Category: Mindfulness

Yoga and Art Therapy in the School

What a blessing it has been to lead kids yoga classes this summer with the Children and Family Urban Movement.  CFUM’s mission is to create a community that supports the potential of children, youth and families through educational success, healthy living, and community engagement.

Introducing the kids to yoga and mindfulness has filled my heart. They had so much joy in trying new things.

As a special treat, each child was able to personalize their very own donated yoga mat.

Mindful Teachers Recommend Go Go Yoga for Kids

Go Go Yoga for Kids

Recommended Book for Mindful Teachers

by Catharine Hannay

If you’re interested in yoga and mindful movement for children and teens, check out Go Go Yoga For Kids by Sara J. Weis.

Read more here.

Kid Approved Random Acts of Kindness Game

We tell kids all the time to share, play nicely and be kind to others. It is one thing to say, but we all know how actions mean more than words. Sometimes a simple act of kindness can go a long way to brighten our day more than we would ever imagine.

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week with your kids with the Go Go Yoga for Kids Kindness Bingo Game.

Try to complete all 12 Kindness Challenges before the week is over to brighten schools, families and yourself. Get your Go Go Yoga Kids Kindness Bingo Game.

Want more kids yoga lesson plans, printables and yoga resources delivered monthly? Sign up here.

Get Ready for the Kids Yoga Challenge!

Yoga is fun! Get kids fit, flexible and focused

with the Kids Yoga Challenge

by Go Go Yoga for Kids

For 30 days, The Kids Yoga Challenge by Go Go Yoga Kids will improve your kids’ balance, flexibility mindfulness and more. This challenge is adult friendly as well so please join in!

Each challenge day will showcase a You Tube video including:

  • an introduction of the yoga pose
  • how to do each pose correctly
  • health benefits associated with this pose
  • a mantra to recite to help create mindfulness and meditation

Please subscribe to the Go Go Yoga for Kids You Tube Channel for updates.

We will also be using the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards to help in this challenge. This Kids Yoga Challenge Card Deck includes 30 poses with partner poses, confidence building mantras and more fun games to play together using the Kids Yoga Pose Cards.

The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards include:

  • 30 progressive yoga poses
  • Empowering pose mantras for beginners and meditation
  • Poses rated from 1-5 stars based on difficulty
  • Easy to flow poses for your own yoga routine or flow
  • Tested and proven yoga poses to bring most mental and physical benefit
  • Use of only minutes each day to gain lifelong skills and health benefits

These Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards will soon be available for purchase.

Questions or wanting to be part of the initial review team? Contact us here.

Wanting more kids yoga lesson plans, poses and ideas? Get your copy of Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga with Kids.

 

How to Calm Little Minds: Yoga For Kids

Adults aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Yoga can also be used to help anxious kids and achieve many healthy benefits in the process . Learn simple poses and ideas to introduce and practice yoga at home with your kids.

Yoga for kids is becoming increasingly popular. It is showing up in school classrooms, daycares, sports, in addition to yoga studios and other health clubs. The physical benefits of yoga are lifelong and include flexibility, strength, and coordination. Yoga is also recognized as a relaxation technique and used to help combat anxiety in kids as well as adults.

Here is what Today’s Parent had to say on helping to calm little minds while practicing yoga.

 

Sneaky (Subtle) Ways to Settle Kids Down

savasanaMaybe the word “sneaky” sounds too conniving and calculated, but after an energetic and fun-filled kids yoga class or a busy day out and about, there is nothing better than settling children into a state of relaxation or savasana. Anyone who has ever worked with or  been around kids for approximately 30 seconds, knows that quieting kids is not always an easy task to do. These tips work great with kids at home or in a kids yoga class!

Read on for some simple tips that can make that important last bit of a kids yoga class all the more refreshing and relaxing. This is the perfect time that children can reap the benefits of their yoga class after working and moving their bodies in such a good and healthy way.

  1. Turn the lights down low if possible.
  2. Play slow and  calming music.
  3. Have children begin to lie on their backs as slowly as possible while counting down from 10.
  4. Have them bring their knees to their chest give themselves a big hug. They love this!
  5. Allow the kids to lay however they feel most comfortable; on their back, stomach or curled into a ball.
  6. Use phrases like, “be as still as a statue, ” or “quiet as a mouse” to help give kids a mental picture of how to pose and act.
  7. Depending on the situation, lightly rub the children’s’ backs. It is amazing the calm it brings and how much they respond to this little touch.

