Since I began teaching yoga for children I have witnessed first-hand the positive effects that a regular yoga practice can have on a child.
Yoga is the mindful practice of physical movement, breathwork and meditation that helps us to connect to our inherent resources. It is a philosophy and a science that has, over centuries, shown to have a positive effect on our physical and mental health.
Mindfulness is best described by John Kabat-Zinn (the internationally renowned scientist, writer and meditation teacher) as: ‘paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and without judgement’
So is any of this relevant to children?
‘Children are super sensitive fully fledged people, with high potency antenna, which record every vibration within their vicinity, completely and very deeply’
Yogi Bhajan, Master of Yoga
Children today live in a world full of distractions. Social and cultural changes over the last two decades have subtly but seriously altered the way our children eat, sleep, play, learn and socialise. There are so many things competing for their attention, that children can become disconnected from themselves, and from the natural world. Such busy little minds may become over anxious. Some children have trouble sleeping and others struggle to regulate their emotions.
The objective of yoga and mindfulness for children, is to remind them of their natural sense of wonder and curiosity, to be aware of themselves as living, breathing, caring beings and to help them identify and trust their in-built resources.
Yoga for kids, helps with coordination. It can help to improve concentration and to develop a positive and a compassionate mindset. With a regular practice, children learn how to resist impulsive negative behaviour, to disregard negative self-talk and reinforce the simple joys of life.
In short, yoga and mindfulness practices help children stand back from themselves and become their own personal observers, witnessing their every day experiences with full awareness. It helps develop a positive sense of self.
I have had several teachers and parents report how they have noticed improved behaviour, better concentration and healthier sleeping patterns in the kids that have attended my classes. The children themselves have commented on how they were able to break old habits and use what they have practised to overcome their worries and difficult emotions. I strongly believe that introducing yoga and mindfulness at primary school level will have a positive effect on the future mental health of our young people, benefiting the individual themselves, their families, their communities and all of society.
‘If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children’
Yoga is a practice which benefits us physically, mentally, emotionally and soulfully.
Enrolling your child in our yoga classes will bring him/her together with other kids in a supportive, nurturing environment. They will enjoy challenging movement in a non-competitive environment. They will learn to develop a healthy mindset and enhance their overall wellbeing. This commitment to a weekly class develops a habit of regular self-care, that can last a lifetime.
A regular yoga practice can help your child to: