Practicing yoga with your family — whether partner, kids, extended blood relatives or chosen family — can deepen your practice and connections. It can also challenge you!
Sri Dharma Mittra says: ““Two effects of practicing within a family: positive impact you have on those around you and the limiter effect of the family.”
Let’s start with the ‘limiter effect’. What does that mean?
I think he means that when you practice as a family or couple you’re choosing to adjust to another person, which limits your ability to do things the way you normally would.
We think of ‘limiting’ as negative but actually, this is the opposite. Limiting our habitual approach means embracing something new. Maybe we spend more time on pranayama or warm-up postures; maybe we skip an inversion because our partner not ready for it; maybe we mix up the order of the sequence to keep the kids engaged.
This leads to the first point — positive impact on those around you. Think about how important yoga is to you and how much you benefit from your practice. That is a tremendous gift to share. By practicing yoga with your family you can introduce them to movements that will strengthen and tone their bodies; help them improve flexibility and range of motion; reduce their stress and anxiety; regulate their cardiovascular and digestive system.
Those of us who practice regularly may forget what it felt like to not practice yoga and take for granted the stability, calm and wellness. Practicing with a family members, seeing them experience the benefits of yoga, sharing this journey with them, is an enriching and affirmative experience for both of you.
We are now many weeks in to a period of intense togetherness and no doubt some (all?) of us have felt the strain of increased time spent with family. Doing yoga together is a great way to cool off and create common ground.
What do you think about practicing yoga with a partner or family?
Share your thoughts in the comments!