WHAT IT IS
As much as yoga is about the Self, it is also an experience that can be differently enhanced when shared. Whether it’s for moms or parents and their little ones, couples’ yoga or yoga for kids, “Family Yoga” is an umbrella for practices that involve and integrate you and another.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Practicing yoga with the added element of “together” adds a new layer of joy and, simply, fun. Exactly what you’ll experience in a class will depend on the type of collective yoga class you choose to take. Yoga for parents and their kids (of any age!) can offer healthy bonding. Partner Yoga for friends is a unique means to tune into yourself while staying connected to and respecting another soul alongside you, and for couples can stimulate intimacy and connectedness. Acro Yoga can be made accessible for not only advanced yogis and yoginis, but students of all levels of experience, with your teacher guiding your practice with detailed instruction to ensure enjoyment and safety.
Classes can be a mix of flow, consciously timed breathwork, and varying degrees of engaging with each other’s bodies in a supportive, therapeutic or strengthening means to drive the practice.
Everything from breathing exercises to asana and other movements may be practiced similarly to your solo practice with an in-tandem element woven in, or it may look and feel different than what you’re used to. Your hands and bodies, and sometimes other props, may be used so you can both physically and emotionally support and work with each other.
Separately, Kids Yoga is specifically designed for children of all ages and can be a fun and effective way to introduce yoga into their lives at a formative time. Often a movement-centric practice, Kids Yoga can be silly, playful and educational, while making the concept of mindfulness more approachable for a younger audience.
Practicing directly with others you love and trust can facilitate a deeper connection, nurturing a heart-centered trust and playfulness. Working with your own body and someone else’s can open new avenues to improving physical strength and flexibility, while honing your ability to not only be in-tune to your own body – but someone else’s, simultaneously. This can help build compassion and empathy, greater self-awareness and respect for yourself and others.
For kids, a yoga practice can offer a healthy physical energy outlet, along with teaching incredibly useful calming techniques that are useable on and off the mat. And, of course, gratitude.
“Love is the ultimate state of human behavior where compassion prevails and kindness rules.” – Yogi Bhajan