We all remember being young and feeling overwhelmed by the distractions, problems and peer pressure that cropped up in our lives. As adults, we’re dealing with so many issues of our own that we sometimes forget that children are experiencing stress too and in many cases, they don’t know how to deal with it.
One stress-fighting modality that we pride ourselves for introducing our students to is Yoga. Not only does Yoga help to provide young children with an outlet for stress management, but it’s also teaching them healthy habits and the importance of wellness in their lives.
As children get older, Yoga can help to boost confidence, focus less on electronic devices as an ‘escape’ and can even help with concentration and focus.
If you ask a young child about yoga, you’ll often get one of two responses: 1. What’s that? or 2. An elaborate depiction of what we can only image must be the Buddha as they cross their legs, close their eyes and start humming with their hands curled into balls by their side. The thing is, many young children look at Yoga as a purely physical movement associating it with humming “Om” and stretching and it’s up to us to instill in them a true understanding. Below, you’ll find a couple of simple practices to start explaining to your little one’s as we begin our Yoga journey:
Breathing is so important for helping us to calm down and relax but it also allows us to focus better in school and at home. When we’re experiencing emotions like anger, sadness or confusion, we can use special breathing techniques to eliminate those feelings.
In order to balance well, you need to focus on what you’re doing. By practicing Yoga poses that utilize balance and core strength, we’re allowing children to focus entirely on the task at hand instead of having the mind wander or feel overstimulated.
Not only is stretching physically good for your body, but when you do Yoga you learn to associate certain poses with certain stretches and breaths. By practicing stretching with breathing as a combination, we’re training our bodies to associate the two with one another so that it becomes intrinsic for us.
Ah, meditation. It’s like nap time, but you’re awake! For children who are younger, it’s easy for the mind to bounce around and can sometimes be difficult for them to calmly rest in silence – guided meditations can be read aloud to encourage a focal point and less anxiousness.