In recent times, as yoga has become known as a mainstream wellbeing activity in Europe and America, we are becoming more and more aware of the positive effects the practices can have on our overall health, and yoga is not just for adults!
Yoga and meditation techniques can be incredibly helpful in creating a calm and relaxing structure to your bedtime routine and research shows that incorporating the components of a yogic practice can help to increase serotonin levels. This hormone is helpful in ensuring everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
All the tips below invite you to join with your child in sharing the benefits. You can click the links on the yoga poses suggested if they are not familiar to you and you can use these suggestions together in a sequence or individually, however they work best for you and your family…
- Show your child how to get into child’s pose and gently rub their back in long strokes from their neck to the base of the spine
- You can play around with happy baby pose together, it can feel a bit silly but it’s lots of fun, very relaxing and can release tension and built up emotional energy in the hips
- Show your child how to curl up into a ball on their back tucking their knees into their chest and gently rock forwards and backwards and side to side gently massaging all the parts of the back on the floor
- Develop a gratitude practice together – as you’re getting ready for bed, in the bath or when getting pajamas on talk about all the things you can be thankful for. These can be small things or big things. Things that are good in your lives or that you feel lucky to have. Some examples include the stars in the sky, your cosy quilt etc.
- To wind down and relax it can be helpful to talk through your together day using the language ‘first’, ‘next’ and ‘then’. Some children also really benefit from talking about what will happen tomorrow
- Next you can each share three good things that happened today
- You can then invite your child to get very comfortable in bed and imagine that with each breath out they are letting go of all the events of the day and settling into sleep
- Some children (and adults) find that lying in bed with an eye pillow can really help them to relax before falling asleep. Lavender oil or mist can also be really useful for relaxing at bedtime, I sprinkle some on my pillow every night!
- Once your child is lying down and relaxed you can ask them to check in with each part of their body from the crown of their head to the tips of their toes and see if its relaxed. With each out breath they can invite their body to settle and relax into their bed
- 10.If your child is struggling to sleep or feeling anxious in bed, supporting them to inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth as if blowing through a straw, while gently tapping on the chest just below the collar bone with either one or two hands and really help to relieve anxiety
I hope you find these tips useful, sleep well!