Bedtime. Oh sweet bedtime. It sure can be the sweetest moment of the day. But. Have you ever met a 3 ½ year old that will do everything and anything to delay getting in bed? Ever seen one run around the house naked not wanting to get pajamas on? He wants that toy. She wants to get some milk. “Mommmmy, where are my bunny clouds?!” And now the boy child is hiding.
Adding yoga stories and meditations into a bedtime routine can soothe the sillies away. Here are some of my favorites:
1) Reach for the Moon – Stretch up high to the sky to reach for the moon, then fold forward and reach for your toes. Do this a few times.
2) Birthday Candle – Lie in bed. Lift your legs up to the sky. Wiggle toes to light candle and then slowly let the candle melt as you bring your legs down.
3) Bedtime Baby – (a.k.a. Happy Baby) Lie on your back and bend your knees. Reach for your feet and rock side to side. The kids know this as “Happy Baby and Crying Baby.”
4) Bedtime Hugs – Bring your knees into your chest and give yourself a giant hug. Squeeze and tense your body for the count of three, and then relax it all out by straightening your legs.
5) Bedtime Belly Breath – Finally, put your hands on your belly. Inhale through your nose for a count of three, and exhale out of your mouth for a count of three. For fun, put your favorite stuffed animal on your belly and watch him go up and down!
A few other great sleepy time yoga and relaxation books: Imaginations & Imaginations 2: Fun Relaxation Stories & Meditations for Kids by Carolyn Clarke, Peaceful Piggies Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean, Full of Joy Yoga Kids by me, Lani Rosen-Gallagher