OOOOOOhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm

Little children are adorable (at least I think so). Little children doing yoga…a-freaking-dorable.  The e-article entitled, “Yoga helps even little ones channel energy, emotion” (click here to read), talks about the benefits of yoga with regards to mental health and well-being and how those benefits are now being extended to children and adolescents. I think this is a great idea!  With obesity rates going up in children and studies showing that even toddlers can be victims of depression, yoga as an intervention seems very smart and necessary.  Therefore, I have deemed it the Good News of the Day! 

Best part for me was when the article described some of the interactive elements of the yoga class.  For example, the children “bark in Downward Dog and hiss on their bellies in Snake pose. They imagine aloud what color their gum would be while repeatedly breathing deeply for “Bubble Gum Breath.” They act out “Go To Your Room” by bending over, grabbing their ankles and stomping backward, squatting down and mimicking slamming a door”. 

Too cute, right?  Not only are they getting physical activity and learning to breathe and maintain calm, they are also having fun with it.   Apparently this trend of youth-yoga is spreading across the world; it’s already in places like Georgia,  Minnesota, Russia and even here in California.  Parents, it may be worth it to check something like this out if you have a hyperactive child or even a child who has difficulty coping with his or her emotions.  It would be a non-threatening environment to learn healthy coping skills and manage high energy levels.  If a child can become balanced with their emotions and more positive, it is more likely that they would do better in school and be able to make friends more easily.

Highlights of the article…

*A little girl, age 5, named GiGi who collapses after a plank pose then sticks her finger up her nose.

* At least 150 U.S. schools follow a program called YogaKids’ extensive lesson plan where they learn poses like the “Polar Bear” — sitting on the heels, knees apart, chest to the floor — can lead to discussions about where polar bears live and why they hibernate. The balancing pose “Flamingo” asks children to calculate how the bird’s wingspan in feet and meters.

* a 12 year old boy describing how yoga helped him to cope with his parents divorce and helped him gain more positivity.   He described himself as a “downer” before he started taking yoga two years ago.  He is quoted as saying “I wasn’t really that happy a kid, I guess, and my grades, they weren’t that good…I wasn’t that joyful.”  Look at how self aware he is! He is also insinuating that his grades did improve and he currently feels more joyful. Amazing.

“The older a kid gets, 13, 14, 15, we all know how hard it is for them to understand their bodies. It’s especially difficult when you have a child that’s been told they have ADHD, they’ve been told they cannot because that’s the way they are,” she said. “I’ve seen yoga give kids their control back. They feel like they’re taking it and they can steer again.”

*First and second-graders remain completely still and quiet, in a meditative pose, for nearly five minutes during the yoga class.  Wow!

* A quote from a mother whose 9 year old had attempted other behavioral modification techniques with no results before they tried the yoga…”He couldn’t settle himself, he was just very high-strung and bored with everything,” she said. “But, wow, yoga opened something in him. Pranayama breathing (slow, steady deep yogic breaths) put him in his space. When things get too tight, rough and crazy, do his own little Eagle pose…I once found him in his bedroom chanting,” she said. “It almost seems like we put him on a yoga mat instead of putting him on medication.”

 

P.S.  I think the stain on the child’s shirt in the pic above tells us that she is a messy eater who knows how to relax. =)

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