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April 27, 2015
As an avid yoga and meditation teacher, you're already familiar with the many benefits that can be derived from these practices. They balance the mind, body and soul, making stress more manageable and creating opportunities to lead a more fulfilling life.
As beneficial as yoga and meditation are for adults, it's strange that we so often overlook the many benefits they have for children. Kids these days are often coping with as much stress as adults do. They must balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities and family time. This can mean a great deal of pressure for any child.
Just as it does for adults, enjoying yoga and meditation harmonize the mind, body and spirit of children. One of the natural consequences of this endeavor is improved behavior. Hyperactive children may become calmer; those who are unmotivated may become energized. Yoga can even help kids clear their minds so that they perform better in school and make wiser decisions in every aspect of their life.
As an example, physical exercise like yoga has the effect of releasing positive hormones into the blood stream. These mood lifting, naturally occurring chemicals can help children avoid tantrums and turn a grumpy little one who's prone to acting out into a happier child who is more likely to be smiling and affectionate. Even a few minutes and a couple of yoga poses may be enough to completely alter the course of your child's day.
Practitioners have also noted that children who do yoga poses and meditate tend to be able to control their attention much better than those who don't. This ability to focus amid distractions is valuable for producing better behavior. A child who can focus can listen more attentively and interact more meaningfully, enabling them to understand the desired behavior and the positive consequences of meeting this standard.
The introspective nature of meditation and the deep breathing that is part of yoga also help to reduce anxiety. When a child is relaxed he or she is less likely to have an outburst or behave inappropriately. Children are frequently successful at using what they have learned through yoga and meditation in real life situations. This may make it easier for them to respond appropriately to stress.
Introducing kids to yoga and meditation at a young age is an excellent way to improve behavior as well as helping them successfully cope with daily stress.
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