My girls are no strangers to yoga. On the occasion I pop in my favorite Rodney Yee video, they join me in the various poses (until they gravitate toward the dress up clothes or feel compelled to set up the Little People). We also have a favorite book by Baron Baptiste called, "My Daddy is a Pretzel," that we use to multitask bedtime reading with a little fun. Ask them to do downward dog or cobra pose and they get right to it.
So, when I learned about the family yoga class at my gym, I was eager to go. The girls were sooooo excited to bypass the childcare center to do their own exercise. We got our mats out and they immediately began doing summersaults. Isn't that we all do when we enter a yoga class?
What's nice about having three kids is that I can usually count on one not to complain about mom's idea of fun. At least one is always game, whether it be helping me fold underwear, picking up toys or going to the grocery store. This also applies to meals. At least one will like what I cook. It helps on those days when I feel completely incompetent; when two kids are gagging and moaning over dinner, to have one child say, "Oh mommy this is good!" I believe this is the law of averages at work.
And so it was with yoga. I expected all three to be fully engaged. But no. After the brief "quiet" period of laying still and deep breathing (the teacher did warn us that this is the hardest part for kids), K, who isn't even still when she sleeps, announced she didn't like yoga. Didn't want to do it. Wanted to go home.
I explained that we weren't going home until after class, so she could either sit quietly or join us, which I told her would be the more fun option. She sat fidgeting on the mat for the rest of the class.
When 3-year-old JC found the locker key she lost all interest in poses and became transfixed with the key. Running circles around me, jingling the metal, inserting key between my butt cheeks during downward dog.
Blessedly, M stayed focused and engaged, taking on every pose and even impressing me with her first back bend. The class was challenging for her, but she clearly enjoyed it--a big grin on her face the whole time.
As for me, no, I didn't get in a typical yoga workout. But that wasn't the point. I believe instilling good health values in my children is a three-part process: walking the walk (making sure I get my own workouts in); helping my children find activity they enjoy; and exploring fitness together as a family. Fitnesswise, though, it wasn't a waste. I got some good stretching time in, which I likely wouldn't have done on my own.
JC and K said they would happily return to the childcare center next week, but M definitely wants to attend yoga class again. Either scenario suits me: If they don't want to do the exercise with me, at least they're still willing to go to the gym. It was exciting to see M genuinely show interest in something I love so much. I hope we take yoga together for many years to come.
Copyright © 2008 - 2014 Kara Douglass Thom. All rights are reserved.