By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Imagine a world where children aim all of their pent-up energy toward something positive. What if children could learn to breathe and focus when life gets stressful? What if they could become so attuned to their own bodies that they respect and honor their selves above all else? Perhaps, we don’t give children enough credit for the things they are capable of achieving. Children, who practice Yoga, are learning these important lessons, while at the same time developing strong and flexible bodies. In fact, studies on children and Yoga have also shown that children’s academic performance is affected positively.
When you teach children Yoga, you are giving them a valuable tool to use throughout many aspects of their lives. School can be a stressful part of many children’s days, but it doesn’t have to be. When children practice kids Yoga, they learn to focus on their bodies. They learn to forget about everything else for a while, focusing on the breath filling up their lungs. They learn to turn their attention to their muscles, feeling them work and stretch. Children also learn how to visualize letting go of negative thoughts and emotions, and replacing them with positive. All of these skills can be transferred to academics.
Yoga for Motivation
Studies from Los Angeles to Jalandhar, India have shown that, children who practice Yoga, become more motivated as academic students. They begin to look at school in a new light, accepting the challenges of learning new concepts with open arms. Perhaps this is the result of a renewed confidence within their selves that they are smart enough and good enough to get the job done.
Yoga for Anxiety
Many children experience anxiety throughout the school day – as a result of social issues, test taking, or any number of other reasons. Once they learn to apply Yogic breathing to these situations, they find that the anxiety lessens, or even completely disappears.
Children can also benefit from physical stimulation. Much of the school day is spent without physical activity. When children are allowed to get up and move on a regular basis, the results can be powerful. A short break for a few Yoga poses can help release anxiety and stress, which allows children to re-focus on the project at hand. The bottom line is that kids are capable of great things when taught the right skills. Yoga is gradually moving into schools around the world because the results are alarmingly positive.
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