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Yoga Flow for the New Year

There are all sorts of “end of year” workbooks and rituals out there for adults, but kids feel that “start of something new” feeling, too! And most of the time, they don’t stay up til midnight and watch the year turn. I put together a gentle yoga and meditation practice you can do with your child – I call it, “Out With the Old, In With the New”!

Items you’ll need: yoga mats or blankets and open space, a candle, some yummy smelling spray or essential oil (make sure it’s safe for kiddos)- let’s call this “magic mist”, slips of paper and something to write with, and a song that makes you both feel inspired or powerful!

Begin by sitting criss-cross with your hands on your knees and closing your eyes. Take big deep breaths, filling your lungs and belly and letting it out all the way. Spray your magic mist (or dab on the essential oil) and smell it with each breath. Massage your hands and use your fingers to tap at places in your body that need help letting go, or that you’d like to open up to receiving in the next year. For example, if you’ve been feeling sad, tap your heart and your head. Or if you’ve got a bum knee, tap that knee! Work up the energy! If you and your child feel like it, trade hand massages!

Next, light a candle and practice candle breath. Deep breath in, slow and steady exhale as if you’re blowing at a candle but just trying to make the flame flicker and not go out all the way. Try 5 of these breaths, imagining letting go of the things you want to leave in the last year. Leave that candle burning a safe distance away. Stand up, spread your feet wide and hang your body over. This is called ragdoll – bend your knees and shake your body so your head and arms are wiggly. Shake out ALL those things you’d rather stayed in 2022. If it feels good, shake from side to side and stretch the backs of your legs.

Lie down on your stomach on your mat or blanket. With hands right under your shoulders, gently straighten your elbows to push up into cobra pose. This is a nice stretch for the front of your body and a great heart opener – super for welcoming in new year energy! Lie back down and push up a few times. Flip over on your back and curl up in a ball. Roll around and get a little silly – also a good back massage! Now, spread out your arms and legs as wide as you can into starfish. Curl into your ball to look inward and intentionally decide how you want to go into 2023, and burst into starfish to bring your magic out into the world. Do this at least 5 times! 

Facing each other, try grabbing crossed hands and leaning out to see if you can both stand up, or go back to back and see if you can slowly lower or raise up at the same time. This is a reminder that working together helps us achieve our goals and it’s ok to ask for help! Another great option for this, if you have a bigger group, is to hold hands and pass the squeeze. No talking, just pass the energy from hand to hand, all the way around a circle.

Sitting up or lying down, try bunny breath to build up energy for new year enterprises – 5 or 6 quick breaths in through the nose and whoosh out through the mouth. Draw in all the things you want to invite into your year with those breaths! Bring back that candle and write an intention for 2023, and burn it. After, put on your inspiring or powerful-feeling song and gaze at the candle, envisioning that intention coming true. Finally, spray your magic mist one more time and lie on your back and get comfortable. Hopefully that smell will remind you of your intention if you spray it later in the year! Pillows and fuzzy blankets are allowed for this part – get comfy. Spend at least one minute visualizing how you will FEEL in the next year as you move forward with your desired intentions. When you’re finished, hugs are highly recommended.

Wishing you lots of love and joy as we head into 2023!

Hannah is a certified Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor through ChildLight Education Company.

Originally posted on on December 19th, 2022

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