How often do you find yourself able to just "be"? No bottled up energy. No worries. Less stress. Those moments are precious, right? Now put yourself in a child's shoes. Whether it's academic stresses, social situations, or anxiety, children need the opportunity to just "be" as much as we do. But how do we actually DO it? Here are 3 ideas on how kids yoga can help your child release a good amount of energy + re-focus + find their own sense of calm. "Just be."
1. Big movement
Ever been to a great yoga class that makes you sweat? That leaves you floating out the door with that "I just had a REALLY good class" feeling? Now apply this to kids yoga and literally every single Butterfly Kids Yoga class. The Yoga Slide. Downward Dog Tunnel races. Plank challenges. Sargent Sun Salutations. What do these all have in common? BIG movement, awesome physical release, FUN exercise, and learning active yoga poses...all rolled into one. With so many studies showing the amazing effects of exercise on calming anxiety and improving focus and mood, "big movement" plays a BIG part in releasing tension, energy and stress in kids.
2. Balance and focus
Children automatically feel the power, strength and self-confidence of a great balance challenge. Try holding a plank longer than the friend to your right. Try balancing in Warrior III ("airplane pose") while focusing on a stationary object for 10 seconds. Try holding Downward Dog while 12 of your friends slide through in Cobra Pose. (Downward Dog, by the way, is also a great re-energizing pose.) It's hard. It's challenging. It requires focus and concentration. But the results? Accomplishment, learning how to focus for a set period of time, and big time self-confidence.
3. Yoga breathing
Yoga breathing "using only your nose!" is a staple to each kids yoga class that I teach. Big belly breaths in (slooooow) and out (slooooow), using only our noses for a few rounds helps calm and center the children. It also gives them a great tool for everyday use. Stressful test? Use your yoga breathing. Frustrating situation? Remember your yoga breathing! Calming down before bed? Take a few yoga breaths to relax. A simple (yet super helpful) tool to calm down and relax.
At the end of the day, there is no one trick to find your child's "just be" moment. But when I look around the room in a class and see children (of all ages) with their eyes closed and relaxing on their mat after a great, active, class....I know they have found their "just be" moment...if only for that short period of time.
Have a great night, friends!
PS. Don't forget about our new Tween Yoga class, beginning this Sunday, March 5 at 3pm in Fairport. There will be no shortage of active moments and great tips on how to "just be".