My Yoga Breathing Helps My Child Sleep

My Yoga Breathing Helps My Child Sleep

Lately my daughter has insisted she won't go to sleep unless I lie in bed with her.  I try to encourage her to sleep by herself; both for her independence and by the time I get her to bed, I'm itching for space and some "me" time.

She screams and cries "mamamamamamamom" so many times I cannot bear it.   I resist and restlessly lie in her toddler bed with Pillow Pets, at least eight babies, stuffed animals and a pair of sunglasses.  I think about my chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels and computer downstairs, but know she can sense my impatience.

Instead I settle into a modified savasana and begin to focus on my breath.  It is a challenge to breathe in deep and feel my body rise, pause, exhale, pause and begin again.   The more I focus on this pattern my mind must follow and my body melts into the princess pillow.  I listen to my daughter sucking her thumb which I think is so cute, even though the dentist says she needs to stop, and I know she channels my calmness as her breathing becomes shallow.

Once I sense she is asleep, I take five more long deep breaths and slowly rise from my relaxation praying not to wake her and begin this process over as I cautiously tiptoe to the door.

It is then I realize I needed that end of the day meditation just as much as she needed me to be with her as she drifted into dreamland.


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  • Sometimes I think my little one needs me to physically drag her down with me onto sleep when she's having a hard time getting there herself. Not physically, exactly, but she needs to feel my breathing changes and body temperature and muscles relax. Both my kids are pretty good sleepers, so I can't complain. That being said, I am still nursing my 2YP to sleep pretty much every night so I am not really the poster child for independent sleep habits.

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    Trying to raise children with a sense of calm in a chaotic world.

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