Porch Yoga, by NGY Teacher Jocelyn Chrisley

About a week ago, I noticed a shift at our house. We had hit the listless part of summer. Pajamas were staying on longer. Screens were being used more frequently. Certain people were having less patience with their siblings.

I thought about what I need when I get into a rut and decided to offer my kids a choice. To begin their day, they could either take a walk around the block or do “porch yoga” with me. Probably because we live in the south and even mornings are sultry, my teenager opted for porch yoga- at least there is a fan on the porch!

Starting seated on our chairs, we took a few deep breaths together. Then we closed our eyes and listened to the birds for about a minute. Next, we moved through some Seated Spinal Twists and Seated Side Bends. 

After warming up, we found a flow with seated half Sun Salutations, each moving at our own speed and continuing to focus on our breath. Then we played around with Eagle arms and Seated Tree. 

After moving enough to wake up our bodies, we came back to stillness and took one more breath together. All of this took about ten minutes. When we finished, my daughter looked a little surprised and said “that actually felt good.” Success! (Also success- somehow there were no sibling arguments until after lunch.)

Porch yoga with Nugget, the chicken

Every morning since, she has wandered out to where I sit on the porch drinking coffee to ask if we can do porch yoga. It’s been a lovely small space to connect with her and recalibrate our day together as a family. 

And, as a bonus, she chats so easily during porch yoga that now I know what book she is reading, how she feels about starting eighth grade, and what type of curry she loves best.

Yoga can meet so many of our needs and fit into just the space we find for it. Can you add a little porch yoga into your family’s summer plans? Or kitchen yoga? Maybe even bedtime tuck-in yoga? How can this practice help you reconnect or recalibrate as we all hit the doldrums of summer?

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