Written by Shashwathi Sandeep and published on 25 June 2021.
All of us want to want to build a healthy and happy family. Family yoga is the perfect way to do that. Try out these seven simple yogasanas with your family and find all stress just melting away
The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships - TKV Desikachar, yoga teacher
Yoga, which originated in India, is spreading around the world. More and more people are beginning to realize the benefits of practicing yoga. One of them is Ryan Giggs, the famous British football player. In an interview with Mark Bailey, published in the Financial Times (12 May 2017), Giggs says: "I started yoga after missing a big Champions League game against Bayern Munich [in 2001] through injury. I changed my car; I changed my bed for better posture. And I started yoga. It helped me get another 10 years out of my career. Yoga was first about injury prevention, but later, for me, it became about recovery."
Yoga benefits families not only in terms of health but also in many other ways. "It strengthens the bond between family members and helps you deal with fears and anxieties together. It helps you encourage, motivate and inspire each other. Apart from that, it gives you the opportunity to learn about each other's strengths and limitations, build confidence and trust," says Sarvesh Shashi, the founder of SARVA - Yoga, Mindfulness & Beyond, a yoga studio chain with branches across India.
But can yoga specifically help children? Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Resorts, emphatically believes it does. "The combination of yoga and music can be fun for children as they continue to enjoy their present moment in abundance. Together the family lives a playful and light-hearted life, which is especially good for children. It boosts their physical and mental stamina while enhancing the overall well-being of the family. Practicing yoga from early childhood helps children become self-confident and they learn how to set goals. Nowadays, various yoga techniques are also being used to prevent and treat different diseases that affect children in the growing up years," he points out
So, here are a few asanas that you can practice with your family to reap the benefits of good health and have fun together!
Before you begin, there are a few precautions you need to take. According to Sarvesh: "First of all, make sure you are on an empty stomach. Also, do not rush from one posture to another; give yourself some time in every posture - a minimum of 30 seconds to a maximum of 5 minutes at the beginner and intermediate level. It is also good to have an expert guide you for a safe and fulfilling session."
Still not convinced? Perhaps reading Dr Manoj's views will help you make up your mind. "Yoga is a creative form of expression. It provides children with long-term benefits, instills qualities like compassion and calms their minds. It definitely enhances their social, emotional and physical well-being, and must be a part of their routine from a young age. Even toddlers can be trained to do yoga to improve their attention span! All this can be achieved in a fun and meaningful way if you practice together," he says. Sarvesh adds: "As parents, we instinctively know when our children are feeling stressed or unable to pay attention. Find a way to introduce pranayama. Once they experience how yoga can transform as well as challenge, they will gradually begin to practice it on their own."
According to Dr Manoj, children aged 6 years and above can practice these seven yogasanas.