My three year old is a wild child. She is never still or calm. Even in her sleep she talks and giggles and wiggles. She is a constant force of energy and chaos.
Several weeks ago, I can’t remember now if it was her idea or mine, I found myself helping her search Youtube for yoga videos for toddlers. She attempted some of the poses, really enjoyed the songs from one of the videos we watched, and liked having me be a tunnel while we were both supposed to be doing downward dog. Then began the constant request for me to play yoga with her.
After placing her an order with the library for a dozen books and half a dozen dvds about yoga I had visions of the two of us doing complicated poses and sitting in silence for full minutes at a time. That is definitely not what happened.
A typical yoga session:
Toddler: Play yoga with me mommy.
Me: Okay darlin, just let me finish up this task.
Toddler chooses a video from Youtube and begins to watch. I join her a minute or so later.
Me: Okay. Time to sit down in the butterfly. Do you see the girl on the tv? You have to do what she is doing. Are you listening to her? Do what she is doing. Come on girlie you can do it. Sit like a butterfly. Okay, we’re supposed to be a cow now. Can you get on your hands and knees? etc.
I would manage a few stretches with her crawling all over me and she never once listened.
Me: Okay darlin. Mommy is going to go back to work now.
Toddler: But mommy, I want to play yoga with you.
It was making me more frustrated instead of more calm. She just doesn’t cooperate. She’s three. What did I expect?
Honestly, I expected her to listen and follow directions, and maybe even be still for a few seconds at a time. It’s easy to laugh at my thoughts of grandeur now.
We are still reading the books here and there. Her favorite is called I am Yoga by Susan Verde. It’s not really a story, just statements about how she is calm. But the pictures are really nice.
Another of her favorites is The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power. That one is fun, but it way too long for a bedtime story (she always chooses three) so we don’t read this one unless we have a sizable set of minutes to sit down with her and read the whole thing.
And we’re still working on practicing yoga. A few times a week she’ll pull up a yoga video on youtube and ask me to play yoga with her. I usually can’t say no, unless she chooses a complicated video. Mommy isn’t quite that flexible girlie.
We’ll keep trying and maybe one day she’ll take me by surprise and be still for five continuous seconds, but I won’t hold my breath.
*My 3.5 year old doesn’t say namaste she says ‘momma stay’ and it makes me laugh every time.
Here are most of the books and dvds we used:
Yoga for You by Rebecca Rissman
A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu
Strike a Pose by Karen Birkemoe
You can do Yoga by Alix Wood
Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo
I am Yoga by Susan Verde
The Happiest Tree : A Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami
Yawning Yoga Laurie Jordan
Yoga for Kids: Simple Animal Poses for any Age by Lorena V. Pajalunga
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power
Family yoga connect, play & laugh
Good morning yoga: a pose-by-pose wake up story
Kids world yoga