I’m not going to lie. Yoga with my 3-year-old daughter is more struggle than serenity.
It’s certainly not like those beautiful images of a professional yogini practicing poses with her 4-year old. Who does she think she is, anyway?
That said, I think it’s important to introduce my daughter to the art of both activity and meditation — and there’s no better way than our attempt at a simple and wildly chaotic yoga routine.
Let the struggle begin.
We started in a mountain pose, as we deeply breathed with our eyes closed. I did, anyway. My daughter mostly grinned at me until I told her to pull it together.
To stretch out my back, I folded at the hips into a basic forward fold as my daughter crumpled toward the ground. I attempted to breathe deeply as my daughter lightly chanted, “Mom. Mom. Mooooom. Mom.”
From there, I moved into a downward-facing dog to stretch my calves and hamstrings. My daughter wasn’t feeling it, until she learned to balance on her “third eye.” Caution: that’s not a real yoga pose. Dangerous. I fell out of the pose so she wouldn’t break her neck.
One-legged downward dog
Once she broke from her questionable downward-dog pose, my child saw something and walked away to pick it up. This gave me a full four seconds to stretch my leg to the sky in a one-legged downward dog. As a bonus, she brought me back a leaf.
Flip the dog
The flip the dog pose is only viewed as a challenge by children. As in, a challenge to make mom fall on her booty. We struggled for about a minute as she tried to climb onto my stomach for a ride.
You know what kids love, though? Looking like a tree. We were able to hold this pose for at least 10 seconds before she lost interest.
Once we were done with our stretch, balance and meditation poses, I attempted an incredibly challenging relaxation pose. Of course, relaxation poses aren’t actually difficult, but my child views them as the best possible time to jump on my stomach with her pointy, ruthless kneecaps.
Repeat after me: Namaste.