Calming the Kids

Axis Yoga Teacher Training students are able to choose any topic for their final experiment. Through insightful observation, this student chose to focus on using Yoga to help calm the children at bedtime. The results were rewarding for the whole household. This account stands to be useful for any parent!

Calming the Kids: Choosing the Experiment

So my finial experiment came to me through several different influences.  First was my boyfriends : daughter, a very spirited and rambunctious 6 year old who really didn’t like going to bed.  Second was my children who started having aliments (my son was having migraines, and my daughter had gone through a bought of being sick and missing school).  Third was my job.  I am a massage therapist and recently I have had a flood of teenage athletes coming in with some pretty severe body conditions that are going to give them major issues as they get older if not addressed.  Fourth was my own recent injury, that I am being told stemmed from my hyper flexibility and my constant participation in sports year round from a very young age.  So we see a theme emerging.  I need to focus on yoga for children.  If I had known what I do now through my massage, yoga, and Ayurveda training, or even just had someone who could guide me in these directions when I was a child, I wouldn’t have the issues in my body and mind that I now do.

Calming the Kids: The Experiment

So I initially set out to do an asana practice with my children daily to try and work on their issues.  Well four children, school, homework, very different dosha’s, holiday, etc.  The daily asana sounded good, but wasn’t very practical right now.  So back to drawing board, which brought me back to bedtime.  It had become a very large ordeal at night, three of the kids went to bed fine but our spirited 6 year old not so much.  It reached a point to where it was keeping not only us up but the other children too.  I decided to use the Mahamrtanjaya Mantra with each child every night.  This mantra was simple, melodic, calming and healing.  Perfect! It fit what each child needed.  So my boyfriend and I set out to spend 5 to 10 min every night one on one with the kids individually. We started with our little one.  We had her lay down in a restorative yoga pose on her back with a blanket under her to help open up her chest.  Then we had to teach her how to breath slow and calmly.  That alone helped to slow down her energy.  Then we started the mantra on the Ipad ( i found a nice 5 min session of it on youtube ).  I held her feet and my boyfriend took her head and we just focused all of our energy and attention on her.  She lasted for about 3 min perfectly still, which for her was a tremendous feet! Then she just softly asked when she was done.  We told her in 2 min, and she quieted back down.  Her total energy was calm for the rest of the night.  We then proceeded to do this with each of the other children, giving them our full undivided attention for that 10 min.  The oldest finally started to take a full breath,  the 2 middle children fell asleep fully relaxed, and it helped to calm us down as well.  The little one still was awake when we finished with the other children but she was calm.

Calming the Kids: The Results

Over all it has been a great success.  The kids now remind us if we got busy and forgot, and love the individual time with us.  It has totally changed our night time routine and has helped everyone’s attitude during the day as well.  My son has also started to see images in light while we are with him doing the mantra.  He is drawing them for me. His migraines have subsided when we are consistent with this routine.  My daughter is not sick anymore, and growing pains have started to subside.  And in my opinion, most importantly, it has brought a calmness and peace to our home, and a bonding experience one on one with each child.

I look forward to continuing this with my children and sharing my experience with other parents.  Once I have healed from my injury I will continue to expand in this practice and hope to work with children and their families.