Learning the principles of yoga, meditation (mindfulness), and pranayama (breath-work) is incredibly beneficial at any age, and even more impactful to learn as a child. Imagine if you had these tools as a child!
With the pressure of media, and to constantly do and achieve more, child-hood anxiety has dramatically increased. We are stimulated from the time we wake until sleep, not getting the rest outside of sleep to function properly. This results in nervous energy (and growing popularity of fidget toys), but what we really need is to be alright with taking a time-out to nourish ourselves…and as adults, we need to lead by example. What if we could teach children a way to minimize their anxiety before it becomes a challenge?
Simple yoga, meditation, and pranayama techniques help children (and adults) with the following:
- Communicating dreams & needs, including healthy boundaries
- Manage stressors in healthy ways, which promotes confidence
- Strengthening the mind & body connection for better self-awareness
- Increasing understanding & sensitivity to others
- De-stress for healthy hormone balance
Here’s a simple meditation you can do at home with your family:
Begin by laying down or sitting with eyes gently closed. Place one hand on the chest and the other one on the stomach. Taking a deep inhale through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. Repeat ten times. Feel your rib cage and stomach expanding as you inhale, and shoulders relaxing as you exhale. When ready, begin breathing in and out through the nose, with nice long (2-4 second) breaths. Try lengthening the breath. If you like, as you inhale imagine drawing the breath through your crown chakra (top of your head) as a warm white light. Bring this light through your body and as you exhale let it be absorbed into the earth. Continue as long as you wish.
Yoga for children should be child-appropriate and fun. Yoga, meditation, and pranayama are powerful tools to help nurture our-selves, in order to be more effective, healthier, and happier for ourselves and our community.