Sleep deprivation and stress can be a vicious cycle for both adults and children. We don’t get enough good sleep…contributing to heightened stress the next day…contributing to poor sleep the next night…on and on and on and…
That’s where yoga comes in! Yoga helps lower stress levels, calm the mind, and relieve tension in the body. It is an effective and natural sleep remedy.
Because the statistics I have seen from The National Sleep Foundation report that nearly 70% of children, ages 10 and under, are not getting enough sleep I wanted to share with you a sequence of ten poses to help your child fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. As a mom of two children in that 10 and under category I have experienced first hand how sleep deprivation leads to problems at home and at school. Thankfully, this is the exception in our home!
The poses in this sequence are arranged from most active to most soothing and most of them can be done in bed! As you guide your child through the following series hold, enjoy taking long, slow, deep breaths together as you hold each pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
1: Greet the moon: (Similar to a Stationary Sun Salutation, but the child ‘greets the moon’ and ‘reaches for his/her wishing star’). Begin standing tall. Inhale - raise arms up and overhead, waving at the moon. Exhale - fold forward letting the head hang heavy. Inhale - rise all the way back up, reaching for a wishing star. Exhale - bring hands together and down to heart center, drawing wishing star into the heart. Repeat three times.
2: Standing Forward Fold: Begin standing tall with hands on hips and feet parallel and hip distance apart. Inhale - Lengthen up toward the sky slightly more. Exhale - fold forward and grasp big toes with “peace fingers”. Inhale - Look up half way and lengthen the spine. Exhale - fold forward letting the head hang heavy. Stay in Forward Fold for five long, slow, deep breaths.
3: Seated Criss-Cross Forward Fold: Sitting “criss-cross” on the bed walk hands straight out in front, folding forward, bringing the torso to meet the legs, and letting the forehead rest on the bed. Alternatively stack the arms out beyond the legs and bring the forehead down to rest on the arms. Hold for at least five full breaths.