Can you believe back to school time is already upon us? I feel like my kiddos just got out for the summer and poof! Time to go back. Is it just me or is time moving at the speed of light? You too? I thought so.
The start of school is an exciting time and many kids (and parents!) look forward to the beginning of a new school year. Even as an adult there is something so magical about the endless possibilities a blank notebook and fresh new supplies presents. There is a great deal to look forward to, but there is also the element of the unknown and that can be very stressful for many kids. New classmates, new teachers, new routines...it is a lot to adjust to. As adults we sometimes forget the nerves that accompany the return to school. Who will I eat lunch with? What if the teacher is mean? What if I get bad grades? Remember those feelings? I do and I bet you do too!
Just because you aren't the one heading back to the classroom doesn't mean you get off stress free. School can be just as stressful from a parent perspective. Again, there is the fear of the unknown, dramas both big and small that come with our children's relationships, homework battles, tired kids and over scheduled evenings that can all add up to major stress for the whole household.
So how do you deal with the meltdowns (theirs or yours), or better yet-stop them from happening in the first place? That's where yoga comes to the rescue. Yoga has a multitude of benefits that are the same whether you are 5 or 95 years old. It is a great activity for the whole family because it can be modified for any age, ability level, size or shape. There is a type of yoga for truly every body. Practicing yoga can lower blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels in the body. The physical act of moving through the poses releases tense muscles in the body which leads to feeling better both emotionally and physically! Teaching our children healthy ways to handle stress is critical to their well being.
Next time your family is feeling stressed or overwhelmed take a break and try a few beginner poses together, you'll be glad you did!
5 ways children benefit from yoga
1. Yoga teaches children focus
We live in a world fast paced world that is full of distractions. Yoga teaches children to develop focus and be present in the moment. It is nearly impossible to stay in a balance pose if your mind is elsewhere or your gaze and attention are wandering. Children can learn to apply that same singular focus in the classroom.
2. Yoga teaches self calming strategies
The breath is an integral part of any yoga practice. The same breathing techniques we rely on to make it through a challenging pose can be used to help get through challenging periods in our daily lives. Meditation, awareness of the breath and moving our bodies in a healthy way when we feel overwhelmed are all good ways to alleviate stress.
3.Yoga boosts self-esteem and confidence
Yoga is a non-competitive activity. Children can build self-confidence and develop positive body image as they learn to focus on what their bodies are capable of doing instead of comparing themselves to others.
4. Yoga teaches perseverance
It's not called a practice for nothing! Learning intermediate and advanced poses takes lots of practice. Children will experience learning from their failures and eventually the joy of success when they don't give up!
5. Yoga strengthens the mind body connection
Yoga can help children be more aware of the physical signs of stress so they can begin to manage their feeling before they escalate. Yoga connects the breath with the body's movement. This increased awareness of the connection between our mind, breath and movements helps children be more aware of themselves as a whole person and the way each aspect interacts with other.
Remember, your kids' problems may seem small to you but they are just as big to them as our problems are to us. Don't discount them. Give your kids and yourself a tool that can help them manage their stress in a healthy way for the rest of their lives. You will all be happier and calmer because of it.
Hi! I'm Erica, a fitness and healthy food loving wife and mother of three here to inspire you on your wellness journey!