Both adults and children today seem to be suffering from a variety of stress-related ailments. Kids, just like adults, have many pressures to respond to, from completing mounds of homework, sports competitions and the pressure to compete with other children and too many after-school activities which leads to over-scheduling. For children and adults alike, yoga is being used as a way to help. Yoga helps by teaching kids to relax with yoga poses for kids- designed for their developing bodies.
Teaching kids yoga poses also helps them develop body awareness, enhances self-control, and improves flexibility and coordination. When practiced regularly, they also are able to transfer these skills into their daily routines, no matter how hectic their schedules may be from time to time. Many students want to know what to do when they become frustrated. These instances can range from times when their computers don’t work properly to when they don’t understand how to perform assigned tasks.
Yoga poses for kids also has proven to help the hyperactive and attention-deficit child. The skills they learn in yoga class help to satisfy their inner cravings for movement and sensory/motor stimulus- and channel these impulses in a positive way. The poses that parents and instructors find most helpful with these children are those that instill confidence and strength, like the warrior and tree poses. These, when coupled with verbal reminders to not only just do the poses but imagine themselves tall and strong, are highly effective.
Kids yoga poses can also be done with a partner, which helps to instill trust into their subconscious. When working with another child they also learn teamwork, especially when skilled instructors give verbal visualization guidance while performing the poses. This is also a key element in the relaxation exercises- many times these are calming themes that all students can relate to. One example is the suggestion that the child is in a beautiful meadow, surrounded by beautiful trees and green pastures. Other suggestions may be for the child to imagine that they also hear the sweet sounds of song birds or sensing the fresh air as they practice good breathing techniques. All of these elements can be incorporated into a complete routine.
Aside from the immediate advantages for children participating in yoga classes, these skills will continue to help them as they get older. Instead of being a young adult unable to deal with more intense situations, they are able to draw upon years of coping skills they learned early on. They are also more likely to continue with yoga as a life-long practice that will provide them with overall good health and spiritual well being.
Here are slides from Christine’s presentation at the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention in Philadelphia Nov 2010. This presentation reviews the benefits of yoga and yogic exercises, such as breathing techniques, that can be employed to help remediate speech and language disorders in children.
The presentation addresses the benefits of yoga on kids and especially those receiving speech and language services from speech-language pathologists (SLP). Children with disordes such as articulation, language, autism specturm, ADD, ADHD, fluency can all benefit from yogic exercises which reduces anxiety and lowers stress levels resulting in more attentive, more task-focused and more retentive children.