BY IVIS MATEOS
Schools today are embracing yoga and its benefits. Yoga has become an essential part of our curriculum and it is being incorporated more and more into public and private schools since it has been discovered that children can benefit greatly from its practice.
Yoga helps children develop body awareness and have a handle on stress levels as we teach them to meditate, control their breathing and learn healthy body movements. Research has shown that children that practice yoga on a weekly basis build stronger concentration skills as well. It also helps with developing a positive self-image and more confidence in themselves.
In the classroom, teachers and children both benefit from their yoga practice skills. Yoga helps educators have an alternative handle to challenges and allows for the integration of a healthy activity, releasing tensions through specific movements. The plank pose helps promote more flexibility and core power in the student’s body as well as helps release body tension.
Self-regulating is essential for children as they begin to deal with different challenges in the classroom and away. Self-regulation is “the ability to flexibly activate, monitor, inhibit, persevere, and adapt one’s behavior, attention, emotions, and cognitive strategies in response to internal cues, environmental factors, and feedback from others” (Bergen-Cico, et al., 2015, p. 3448). A Child’s Pose is also a great pose for children to learn to feel their belly expanding as they are breathing in and out with the teacher’s instruction.
Luckily, practicing yoga is something you can take anywhere. Teachers, parents as well as caregivers can benefit greatly from its benefits when they are at home, school, and even during travels and vacations. All it takes is a cozy corner and set intentions to spend the next few minutes, or an hour if you would like, embracing each move, each breath and the benefits it brings as you enjoy the time with your students or child. Namaste.