, and extend the left arm on, resting it on the outside of the right knee. Use the leverage created by the bent knee and the left arm to twist and stretch your back, lifting the chest up to the sky. Have your child focus on their breath for a few breaths before switching sides. Hold for as many breaths as you’d like.
To practice this pose, have your child sit up straight on the floor and bring their feet together. Have them focus on their breath. To get the best stretch, have your child push their elbows down gently on their thighs to stretch the groin. This pose is great for opening the hips after a long day sitting at a desk at school!
Have your child lie down on their back with their arms resting at their sides and their legs a few inches apart. Have them glide their hands, palm-down, beneath their thighs and use their elbows to gently push off the floor, arching their back and rolling onto their head. Don’t use your head to balance, but use the elbows, legs, and arms to stretch the chest up to the sky. Have them focus on their breathing and stay for a few breaths.
Have your child lie on their back and bend both knees, placing feet flat on the floor. Have them rest their arms at their sides, reaching their fingertips towards their heels. Have them press their feet into the floor, inhale, and reach their chest up to the sky, pressing down on the arms and shoulders. Focus on the breath and stay for a few breaths before gently bringing the spine back down to the floor.
Savasana is a great finishing pose for your child. Have your child lie on their back with their legs and arms resting about forty-five degrees from the body. Have your child close their eyes, focus on their breath, bring awareness to their body, and think about how they feel after their practice.
If your child is injured or disabled, click here to learn about poses that anyone can do!
Remember that you’re teaching your child something new. It’s crucial to create a calm, nurturing, and happy environment when practicing bedtime yoga with your child so that they can get the most out of it. Don’t forget to have fun!
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
Now that you’re a bedtime yoga expert, you can add the various poses you learned into your and your child's nighttime routines! As we discussed above, bedtime yoga can improve the quality of your sleep, as well as enhance your child's cognitive functioning and mood throughout the following day.
Yoga can help improve sleep quality because your body relaxes as you focus on your breath during each pose. In addition, stretching out your limbs helps your muscles, tendons, and ligaments relax.
If your child has trouble sleeping, bedtime yoga is the perfect solution, so your child can develop skills to check in with their mental and physical self each night.
Moreover, the mindfulness component of yoga helps increase melatonin levels. With bedtime yoga, your child can be the most regulated kid on the block!
Lastly, weight loss can have a positive effect on sleep cycles and can reduce symptoms in certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. If you incorporate this routine into your child's life early on, they will be well-equipped to handle anything life may throw at them.
If you're looking for ways to improve your own quality of life and achieve deeper REM sleep, NightCap is just what you need. A deeper night's sleep means you can be more productive throughout the day, meaning it'll be all the easier to practice bedtime yoga with your child each night!
NightCap is the perfect way for you to end the night after a bedtime yoga session with your child. NightCap is a refreshing evening cocktail made from natural and healthful ingredients.
A nice glass of NightCap following a bedtime yoga session sounds like the perfect end to an evening to me! If you want to be at the top of your game to set a good example for your kid or tween, NightCap is perfect for you.
Now that you’re a yoga expert, you’re ready to reap all the benefits of setting aside time to take care of yourself and your child! Don’t forget to visualize yourself connecting with the energy flowing from the earth and up through you, and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with!
If you’re looking to reduce stress in your home, improve your child's sleep quality, and improve their cognitive functioning (as well as your own), don’t forget to check out NightCap, the perfect refresher after effective 10-minute yoga practice! Together, NightCap and yoga are a stellar combination with health benefits you don’t want to miss out on.
Being productive doesn't have to mean sacrificing time with your family. By practicing yoga with your kids, you can transform your life. Remember, consistency is key!