Feeling the challenge of maintaining a practice with small kids at home for the summer?
You're not alone.
With little ones around, sometimes it's hard to manage five breaths in stillness, let alone 50 luxurious minutes for a full practice.
Lean into these practical tips from studio BE faculty member (and mama of two) Jyothi Behne for help incorporating your practice into the summer-break whirlwind.
1. A little goes a long way!
Instead of feeling like you need to fit your movement, meditation, relaxation, and breath practices all together, break them into pieces:
- Wake up and do a 5 minute sit before the rest of the house gets up.
- Practice a "driving with the senses meditation" with your kids, noting what you see, smell, hear, touch, and taste.
- Do 5 half salutations in your kitchen as you wait for the water to boil for your afternoon tea.
- Do a 10-point body scan as you fall asleep at night.
2. Integrate your practice into your life
Everyday tasks are a great opportunity to practice mindful awareness and positive affirmation.
- When you're washing the dishes, ground through your senses: notice the feeling of warm water on your skin, smell the aroma of soap, and watch the transformation from dirty to clean right before your eyes.
- As you fold your laundry, express gratitude for your clothing: "Thank you for covering and protecting my skin from the elements. I am grateful for clothing that brings me joy." Even everyday tasks are opportunities for practice.
3. Let go of the "ideal practice"
Gone are the days of a quiet sit or long, uninterrupted practice. Rather than fight reality, embrace it and get on your mat (or cushion) anyway!
- Need to hit the pause button a few times to give a little one a hug or grab your toddler a snack?
- Flowing with sibling disagreements in the background?
- Balancing work, house chores, and parenting?
- I assure you, you aren't the only one! Remember: your practice isn't meant to be perfect.
4. Invite the family to participate
Preparing for a 15 minute sit? Why not ask if anyone wants to join you?
If they don't want to formally sit with you, offer up your practice as family quiet time, set a timer, and allow everyone to disconnect in a way that feels nourishing to them.
Guest post by studio BE Content & Curriculum Specialist Jyothi Behne
Based on the values of healing, growth and authenticity, Jyothi's classes are a combination of storytelling and intelligent sequencing. After battling eating disorders and self-harming behaviors for over 14 years, Jyothi's discovery of yoga in 2005 saved her life. She is now living her 9th year of active recovery.
In 2010, Jyothi left her career as an Education Policy Analyst to become a full-time yoga teacher. She lives with her husband, Bo, and their two vibrant and creative children, wherever the Navy stations them (which is always changing).
Feature image by Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe Stock