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Ready for Bed?

by Elise Bowerman

Regardless of whether we're in the midst of a school year, or the middle of summer, it's important to wind your kids down at night.

A productive and happy day often starts with a good night of sleep.

Create a bedtime routine. In the yoga practice, a morning and/or evening ritual sets the tone for whatever is to come: for the day, or for sleep. 

No screen time at least one hour before bed.

Dim the lights in your home.

Put on pajamas.

Brush teeth.

Incorporate some soothing yoga practices:

  • Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama), which relieves anxiety and tension, and may help alleviate mild headaches. A round of four to six breaths will provide the benefits.
  • Legs Up the Wall pose (Viparita Karani), which relieves anxiety, calming the mind; it also helps with tired feet and legs. You may hold this pose from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on your child’s attention span and age. Caution: Avoid this pose if you have serious eye problems, such as glaucoma, or any neck or shoulder issues.

Read for about 20 to 30 minutes, out loud with young children; those older can read to themselves.. but they still enjoy hearing you read!

Give plenty of hugs and kisses.

Lay down in bed, on the back to rest.

If your child(ren) still seem(s) wide-eyed …

Ask them what they’re thankful for, but they only get one choice each night. (Sometimes they can ramble on and on!)  Cultivating gratitude has numerous benefits, including the ability to improve our happiness, physical health, emotional health, relationships, and even career. For kids, it can improve their school work and school activities.

Ask your child if there’s perhaps one more thing (s)he’d like to talk about. But stick to the one topic, and remind your son or daughter that (s)he can share other ideas or experiences in the morning.

Explore Box (Square) Breathing by doing the following:

Have your child place hands on belly. (S)he should close eyes, and keep them closed the whole time, and breathe in and out through the nose the whole time.

Parent -- Count out loud to four, child breathes in, belly rises.        
Parent -- Count out loud to four, child holds breath, belly remains still.
Parent -- Count out loud to four, child breathes out, belly lowers.
Parent -- Count out loud to four, child holds breath, belly remains still.

***Repeat sequence two to four times, then return to natural breath.

Now it’s time to say good night. Allow this nighttime ritual to soak in. After doing the routine, notice if your child is going to sleep faster, staying asleep, and/or waking in a better mood.

*For a better idea on some of the yoga poses and breath work, try typing the names into YouTube, for visual examples.

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Originally posted on 22 July 2016 on Click On Detroit titled Ready for Bed? Unwind your kids with these tips, tricks. Because a productive day starts with a solid night of sleep.

I’ve participated in Sweet Momma Yoga during both of my pregnancies and have benefited each time. Even on days when I feel tired and just wanted to put my feet up, I always felt better after class knowing that I am taking the best care of myself and my baby. Elise does an amazing job of making all of the moms feel welcome and comfortable no matter what previous yoga experience they’ve had. I got more out of Sweet Momma Yoga than I ever expected, benefiting both my pregnancy and birthing experiences. I would recommend them to any expecting momma! - Deidre L.
Sweet Momma Yoga got me out of my new-mom shell with Mama + Baby yoga! It combined a part of myself that I already loved and was comfortable with, with a completely new territory of being a mom on maternity leave during a Michigan winter. The bonding experience with my son is one I will never forget, and I was also able to take care of myself and my needs, which was the first opportunity I had to learn about balance in my new role as momma! I am so grateful for Elise’s compassion and casual nature. She put me at ease during a time in my life when I needed it most! - Kelli S.