Call it a success, if you get stillness for even 10 seconds from your class or child at first! Savasana is something to build on with kids. Over time the duration will lenghten. It really does become a favorite part of class or nightly routine at home as they get to lie there and “do nothing.” The act of being totally present brings about so many benefits for kids.

Fab Four Benefits of Yoga for Kids: Don’t Miss it!

1.     Increases Flexibility and StrengthImani Down Dog good

Picture a toddler and all of the flexibility they have to bend, squat, and move in all sorts of positions that adults suddenly sometimes find themselves unable to do. Children are naturally flexible, but somewhere around ages of 6 or 7 their flexibility begins to diminish. The good news is that by practicing yoga it will help you maintain flexibility. Yoga also builds strength as muscles are worked in new ways. Whether a pose is done standing, sitting, or lying down each pose has its own benefits and can challenge various muscle groups. Being flexible also allows fewer and less severe injuries. That is good news for kids involved in many activities outside of school.

2.     Improves BalanceBeanbags on head group

Similar to flexibility, balance is another skill that decreases as we age. Everything from navigating icy sidewalks in winter to holding a tree pose works to improve your balance skills. Balance can be improved with practice and many yoga poses and postures incorporate different elements of balance. Your body’s balance naturally improves while practicing yoga without realizing it.  As children work to improve their balance in poses, they are filled with self-confidence and can almost feel their bodies getting stronger as they hold these poses.

3.     Enhances Concentration and Focus

Flower KateKids are part of a rapidly changing world with young minds easily over stimulated with technology and electronics.  They are used to getting immediate feedback with their video games, tablets, and phones.  This can make it very difficult for children to actually sit, focus, and complete a task in school. Yoga helps children to practice concentration and self-control which then enhances their focus and awareness.

4.     Practice Being Present and Mindful

As parents and kids rush from activity to activity, it is difficult to be still and appreciate the moment that we are in. It doesn’t start like this for kids —  think of a preschooler noticing the shape of a leaf or color of the sky as they dawdle home from the park.

Sadly many kids become accustomed to a faster pace lifestyle until they suddenly do not know any different way. There is much benefit to slowing down, unplugging, and being away from it all for a bit. A good kids yoga classes can provide that. They begin with a settling into the moment and focusing on their breath and body. Kids can practice engaging poses with games and end with a savasana or quiet time. The end of class usually becomes the students’ favorite part while they lie still and “do nothing”. They know they worked their body hard and this is a time to give back, be still, and reap the benefits of strengthening their body. Being involved in a yoga class keeps the kids present, aware, and in the moment — a valuable skill to practice throughout life.

 

Just Breathe! How to Calm Yourself in 30 Seconds

mothers day yogaThere are several ways to practice breath and being mindful with your kids, but the main goal is to make children aware of how they are feeling while slowing down their bodies and noticing their breath. Does their breath become short, shallow and fast when they are getting worked up or nervous about something?

The following is a simple sequence that allows children to practice becoming aware of their breath and it helps them focus and calm their nerves before a test, presentation, game, recital or anything that they are feeling anxiety or stress over.

  1. Find a seated position comfortably with your hands resting open on your lap.
  2. Sit up tall, close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in for a count of five and out for a count of three through your nose.
  4. Repeat for five to seven rounds.
  5. Open your eyes and see how you feel. More peaceful and ready to take on the world?!

Help your kids practice this simple technique and it will become a tool that they will always have with them to use and find success with.

Be Present and Mindful

person-girl-cute-youngWe tell kids to pay attention, but do they really even know how?

Mindfulness is described as paying attention on purpose. This is a skill that is important to help model and practice with children.

Being present and practicing mindfulness are buzz words that are becoming more and more common in the media and among education leaders right now. There is something to be said for appreciating the moment you are in right now, but in our fast-paced society and lives it is becoming more and more difficult.

Kids nowadays are busy. There are commitments for them from the moment they get out of school and spill over into the weekend. No wonder it can be difficult for kids to just be.  It doesn’t start out like that for kids, picture a preschooler noticing the shape of a leaf or color of the sky and many times dwadaling along.

Sadly many kids slowly become accustomed our faster pace lifestyle and they need to be reminded that it doesn’t always need to be that way.

A good kids yoga classes can provide that. They begin with a settling into the moment and focusing on their breath and body. Kids can practice engaging poses with games and end with a savasana or quiet time. The end of class usually becomes the students’ favorite part while they lie still and “do nothing.” They know they worked their body hard and this is a time to give back, be still, and reap the benefits of strengthening their body. Being involved in a yoga class keeps the kids present, aware, and in the moment — a valuable skill to practice throughout life.

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