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We encourage everyone in our family to keep moving even if it means just getting on the treadmill for 20 minutes. It’s so much easier to get kids moving if they’re doing something fun. I chose an up dog/down dog flow for this installment in our Yoga for Kids series because it’s an allover body exercise that feels good and is enjoyable to do. Get on the floor with your child and do this pose flow that offers many benefits:

  • encourages blood flow
  • stimulates organs
  • relieves sinus stuffiness
  • improves posture
  • stretches entire front and back of body
  • builds core and upper body strength
  • develops flexibility

Kids learn so much about us by what we take time to do. Do we show them how we appreciate and take care of our wonderful bodies? Spend just one minute a day on the floor with your child doing a yoga pose, and not only will you both will receive healthful benefits, but you’ll be setting a powerful example.

Here’s the second post in a series to help you and your child find more strength, flexibility, balance and focus. This week, we look at Slide, also known as Reverse Plank. When performed regularly, this posture offers many benefits:

    • increases strength in the back, glutes, hamstrings, calves and triceps
    • improves core strength
    • promotes discipline
    • develops balance and focus
    • opens and stretches chest and shoulders

 

If you’re looking for one simple move to increase your core strength, this is it. Boat Pose, a staple both in yoga and Pilates classes, is a great alternative to performing dozens of crunches which can be hard on the neck or planks which can stress the wrists. Do this posture with your child and try to maintain it for a minute, but listen to your back. If you feel any strain, bend your knees or lower both feet to the floor. This go-to core move has many benefits:

  • builds core strength
  • improves balance
  • develops focus
  • cultivates discipline

Finally, many people find this pose more comfortable when performed on a mat or blanket to cushion the tailbone. Give it a try!

One of the things I love about yoga is that it reminds us of when we were children and turned upside down, rolled around, balanced on our hands and twisted ourselves into strange shapes just for fun. When I teach yoga to kids, they take right to it because they intuitively understand the playful aspect of the poses.

This week starts a series of vlogs highlighting various yoga postures you can share with your children, and you’ll all benefit. To kick it off, let’s try Crow Pose. This arm balance is always a hit with the kids and offers many benefits:

  • develops the ability to focus
  • increases upper body strength
  • improves balance
  • cultivates coordination
  • builds confidence

If you’re frugal like I am, you’re always looking for ways to cut costs on household bills. We want to feed our families good, healthful meals, but organic food can be costly. Starting a garden is a great way to save money, but not everyone has the space. Fortunately, you can grow many vegetables indoors. Better yet, you can regrow them from organic veggies you already bought. Regrowing vegetables is incredibly easy and a wonderful project to undertake with your children.

In this video, I’ll show you some celery, scallions and romaine lettuce I’m regrowing. Here’s how:

  1. Slice off the vegetable base.
  2. Place the base in water in a transparent container where it will get sunlight. Don’t submerge it.
  3. Change the water at least every other day.
  4. After you see significant root growth in about 3-4 weeks, transfer to soil in a pot.

Good luck growing your indoor garden!

If your back aches after standing, you are among many who turn to pain relievers, muscles relaxers and other means to soothe tired muscles. Many back conditions require medical attention, but if your back just hurts, you can definitely ease that pain with stretches and exercise. Standing pelvic tilts not only stretch tight back muscles, they engage your core and develop abdominal strength at the same time. If you incorporate this one move into your daily home life, you will find relief from backaches. And you’ll look taller and slimmer in the process! Stand up and give this a try.

Do you find it hard to carve out time to get to the gym or take a class? You’re like many of us juggling work, home responsibilities, parenting and a myriad of other tasks. Fortunately, you do not need to leave your home to get a good workout. Body-weight only exercises are the rage. Not only are they challenging and effective, they can be done anywhere in the house. Even if you only have 5 minutes to spare while you’re cleaning, you can make it work with an intense, focused move like this Dip & Lift that targets your chest, arms, butt and hamstrings. Start off with a few, work your way up to 3 sets of 10 reps, and come summertime sleeveless weather, you’ll be glad you did.

Vacations are also notorious for packing on a few extra pounds. Head off the vacation weight gain in just minutes a day. Do these five hotel pool moves for three minutes or more to burn calories and work your total body:

  • Shoulders, biceps & triceps: while jogging in place, keep your arms straight and move them forward and backward as rapidly as possible
  • Shoulders & chest: Jog in place and cross and extend your straight arms.
  • Abs & thighs: alternate lifting one knee at a time to your chest as quickly as possible. Stay nice and tall during this movement.
  • Hips & inner thighs: stand with your feet together, jump up while extending your straight legs out, then bring your feet together before landing.
  • Back, butt & hamstrings: hold on the edge of the pool and flutter-kick straight legs behind you.Be sure to engage your abs and keep you back from arching.

You can increase the difficulty of these moves by performing them more quickly or in deeper water. This will result in even more total calories burned. Even your kids will have fun doing this workout with you.

 

 

 

 

The biggest complaint I hear from my yoga students is tight hips. Hours of driving, sitting behind a desk or lounging on the couch makes for shortened, overworked hip muscles. These muscles in turn pull on your pelvis and lower back causing aches, pains and stiffness. Fortunately, you can reverse the effects of tight hips with focused stretches. Although you can do this posture alone, when done with a partner or against  wall, Seated Pigeon pose is even more effective in loosening your hips and bringing relief to overly tight pelvic muscles:

  1. Sit on the floor, lean against your partner, and stretch your legs out in front of you.
  2. Cross one ankle above the opposite knee to make a Figure Four shape.
  3. If you can stretch further, pull the bottom leg into a bent position.
  4. Take turns gently pressing your back against your partner for a deeper stretch.
  5. Switch legs and repeat.

You will experience immediate relief in your hips after performing this pose. Get your children involved to prevent hip pain later and help them move freely.

Who doesn’t love being snowed in when you’re snuggled up on your sofa, cozy under a warm blanket with your favorite warm beverage? Eventually, someone has to go out and move that pretty but heavy white stuff. If you’re on shoveling duty next snow storm, save your back and body from strain by taking frequent breaks to stretch. Try these three moves for relief:

  • Standing Cat/Cow: Flow with your breath between arching and rounding your back to limber up all the muscles running alongside your spine.
  • Standing Forward Bend: Deeply stretch your hamstrings, back and shoulders with this soothing move.
  • Standing Twist: Unwind the muscles along your arms, shoulders, chest, waist and back while improving spinal mobility.

Take care of your body by taking just one minute to stretch during this strenuous activity. Let this be the winter you sustain no injuries while shoveling so you are free to enjoy the rest of your time.

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