As an acting teacher and pre-school music/movement teacher I get to observe children in various situations. I notice how their behaviors change through-out a typical school day, how they handle different situations and how all of it effects their emotions, body and mind.
It is not uncommon to hear that a child is having a difficult time sitting, focusing or listening. They usually show their displeasure or discomfort by squirming, making noises, fidgeting, defying, crying and more.
I also hear from parents how things can turn rough in a matter of moments when it comes time to get their child to perform a basic task, or to rise happily in the morning, to sleep at night, to get along with others or listen to them or their teachers.
As a teacher and Mom I don’t protest to have all the answers but I do have some tools that I know work. I am blessed to be an actor and acting teacher first who also teaches music and movement among other things but also being a child Yoga Instructor I know firsthand that Yoga produces the quickest benefits and it is something that you can take with you wherever you go to help yourself and your precious little one. The one I call “The Prize” or if you’ve been blessed more than one time “The Prizes.” Yes Prizes..who don’t always know how to calm themselves, or energize themselves. So why not try some Yoga with them or have your child learn how to practice and utilize skills that can help them grow, be healthy body and mind while having fun.
It starts with:
Most 3 to 5 year olds have no shortage of energy but some have difficulty getting motivated or started. Practicing yoga can slow down an over active child and get them to focus or awaken a child who you can’t seem to be motivated. Simple poses like Lion’s Breath is a great way to get a child to breathe deeply in a stressful situation or can be a great way to relieve frustration or can charge up a listless little one.
Inhale deeply then exhale and “roar” Simple right?
There are many postures and poses to be learned in Yoga Class that are fun, easy to remember and so very helpful to maintain healthy energy.
Yoga poses will physically challenge your child and doesn’t require a gym or any equipment. Poses like Lotus and Downward Dog help maintain flexibility whole other more challenging poses like Tree pose and Donkey pose help maintain balance and coordination. Challenging poses increase confidence when conquered and the result is new found physical capabilities.
Breathing techniques taught in Yoga class, like Bunny Breathes and Balloon Hissing help with anxiety, stress, anger, trouble focusing and difficulty sleeping. The possibilities are endless.
Teaching yoga to little ones may not always be Zen like but it sure is fun and improves emotional and physical wellbeing as well as the opportunity to develop imagination. Yoga poses like Cat, Cow, Turtle and Alligator are perfect for the imagination. Also finger play, songs and games that are incorporated into yoga routines maintain their interest and reinforce concepts like counting, letters, and animal sounds.
So now that you know the physical and emotional benefits for the little one STAY CALM, BREATHE AND DO YOGA!