Yoga, a blend of physical and mental disciplines, is starting to be more commonly introduced to children. Although a somewhat controversial topic, we believe that if taught and practiced correctly, yoga can be of great benefit to kids.
It’s Not Just A Workout
A very common misunderstanding when thinking about yoga is that it’s just a physical workout. While it does increase flexibility, and tone the body, it also has definite effects on the nervous system. Yoga can lead to deep relaxation, improve mood and is a known stress reducer, making it very beneficial for children.
Yoga & School
With behavioral issues and learning disabilities on the rise, parents and educators are searching for new ways to help students decompress and improve focus (specifically surrounding school/school work). Of all the various concentration techniques available today, yoga is probably one the most effective methods and the easiest to learn.
A study conducted by the International Journal of Yoga, delivered results proving that when yoga was practiced by high-stress students, their stress levels lowered AND they performed better in school. A few of our favorite poses for improving stress and boosting concentration are pictured below.
This pose requires your gaze to be focused on one place and your full body to be engaged. Warrior II is intended to stretch the ankles, legs, chest and shoulders, improve stamina, endurance and concentration.
Improve balance, strengthen the legs, open the hips and bring concentration to the mind with Tree Pose. This is a great pose for beginners.
A slightly more advanced posture, Dancer Pose. This posture develops greater flexibility in the shoulders, spine and hamstrings. By remaining calm during this stretch you will learn to better focus your thoughts.
Another important piece of yoga for school worth noting is the use of breath. Controlled breathing can be great for eliminating stress and anxiety. Yoga helps children understand that by using different breathing methods they can reduce stress and feel more in control of their anxiety.
Yoga and Confidence
Yoga poses can be very challenging. If your child is regularly practicing yoga, they begin to create a confidence-building mind body connection. When a child first struggles with a posture, and then learns to overcome their fears and successfully master it, they have a sense of achievement. Additionally, yoga encourages children to move at their own pace, something that most people do not necessity get to experience in other activities.
Yoga For Better Sleep
If your student is having issues falling asleep or staying asleep, a weekly yoga regime may be worth trying. The stress and anxiety relieving benefits of yoga may promote better and deeper sleep.
We recommend a quick flow of Happy Baby, Supine Twist and Child’s Pose before bed.
Has incorporating movement into the school week benefited your child? We’d love to hear your stories! Please share them on our social channels @integrativeet or send us an email.