Since you’ve stepped into your new yoga lifestyle, your kids have been looking at you with their mouths half-ajar and you have no idea why. After all, isn’t it perfectly normal to rip out all the countertops and floors in your house and replace them with new ones that don’t give off gas? Why the complaining about getting rid of the microwave, doing away with anything plastic, and replacing the after-school milk and cookies with wheatgrass shots? I mean, let’s face it, once you adopt the “everything green is good” mantra, there's no way you can feel like a power-mom if you keep filling the grocery cart and your cherubs’ bellies with “fake food.” And your kids are just going to have to get used to it, plain and simple, right?
Why the complaining about getting rid of the microwave, doing away with anything plastic, and replacing the after-school milk and cookies with wheatgrass shots?
While you don't have to be a yogini to eat healthily, those new to the yoga lifestyle might suddenly realize that the mind-body-spirit thing actually begins with feeding yourself (and those you love) honest-to-goodness nourishment in every way possible. That said, clearing cupboards bare and restocking with foods picked from branches and harvested from the earth can create a shocking shift for kids who are used to opening the snack drawer and finding fast, easy, and artificially sweetened sweets. And that’s not all we’re talking about here.
Often new yogis go cold turkey in lots of ways besides food, and that can startle small ones. Turning a new, brighter light on in your life is awesome! But doing so in a gentle way allows kids to adjust their eyes to the new view gradually.
Instead of doing away with the morning bowl of cereal and replacing it with a bowl of broccoli and kale, take baby steps. Cut back to half a bowl of cereal and give them a yummy organic strawberry-banana smoothie (but feel free to sneak a little spinach in!) Instead of signing them up for a six-week yoga class when they said they don’t even like yoga (I know—how can they not like something they haven’t even tried?), try waking up early and doing your practice in an area of the house where the kids can watch. Chances are they’ll be asking for their own mat in no time. ‘Cuz guess what, marvelous moms and pops? You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force a kid to drink grass (I’ve tried), and the further you push the yoga mat under little ones’ feet, the more likely they’ll be to use it as a runway for takeoff.
Try waking up early and doing your practice in an area of the house where the kids can watch.
Let the example of your lifestyle be the draw to the straw instead of trying to force them to drink. Let them watch your transformation and witness your wondrous new attitude about taking care of your Self, as well as caring for and encouraging their health in a loving way. Make all the good, juicy life-foods available to them. Invite them to do yoga. Show them your new ways of breathing. But just like you don’t force a pose, don’t force the practice on others—even the most impressionable others. With a gentle, respectful approach, this healthy lifestyle will become ingrained in your yogis-to-be in a natural way, and the kids will be down-dogging and crunching carrots before you know it!