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Bedtime is an important daily activity that helps babies and children calm down, reflect, and nurture secure attachments with their caregivers. Yoga can be a great tool to get a child ready for a restful night's sleep!
Establishing a solid bedtime routine is an important part of ensuring quality sleep for everyone in your family. Life is BUSY. You and your young child are out in the world doing different things, being stimulated all day every day but at night (unless you're on vacation) you know you'll return to the same comfy place with the people you love most. Bedtime is an anchor that builds secure attachment between little people and their loved ones, helping them grow into confident, grounded humans. Additionally, winding down is an important skill that reduces stress and prepares us for a rejuvenating night of sleep.
We recommend many tools for bedtime routines including special songs you sing every night, reading, reflecting on what you did that day (even if this is a one-way conversation where you talk to your baby about what he/she did that day). Essential Oil diffusers and calm lighting like salt lamps are also great for creating a soothing environment for sleep. But our favorite addition to the bedtime routine is YOGA! Incorporating yoga into this part of your day can be relaxing for the whole family and will offer a unique experience to bond before putting your babies to bed and having some downtime for yourself.
In yoga, we refer to breath as “prana” or “life force.” Just learning to breathe effectively, can slow the heart rate and ease the autonomic nervous system. A way to calm the parasympathetic nervous system is to rest in child’s pose with the forehead resting against the floor. This pose is effective because it targets the vagus nerve which regulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Also, play around with some intentional deep breathing (the way we do at the end of Little Beats classes). You can have fun with these deep breaths by exploring the many different kids. Breathing reduces stress, supports mind/body integration, and fuels the whole body to work at its best.
There are MANY easy and fun options for establishing a bedtime yoga sequence. One of the most engaging techniques is using stories such as Goodnight Yoga by Mariam Gates. This story takes readers through a sequence of poses that aim to calm the body and prepare for dreamland.
Have fun discovering the bedtime routine that you and your child love most and let us know your favorite bedtime rituals in the comments below. And don't forget, a well-rested child is a happy child!