This is for all of you parents out there or for those who have children in your lives that mean the world to you, or for anyone who simply wants to create a better, more peaceful world.
Top 5 Benefits of Teaching Yoga to Your Kids
1. Healthy minds and spirits: Kids learn to calm their minds and as a result experience more peace and happiness.
2. Strong bodies: Dynamic movement and deep breathing results in strong bodies, flexible muscles and healthy organs!
3. Grounded kids: By practicing how to breathe deeply kids become more aware of what their ‘relaxed’ breath feels like and they can come back to it any time to centre and ground themselves.
4. Focused students: By learning to focus their minds, kids can enhance concentration which can only help them do their best in school.
5. Confident and compassionate members of your family and society: Peaceful, happy, strong, grounded and focused people lead to a better world – this goes for kids and in turn for everyone else.
What I Have Learned Through Teaching Yoga to Children
- Kids have so much more capacity for understanding what we as adults deem as complex concepts. Kids get stuff. Simple as that!
- Consistency is critical. Having kids place their shoes in the same place each day outside the yoga room, come in to sit on a mat and on their cushions and practice silence at the start of class really sets the tone for learning.
- Kids notice everything! Practicing mindfulness was not only something I was taught as a child but something that I was held accountable for!
- Sometimes, all that is underneath the behaviour of a frustrated or what may seem like an angry child, is the need for a hug.
- Even when it seems like kids are not listening, they are. They absorb everything and when you least expect it they can amaze you with what they’ve learned.
3 Simple Practices For You and Your Kids
Below are three easy things you can practice with your kids or students at home, in the classroom, practically anywhere, that can help to manage anxiety and stress. Following each exercise, sit in silence, observe the sensations and ask your child how they feel. I also recommend practicing your breathing exercises through your nose, rather than through your mouth.
1. Bumblebee breath: While plugging the ears and closing the eyes, inhale deeply, exhale making a humming sound ‘hmmmmmm’ until all of the breath has been exhaled. Repeat 10 times.
2. Counting the breath: Inhale for a count of 5, hold for 2, exhale for 5. Repeat 10 times.
3. Create a mind jar with your child using natural, safe and non-toxic products:
Step 1: Add 2 cups of hot water to about 2 tablespoons glitter glue in a pint-sized mason jar.
Step 2: Add an extra tablespoon or two of regular fine glitter. Shake until the glue is dissolved and there are no glitter clumps.
Step 3: Add natural coloring if desired or leave it clear. You can also play around with the proportion of glitter glue to water if you’d like the glitter to settle more or less slowly. The glitter represents the busy mind and body. When shaken it can be a representation or expression of how your child feels.
As your child watches the glitter settle they will learn that with patience and breath they can self-regulate their reactive thoughts and tendencies by allowing them to settle, just like the glitter. As the glitter settles the jar become clearer and just like our thoughts, we can then respond to a situation or circumstance from a place of clarity rather than reacting from a place of upset.
Child’s Pose Yoga
Child’s Pose Yoga (CPY) provides a holistic opportunity for children and youth to explore their health and wellness and was founded with the intention to “Nourish young hearts and minds through yoga, meditation and mindful thinking”.
CPY is rooted in these core values: Practice Education Awareness Compassion Expression. CPY teaches our young ones that they can:
1. Change the world through their actions.
2. That peace is something cultivated and nurtured from within.
3. That it is through personal experiences of offering love, kindness and compassion that we find true happiness.
Imagine the power that comes from sharing these practices with our next generation while they are young so it becomes second nature, something they turn to and tap into each day as they move through life. By teaching and practicing these concepts with our young ones we can help them understand and experience first hand the extraordinary things that happen when we let go of our attachment to things and are present with the sensations and emotions that arise. We observe as these sensations lose their intensity and we stand strong knowing we are always ok; this lesson is powerful beyond measure. Happy, grounded, peaceful children create a happy, peaceful world.
You can donate to Childs Pose Yoga through our website here.
I discovered how to manage it through the gift that was my yoga practice. For years I searched both internally and externally for answers as to my purpose here in earth, and then it dawned on me - I could take my experiences and turn them into something valuable for others. I could offer children a glimpse of what life could be like with more ease and less anxiety, more compassion and less judgment, more generosity and less greed and all around more heart. It is in that place that Child’s Pose lives.I want to live in this kind of world and if I want to live in it I must create it, daily. I teach from a place of experience, never expectation. I share what I have learned firsthand and how it has changed the way I see the world. Yes, I have moments of anxiety, fear, despair, elation, and all of the emotions that I did when I was younger; the difference is that now they don’t rule me. Emotions arise, I thank them for their opportunities to practice awareness, and then I let them go with as much ease and grace as possible. I would be humbled to share what I’ve learned with your children with the intention ofcreating a more peaceful world, for them, and for everyone.
From my heart to yours and your children’s’, thank you for visiting Child’s Pose Yoga.
Blessings and peace.
Latest posts by Dana Mahon (see all)
- Who Else Wants a More Calm, Peaceful and Happy Child? - Nov 25, 2013