Presently Yoga can be found in many schools and preschools and the numbers are starting to grow. This progress is great news for kids. School days are long and do not involve enough exercise and free play for young children. Days are structured and rigid. Yoga is the perfect opportunity for children to explore the possibilities and bring health and happiness into their lives.
There are many examples of how yoga has helped kids in school. At John B. Sliney Elementary School, teacher Leslie Stewart exposed her third grade class to practicing yoga and found that kids remained focused throughout the day and overcame test taking anxieties.
"It was great for my class because there were a lot of kids who had personal issues and testing anxieties. It changed the climate of the classroom," she said.
Yoga is not like other activities that parents put their children in. According to Betsy A. Ostrow, MD, “It is vital to break the cycle of adverse childhood experiences and replace them with coping skills. We tell children to relax but they need the tools to know how.”
Yoga teaches children the skills they need to deal with life's situations in a healthy way. Whether they are showing compassion for a friend who is troubled, practicing poses to relieve back pain or breathing deeply when they feel angry. The scope of a yoga "practice" is so great that kids can make it into what they need most. Since children spend a large majority of time in school and we are seeing the adverse affects of bullying and the stressful environment of meeting testing standards yoga is the best way to help them relax.
Even junior high students are learning from this ancient practice. Youth Empowerment Seminars - YES! in the south bay area offer classes to high risk students. Priscilla Orabuena, 15, said, "When you are going to get into a fight you want to do something to them. But you breathe and feel calm and just walk away." This is a very common result of exposing kids to yoga. To read the full article click here.
The reality is that the environment your child learns in affects their life; make sure that they are in a setting that is healthy for them emotionally. Adding yoga to their lifestyle will result in dramatic changes for the better.