Simple ways we can help our children (and ourselves) feel calmer
With all the uncertainty around going back to school, teachers, parents and children alike are naturally feeling anxious – at the least!
What I love about sharing yoga with kids (and adults!) is how easily it helps even the busiest of minds to calm down.
Stress and anxiety comes from the thoughts that can so easily get stuck in our head – to do with a past event, or a potential future one. For many, it can even start to feel normal to be constantly thinking worrying thoughts.
This impacts our ability to think clearly and learn (or teach) – and over prolonged periods of time can even inhibit brain development.
Anxiety can also lead to physical tension in the body, which can perpetuate the negative emotions, in addition to affecting posture, breathing and confidence.
(I’ll be talking in-depth about all these topics and more, on our up-coming podcast – please stay tuned for the imminent launch!)
Improve Mental & Emotional Wellbeing
The way that yoga works to improve our mental and emotional state, is via the breath and the body.
You may have heard me talk about this as part of the online teachers’ masterclass I offer, but to summarise – attention on the movements and positions of the body, when combined with attention on the breath and focus on the senses, helps us to reach a much more mindful state quickly and easily. That is, in comparison to more static mindful activities. (You can find that masterclass here.)
I wish for all schools to offer mindful yoga to children, that includes age appropriate movement and poses for a child’s anatomical development, with age appropriate breathing techniques – because these are just a few of the ways yoga can help us feel calmer:
- Mindful movement – this offers non-competitive, physical activity that easily instils focus and concentration – which means time not thinking about other things!
- Time to move also helps to release physical tension – helping to break the anxiety cycle
- Attention on the breath – I’ve taught many children, who soon tell me that they know how to breathe to help themselves calm down!
- Attention on the senses, and intentionally on thoughts – rare time to turn our attention inward, to notice thoughts and emotions, and learn how we can start to become more in-control of how we feel.
- Time to relax – after time spent moving and breathing, we are usually in a more receptive state to rest and relax, essential to physical and emotional wellbeing.
Below is a lovely short, six minute seated class, that can easily be used at home, or in the classroom. Please share with teachers and pupils – it will be suitable for most between the ages of 4 to 11.
Any questions at all about helping to raise wellbeing in school, please get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org