TUESDAY TIPS

A family yoga sequence to enjoy from the comfort of your bed

My gorgeous friend Kiki lives in London with her husband and three children and is both a medical doctor and an experienced yoga teacher. Kiki was actually my introduction to yoga — she and I were pregnant together when she suggested I join her at a yoga class (my very first one!), and we spent the next few months practicing yoga together before our babies were born. She has since opened up her own yoga studio in Primrose Hill and now offers classes for adults and children. (Esther and I took a yoga class with her when we were in London last November and it was such a beautiful, peaceful lesson in the most idyllic space.) Kiki is in the process of writing a book of yoga for children, and has lots of wonderful ideas for simple ways to practice yoga with kids.  She mentioned to us that children can simply and easily practice yoga in bed, and we loved the idea so much we’ve asked her to share her tips with us. I love her suggestions below and can’t wait to practice them with my kids. They’ve all just gone back to school this week, and I think we could all benefit from some slow, quiet time together during this busy transition…

I took my first yoga class, aged 6, in a friend’s playroom and am passionate about introducing children to yoga. It shows them how to be healthy, happy and successful, how to respect themselves and interact positively with others and their environment. Sharing yoga with your children is a wonderful way to spend quality time together, without the distractions of mobile phones and computers. It is an opportunity to give them your full attention, to listen and be present.

Yoga can be enjoyed anywhere – on the beach, in the garden, park, forest and even in your bed! I designed this sequence for you and your children to enjoy from the comfort of your own bed. You can try it at any time of day – maybe on a lazy Sunday morning or before bed to help your children settle down and sleep well.

Practising yoga with children doesn’t always resemble the serene environment of an adult’s class! Try following the instructions I have given for each pose but don’t worry if your children are focused one minute and disinterested the next. If the whole sequence is too long then do one or two poses at a time. If your children are distracting each other, gently encourage them to close their eyes and give themselves attention rather than looking for attention from others.

Be patient and remember that a single, short lived pose experienced one day may be the seed that grows into a lifelong love of yoga. Let it be full of joy and happiness!

Yoga in Bed:

1. Mindful Listening and Breathing

Lie on your back, place your hands on your tummy and close your eyes

Listen to the sounds outside your room (for a few seconds)
Listen to the sounds inside your room (for a few seconds)
Listen to the sound of your breathing (for a few seconds)

As you breathe in feel your tummy rising up
As you breathe out feel your tummy falling down
Feel the movement of your tummy as you breathe in and out

Smile to yourself
Feel happy and grateful to be alive

Explain to your child that being mindful is noticing what your body feels like, how you are breathing, what thoughts you are having, what sounds you can hear and what is going on around you, right now. Helping your child to be mindful is a gift you are giving them for life.

2. Crescent Moon

Lie on your back, bring your arms on either side of your head
Keep your legs and pelvis still
Bend your upper body to the right
Breathe in and out 4 times
Return to the starting point
Bend your upper body to the left
Breathe in and out 4 times
Return to the starting point

As you bend to each side imagine you are the moon reflecting the light of the sun towards the Earth. From the moon you can watch the Earth spinning in space. It is your home and will be the home of your children and the children of your children. What can you, your family and your school do to protect the Earth?

In Crescent Moon and the next three poses (Zig Zag Twist, Ball and Bridge) your child will move their spine in four different ways. Explain that in Crescent Moon they are side bending their spine. Talk about how it feels to move your spine in different ways and explain that if they do these poses every day they will keep the natural flexibility and health of their spine, now and in the future.

3. Zig Zag Twist

Lie on your back and bend your knees to your chest
Stretch your arms wide to the sides with your palms facing up
Lower your knees to the right and turn your face to the left
Breathe in and out 4 times
Return to the starting point
Lower your knees to the left and turn your face to the right
Breathe in and out 4 times
Return to the starting point

Explain to your child they are twisting their spine.

4. Ball

Lie on your back and bend your knees to your chest
Place your hands on your knees
Breathe out and curl up, lift your head, shoulders, bottom and lower back
Breathe in and lower yourself down
Repeat 4 times

Explain to your child they are flexing their spine.

5. Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and hip width apart
Bring your arms by your side with your palms facing down
Breathe in and lift your bottom, lower back and hips up
Breathe out and lower yourself back down
Repeat 4 times

Explain to your child they are extending their spine.

6. Butterfly

Lie down or sit up
Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together
If you are sitting up hold onto your feet
If you are lying down place your hands on your inner thighs
Breathe in and out 4 times

Imagine you are a butterfly. Close your eyes and imagine you can fly to your favourite place. As you arrive there, notice what you can see all around you, the sounds you can hear and how you feel. You can do whatever you want here. When you are ready you can fly back home and open your eyes.

7. Mouse

Close your eyes
Breathe in and out 4 times

Imagine you are a quiet, gentle mouse. Imagine you are curled up and are feeling safe and sound. Breathe slowly and enjoy being still. Let yourself relax deeply.

If you are doing the sequence in the morning make a positive goal for your day ahead. Repeat it three times to yourself. Then sit up and open your eyes. If it is bedtime then cuddle under your blankets. Feel safe and sleep well.

I am so excited to share this Yoga in Bed sequence with you and your children. Please let me know how you get on with it by leaving your comments below.

Thank you to Vanessa Berberian for the beautiful photographs


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Comments (13)

Nicholas Elliott - kikisoso.de
February 6, 2018

Finally, yoga that I can do in bed 😉 My wife has been on my back for years now trying to get me to take up yoga but it all looked a bit, well… too much like hard work. I have said that maybe one day I would give it a go. This is certainly a start for me and I actually mean it this time, Honest.


Natalie Walton
February 6, 2018

This is so cute! Must try.


Jules
February 6, 2018

This is such a great idea. Can’t wait to give it a go with the kids!


vanessa
February 6, 2018

Oh So happy to read this! Inspired And heart warmed to see Rafi all grown up still smiling kindly in his yoga pose! I will print and try it all out with the children thank you!


Esther in Amsterdam
February 6, 2018

I love this!!! Kiki you’re the best. Will try this with my kids — sounds like the perfect thing to do for a (lazy in bed) Sunday morning! 🙂 xxxx


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Talia
February 6, 2018

My daughter and me were lucky to practice this with Kiki few months ago, and every so often we still do.
We find it a wonderful soft practice to do in the morning, before getting out of bed. Being slow and kind to ourselves, especially in the very cold week here in London.
Cant wait for Kiki’s book to come out.
Love the photography, and Courtney, your blog is great.
Big hug and lots of love. XXX


Jemma
February 7, 2018

This sounds so lovely to try with my two baby girls as they grow. One is 2 years and one 5 months- so i hope my two year old will give it a go with me. thanks xx


Gemma
February 7, 2018

This is a really great idea I’m definitely going to do this at the weekend. I love my bed. My children love to be in my bed in a completely different way it’s as if it’s an extension of the mummy nurture thing and they feel completely relaxed and themselves in it. For them my bed is THE place. My bed is a state of mind where we have long cuddles and proper talks. I love yoga too but the large space in our house ( with mats et cetera ) surely doesn’t compare to this warm and loving space – my sacred bed


Ashley
February 7, 2018

This looks wonderful, I’ve found it very hard to find good yoga resources for children. I wonder if Kiki would consider making the session into a youtube video? It’s a little bit tricky to enjoy the experience together whilst also trying to read all the instructions! Many thanks x


Noa
February 7, 2018

What a wonderful post! And much needed too, I can’t wait to try these with my daughter. You’ve made these excercises sound so easy and enjoyable. I can’t wait to read the book too!


Anna
February 11, 2018

What a beautiful post. Ive tried this with my children this morning and they loved it! I hope to make it part of our mornings as a family every weekend. Thanks Kiki and can’t wait for your book.


David
February 11, 2018

What a lovely sequence. I have just started yoga with my two children and they love these poses. Fantastic post, thank you Kiki!!


Veronica Morriss
February 28, 2018

Kiki is an inspiring and utterly delightful lady who engages with children in a magical talented way. Her extraordinary level of yoga training and teaching plus her medical background make her uniquely well qualified to engage with all ages and abilities and she makes it fun, with kind gentleness and great perception.


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