We’ve all had those days where by 3pm we’re counting the hours until back up arrives. Where we’ve had to take ourselves off for a little time out where the kids can’t find us for 5 whole minutes because we’re about to LOSE IT if we have to referee yet another fight or wrestle a manic overtired child to sleep. We’ve also all had those days where we collapse onto the couch once the kids are finally asleep and in the ‘loving haze’ that is sleeping children we feel guilt creeping in for the numerous times we lost our patience today.We all lose our cool at times when dealing with young kids. They have an innate ability to push all of our buttons, all at the same time. It is unrealistic to expect yourself to stay calm 100% of the time.However if you are feeling like the anger is getting the better of you and you need some strategies to help – yoga could be the answer!How can twisting yourself up like a pretzel make you a calmer parent (or Nanny)?
I’m so glad you asked!There is a huge misconception out there that yoga is just about becoming more flexible or being able to do cool party tricks like standing on your head. But this is just not the case.Yoga is simply about learning to be mindful; of our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. We do twist and move into (what may seem) strange positions but this is really just a tool to learn about yourself and how you think.What parenting tools does yoga teach you?Learn to observe your thoughtsYoga teaches us to observe our thoughts as we go about our day. This helps because we can start to notice when we’re getting trapped in the negative cycle of ‘oh god this is too much… why am I the only one who does anything around here… they don’t appreciate me… why won’t they stop whinging…”If you are aware of these thoughts you can start to change them and make sure you take the breaks you need when it is becoming all too much… before you snap!Control your emotions with breathYoga teaches us how to use the breath whenever things get hard. Instead of resorting to the short, shallow breathing that we naturally do when we’re stressed we can stop and take a deep breath and instantly calm ourselves down when life gets tense. This is also a great tool to pass onto kids who often find dealing with strong emotions difficult to manage.Relieve tension and stressInevitably life gets stressful at times and this tension builds up in our bodies. If we don’t relieve it in some way it ends up finding it’s own way out; either as an emotion (anger, sadness, depression) or as a physical sickness. Regularly getting on your yoga mat will help to relieve this stress in a healthy way through twisting, stretching and building heat which all work to relieve physical and emotional tension.So if you’re struggling to stay calm when parenting small children try to incorporate a short yoga practice into your day. I guarantee it will help.
Try this short practice
below to help you to start tapping into these tools of yoga for calmer parenting.Wonderful guest blog written by parent and yoga enthusiast Bettina Rae, for more interesting blogs please visit Betina’s site