I recently read an article on Mind, Body, Green written by the author of Good Night Yoga, Miriam Gates where she explained how useful yoga can be to help your child self soothe if they are heading towards a meltdown with their reaction moving from mental to physical upset. We have all seen this happen, and most of us stand by in wonder thinking “where the hell did that come from” but stopping it is often easier said than done. In fact, in the years that I have been a parent I have yet to find an wholly effective method to put the brakes on the meltdown train as it heads towards me at full speed. Some children can be coaxed our of a rage, but not my son. He loses all conscious thought when he is in full flow. His class teacher refers to it as red mist, and when the mist comes down it envelopes him and no sunshine can get through. We just ride the clouds until he is calm once more and the mist lifts. Its challenging to say the least but I am trying to create a calm home environment through learning and practicing mindful living, yoga and meditation (as well as taking some professional advice for a deeper understanding of why these behaviours occur).
In a bid to share my own passion for yoga with my son, give him to opportunity to unwind, reset and create some pre bedtime calm I recently purchased a copy of Good Night Yoga.
The first night I tried to engage him in the sequence I could see that he was skeptical. He was falling all over, and rolling around rather than embracing the poses for their relaxing qualities. The next night was similar. But the night after, as I read the book out loud he took himself off in to Bee Pose, buzzing all the way down, then steady as a rooted tree in Tree Pose. Pose by pose went by until finally he was on the floor in his favourite resting position, child’s pose. He was visibly calmer, and although bedtime happened with the usual delay tactics, looking under the bed for monsters, drinks of water and the desperate need to arrange his colouring pencils and books it was much less of a stressful situation than it may normally have been. Within a few moments of being tucked up he was peacefully sleeping, where as over the last few weeks we have been doing a merry dance of up and down the stairs, calling and shouting.
It may be a fluke but for tonight thank you yoga, and good night.
“As I breathe in, I bend my knees and scoop the clouds around me. As I breathe out I stand tall and release the clouds over my head.”
– Good Night Yoga, a pose-by-pose bedtime story by Miriam Gates with illustrations by Sarah Jane Hinder.