By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Kids Yoga stories fall naturally into the lives of children. Parents often begin introducing children to books and stories during infancy, and continue to share throughout childhood. Upon entering school, children find that stories continue to play a huge role in learning a variety of skills and concepts. Stories nurture the imagination, provide an outlet for discussing emotions, and make life a bit easier to understand for children. It would seem natural, then, to find stories in a Yoga class for children.
Yoga Stories Engage Interest
Stories often engage the children. Children love stories because they are a part of their everyday lives. When they realize that they are also a part of Yoga class, it helps to engage their interest. Yoga instructors often incorporate the asanas (Yoga poses) with stories, bringing both the stories and the poses to life. When poses are connected to stories, the children will have an easier time recalling new poses and perfecting old ones. Yoga teachers can also improve a wide range of literacy skills by encouraging children to make up portions of the story, re-tell known stories in their own words, or use props to tell stories.
Kids Yoga Stories Capture the Imagination
Yoga stories are a beautiful way to encourage children to use their imaginations. Children must visualize the characters and the setting, each coming up with unique versions. They will learn that their imaginations are limitless and can take them anywhere, anytime. When Yoga instructors encourage children to tell parts of the story on their own, they will exercise their imaginations and enhance their creative thinking skills, which makes innovative thought easier for them to develop over time. Innovative thinking will enhance creative writing skills, which will become valuable as one progresses through school and into the workplace.
Yoga Stories Improve Visualization
Along with exercising the imagination, stories about Yoga allow children to visualize. They learn that stories can come alive within their minds. Even when a Yoga instructor does not have a book with illustrations, stories can exist through visualization. This visualization helps during meditation practice, where children are asked to visualize breath or emotions within the body.
Kids Yoga Stories Improve Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills play an important role in literacy education. Children learn to listen attentively to stories, especially when they are encouraged to listen for specific events or characters. Children can also work on important speaking skills when the instructor asks them to re-tell stories during class.
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