August brings varied responses from parents and children! Children tend to bemoan the end of summer break when it seems it barely began, while parents may have a more bittersweet reaction: it’s wonderful to have the downtime of summer with fewer pressures, perhaps, but it’s also good to get back into a routine and know that your children are focused on something that will serve them (at least at some future point!)
So as we start preparing for school-time, we have a few tips to help make the transition a seamless one. Today, we are focusing on the brain, and some techniques that will help you promote a great night’s sleep and good concentration.
Sleeping Easy and Happily:
Consistent, appropriate touch between parent and child is always good, and incorporating touch into your bedtime routine with your child adds a beautiful, connective finish to the day. Some oils you can rub on your child’s feed, hands, and the back of their neck include: Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, and/or a grounding blend. A child needs a very small amount of essential oils, since they are so concentrated, so we recommend diluting the oils in a base of carrier oil. We also recommend using the “layering” approach, which consists of rubbing the first oil in, then rubbing the second oil in, etc. You only need 10-15 seconds (+) in between each application – just enough time to put the lid on one bottle and remove the lid from the next. As you rub your child’s hands, feet, neck and back, the child will experience many benefits including a feeling of connection and being nurtured, the aroma of pure essential oils will travel through their olfactory system to the limbic center of the brain and create a soothing, calming effect as well as create positive memories associated with the aromas they are smelling. (Note: we have found that for children with ADHD, lavender has the opposite effect; use one or more of the other oils listed above.)
Diffusing: We strongly recommend getting a diffuser for your child’s bedroom! With only a few drops of oil, the child can enjoy the benefits of inhaling soothing and calming oils all night long. Choose from the list above, or come up with an oil or combination of oils you have found works for your family.
A soothing yoga pose to use before bed is Legs in the Chair, which you can find pictured in our book. Not only are a child’s feet available for easy oil application, but this pose naturally creates an opportunity for relaxation and connection with all individuals who are participating in the pose together.
Enhance your mornings by diffusing oils that assist with a happy wake-up! Wild Orange and Peppermint are a great combination, or Frankincense and Lemon. Citrus oils are invigorating and uplifting (and peppermint almost always enhances our awareness and alertness).
Apply a drop of a grounding blend to the bottoms of the feet – preferably before the kiddos arise, or right after. This helps them wake up on the ‘right side’ of the bed!
For a simple and power-based wake up, consider doing a Sun Salute with your children in the morning, especially once they are inhaling those oils.
This is easy: the same oils you use for a happy wake up are the ones you’ll use to assist with concentration. You can use them in a diffuser or apply to a terracotta necklace, or use a pocket-sized wick diffuser that the child can keep with them during the day. This is a GREAT way to empower kids who find their minds wandering during lessons or homework time … and you may be surprised to see how accepting and excited kids are to learn about using essential oils.
Last for this week …
Remember that in this case, whatever is good for the children is good for their parents too! Nurture yourself with the synergistic benefits of yoga and essential oils so you can be well-rested and completely present to care for your children as they need you.
Join us for the Essential Yoga Sangha starting Oct 6 to learn more about the synergistic benefits of yoga and essential oils.