Do you ever feel like you have the world on your shoulders between being a parent, an employee, a partner, a friend, a pet-owner and then notice a shoulder muscle that won"t relax? Or a pain in your hip, foot, head, or back? Surely, we"ve all noticed the connection between busy and stressful times in our lives and the aches and pains we feel in our bodies.
We can surmise that our children experience this, too. Has your son ever complained of a tummy-ache, but was just nervous about going to school? How about the general complaint from your daughter that "I just don"t feel good," but she can"t pinpoint what hurts, or why? We don"t have to look far to see examples of the mind-body connection. So what can we do in these moments, when we"re getting the message that we"re in a place of "dis-ease"? We can move our bodies! We can breathe, stretch and shake loose our discomfort.
Introducing the "Prisma Pals," a new set of GoZen! characters that offer a series of yoga postures targeting the upper back, neck, and shoulders the places we most often carry stress. We encourage you to do these poses with your child; take this time-out together, now, to breathe and relax as the Prisma Pals guide you into ease and peace in both mind and body.
1. Easy Pose with Forward Bend
The next time your child needs to find calm, try helping them into this pose. Sit down with legs in "criss-cross applesauce," or in "pretzel-style," or simply sit cross-legged. Then, take a nice big inhale, and on the exhale bend forward. Rest your head on your forearms (like the orange otter), or even on the floor. Stay here and breathe. Take a few slow inhales and exhales, and then sit up. Straighten your legs and shake them out. Notice how you feel.
2. Standing Forward Bend
Is your child stuck in worrisome thoughts? Do you have any tension in your shoulders? This will address both by flipping you upside down and allowing your head and arms to hang heavy. Stand tall, slightly bend your knees, and clasp your hands (or wings!) behind your back. Breathe in, and as you breathe out, bend forward and bring your arms over your head. Feel the stretch between your shoulder blades and at the back of your thighs. Stay here and breathe a few calm inhales and exhales and then with hands on hips, slowly come back up and stand. Notice how you feel.
3. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
For this pose, you"ll want a yoga block or a puffy pillow. Does your child have a busy monkey brain that won"t slow down or turn off? Have you been sitting all day and want to stretch your legs? Try this! Stand with your feet wide apart, hands on your hips. Take a big breath in, and as you exhale, bend forward and bring your hands to the floor or to blocks. You can bend your knees slightly or walk your hands forward if that helps. Let your forehead rest on a pillow to help calm your mind. Stay here and breathe a few calm inhales and exhales and then with hands on hips, slowly come back up and stand.