What mom does not want her daughter to feel capable, worthwhile, content with herself, and confident in her future? Research shows that mothers play a significant role in the development of their daughter’s self-esteem. The values and attitudes they model and teach shape their daughters’ self-image and views of the world. While parenting a daughter can be one of the most rewarding relationships, it can also be full of intense emotional extremes, especially during adolescence. During this time, a healthy relationship is a key to effective communication and influence. One way to enhance the mother-daughter bond to share creative, inspiring experiences together, like Mother-Daughter Yoga.
Yoga has many benefits for young people. It supports a healthy body image, improves focus, and promotes flexibility in both the body and mind. It is also an excellent tool for cultivating acceptance and self-awareness.
I have been teaching Mother-Daughter Yoga since 2012 and received overwhelmingly positive responses from the moms and girls who have participated. In my classes, moms and daughters share so much more than yoga. We engage in inspiring conversations, lively activities, and creative projects, all of which center around important topics including self-esteem, body image, friendships, stress, bullying, and more. There are many advantages to learning and having fun in a group setting, but you and your daughter can get a lot out of sharing a creative yoga practice at home.
Try the following playful and purposeful poses. These, along with the conversation starters are designed to enhance communication in a natural, relaxed way. Use the yoga poses as an opportunity to take off your “parent hat” and get down on your daughter’s level. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest and you will see your daughter do the same.
Row Your Boat Pose
Start seated facing each other. Bring your hands and feet together and lean back. Balance on your sits-bones. Test your flexibility by straightening your legs and row your boat!
Off the mat: Use boat pose as a springboard into a discussion about how life will bring forth challenges that may make you feel unstable and it’s during those times when we need to reach out for support from each other.
Super Side Plank
Start facing each other in a plank or modified plank (like the top of a push-up, with knees up or knees down to modify.) Rock to the edge of your right foot and root down through your right hand. Slide your left leg on top of your right and reach for each other’s left hand. Notice- if you feel the pose is easy and you are stable, try to lift your top leg. If you are feeling unstable, take your right knee down for extra support.
Off the mat: Use this pose to launch a discussion about the importance of maintaining balance in life. Talk about how to discover when it’s appropriate to add an extra challenge or activity to your life and when you should back off and reach out for support.
Breathe and Twist
Sit back-to-back in a comfortable cross-legged position. Take a big belly breath in and reach your arms up. As you breathe out, turn and twist to the right. Reach around for each other’s knees.
Off the mat: Twists are great for detoxing the body and a perfect opportunity to start a discussion about maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Looking for more inspiration? Join me on July 18 at Buddhi Yoga, La Jolla for a special Mother-Daughter Yoga class, Discovering Self and Inspiring Connection. You and your daughter will enjoy creative yoga, followed by a guided conversation and a meaningful craft. Like all my Mother-Daughter Yoga classes, this class seamlessly weaves in important information on self-confidence, positive thinking, and communicating. Empowered with information and support, girls will feel confident to make healthy decisions as teen years approach and independence beckons.