Toddlers range from just over a year old to the age of three. They are newbies to this whole life thing. They are learning how to communicate, how to walk, how to do just about everything. However, give them just a little time to hone some of these skills and boom! You’ve got a very small child with a strong little mind of their own who wants to explore everything within their reach, and view, and beyond. And by the way — they have absolutely no ability to communicate how they feel as it relates to their explorations or the consequences of their little adventures. They just haven’t gotten there developmentally in the language and self-awareness departments. As a result, toddlers tend to have highly labile moods. They’re prone to meltdowns when they disagree with the grownups who love them, or if they’re tired. And they are sometimes easily overwhelmed by this great big world that they’ve started exploring.
Thankfully, Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing. Because these tiny humans need it! (The grownups who love them do too!) So here are some of the benefits of a yoga practice for the toddler population and the grownups who love them:

1- Teaching toddlers yoga poses empowers them to do something fun with their bodies that is rewarding. These kiddos love compliments, stickers, and attention! They thrive on positive energy! Yoga at this age also helps with gross motor development, and helps them learn how to calm themselves.

2- Toddlers who feel calm have less incidences of meltdowns and tantrums which is good for the whole family. They may even choose to take a yoga pose if given the choice. (It beats a couple minutes in time-out any day!)

3- Grownups who practice yoga benefit from the calming, strengthening, and lengthening effects of the practice. They are also more able to weather the storm that could be a few very long minutes of toddler tantrum.

4- Related to number 3, modeling a yoga practice for this developmental age bracket of copy cats instills a notion that self-care is important. And that Downward Facing Dog is super fun and helps them feel better!

5- Toddlers & Grownups who practice yoga together have loads of fun during this bonding experience that centers on learning how to move, breathe, and be calm.

6- Practicing yoga in general illuminates the concept of union and togetherness. Both of which provide security and support in a challenging environment — aka Life.

7- Families that practice yoga together bolster a very good foundation for a calm, mindful, happy, functional life.

So perhaps that’s the takeaway — Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing because it helps the tiniest humans have a good, positive start. And it helps the grownups who love them be present, be calm, and be ready for anything. Because when you got one of these small, determined little individuals running around, you need to be ready for anything and everything!

Join Marissa on October 29th at 11:15 am for Toddler and Me yoga!

This post was original published by Marissa on Medium. It is republished here with her permission.