Do you ever have one of those days that won’t seem to end? You know, when the kids usually go to bed at 8:00pm but it is 8:30pm and they are as hyped up as they were at noon. Those days that you were at the ball field later than expected or that grocery trip took thirty minutes longer because someone managed to drag you to the toy section. It happens on a weekly basis, right? Well at least it does for me and sometimes getting three kids six and under to calm down enough to go to sleep is quite the daunting task.
These are the days I have to pull from my mom arsenal and execute flawlessly. My go to plan is night time yoga. Sounds crazy, right? But it works ALMOST every time. It starts out as a way to focus their energy almost like a game of Simon says. I start with more difficult moves to work those active little muscles then very discreetly transition to more calming moves. Next thing you know all three kids are laying in the floor completely still, quiet and with eyes closed.
Before you start this routine you must first do two things.
- Have kids completely ready for bed. Bath, pajamas, brush teeth, story time and potty. This is the ending to your night time routine. Let the kids know this in advance so they will be prepared when you usher them into bed.
- Create the mood for relaxation. Dim the lights, put on very soft zen like music, and designate a spot for each child so they are not bumping into one another. Trust me, this is important. The first few times I did not give them enough space and it ended in more of a wrestling match creating the exact opposite outcome I was going for.
Once you have completed step 1 and 2 you are now ready to start the yoga routine. It is very simple but I wouldn’t use this time to focus on technique. This is not really about perfecting a yoga pose but rather to calm their minds and bodies. If you are unfamiliar with these moves you can search them on Pinterest to find pictures or even videos on technique. I prefer to do this routine along with them and with a very calm and soft voice direct them through the moves.
- Warrior I Pose – Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute
- Warrior II Pose – Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute
- Downward Dog- Hold for 30 seconds
- Plank – Attempt to hold for 30 seconds
- Easy Pose – My kids like to call this sitting criss cross applesauce. During this pose I like to ask them what they liked most about their day, what they are thankful for or what they are looking forward to tomorrow.
- Legs up the wall pose – Hold for 1 minute
- Corpse Pose – Hold for 5 minutes. While they are in this pose I take the first minute to direct them to calm each part of their body. For example, I tell them to relax their toes, feet, legs, belly, arms, hands, fingers, etc..you get the point.
After they have finished the routine I walk them straight to bed, tuck them in, and kiss them goodnight. I do not give them an opportunity to become distracted and involved with something after this. Now with that said it took several times doing this routine before it worked well. The first time we did this, my two year old from a downward dog pose announced, “this is silly mommy” which caused all of us to erupt into laughter and the gig was up. However, after 3 or 4 times they really took to it. Like I said before, it doesn’t always work but most of the time it does and it is a great way to end the day. Not just for them but for momma too.
So try this out the next time you need a little help getting your kids ready for bed and let me know how it works for you. Below you will see buttons for the Messes & Memories twitter, facebook, and instagram pages. Use these to post a picture of your kids doing this routine. Good luck mommas!