by Mariam Gates
Getting my two kids out of bed in the morning is already like trying to rouse hibernating grizzlies. Convincing them that their wake-up routine is now going to start an hour earlier is going to be nearly impossible. I am not looking forward to this.
It’s time of year again when we “spring forward” for daylight saving time—this year, Sunday, March 13th.
Even when my kids (now nine and twelve) were babies, the “lose an hour” in March never seemed to come at a welcome time. Back then, it was probably me who was the most affected, but now the cranky, groggy, “How could you be waking me up—now?!,” is going to take over the whole family. We had one year where my husband and I actually forgot to make the time change and the scramble to get out in the morning meant we drove my then four-year-old daughter all the way to school without her left shoe (everyone was certain that someone else had brought it).
When we change the clocks this spring to give us longer days, we also create a shift in our natural cycle or circadian rhythm. For a period of time our internal clock will be out of sync with the day-night cycle. As we know, this can result in short-term sleep deprivation symptoms such as irritability and even depression. For children the loss of that hour can affect mood, attention span, and even appetite, making those mornings, as the body works to readjust, quite a strain on the entire family.
Yoga is naturally energizing. Breathing and stretching through a simple and quick yoga routine can increase blood flow, improve circulation, and bring oxygen to the whole body. It is going to be hard no matter what to get kids to accept that yes, it is really time to get up, but yoga can be just what’s needed to make the sluggish mornings seem a little brighter.
Keep in mind, with yoga, a little goes a long way. Just a couple minutes of breathing and movement can bring more energy and fun into these tired and cranky mornings as we transition to spring.
Here are 5 poses that will help jumpstart your morning after daylight saving time:
Press down through your feet and stretch your spine so it is long. Roll your shoulders back and press your palms together.
2. Downward Dog
Press your palms and feet into the earth and raise your hips up to the sky.
3. Balancing Table
On hands and knees bring your left hand forward, lift your right leg back, and balance. Then switch sides.
Sit up tall to lift your legs and arms off the ground with your knees straight or bent.
Sit with your legs crossed. Your spine grows taller, your shoulders roll back, and rest your hands on your knees.
Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from Harvard University and has more than twenty years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. She is the author of Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story (Sounds True, April 2015), and the forthcoming book, Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story (Sounds True, March 2016). Mariam lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband, yoga teacher Rolf Gates, and their two children. See mariamgates.com.
About the Illustrator: Sarah Jane Hinder teaches art and graphic design at Turton Media Arts College in the U.K. For more information about her work, visit sarahjanehinder.com.
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