I had the honor to guest post over at Mindful Teachers.
We live in a fast-paced world and so do our children. How can we, as adults and teachers, help children connect with themselves and others and also learn to enjoy the moment they are in?
What we think about ourselves can often impact how we develop.
- If we feel we are inadequate, then we’ll behave like that.
- If we believe we are special and loved, we will most likely behave as if we are special and loved.
This is one reason why affirmations and mantras can be an important tool to help children develop positive foundations on which to grow. A positive self-belief system built in childhood will hopefully stay with a person throughout their life.
What are Mantras?
The word ‘mantra’ comes from Sanskrit, and is generally used to mean a special word or phrase that’s used in meditation. Some parents and teachers may be concerned that mantras conflict with their religious beliefs, but mantras don’t need to have a religious aspect or overtone.
You can think of mantras as a few positive words spoken to ourselves each day. This can make such a difference to our whole mind and heart.
Mantras are similar to affirmations, and over time they can help change the way we feel. Mantras are repeated over and over to ourselves out loud or silently. It’s a wonderful technique for kids to use to set themselves up for doing their best and feeling good about themselves and their efforts.
Providing different tools for children to practice mindfulness with mantras, breathing exercises, and yoga poses is one of my passions. As I developed the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards, I wanted to be sure to include all the important tools.
Each card shows a yoga pose and corresponding mantra. Each of the yoga poses involves a variety of muscles working and may make a person feel differently. The accompanying affirmation for each pose is short and memorable.
Continue reading here.
How many physical activities can your child be a part of that allows them to progress and move at their own rate? Yoga is a life long practice. The sooner children learn poses and breathing exercises, the longer they will be able to reap the benefits.
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Read the rest of the article here from our guest post at Des Moines Parent to learn more yoga poses for kids.
As a mom of three and a teacher for over 18 years, I frequently see a recurring theme of anxiousness in children, and it is completely normal. Kids get nervous or stressed. Any different event such as starting a new school year, taking tests, trying new activities, and meeting new people can bring about uncertainty, unease, and worry. Luckily yoga for anxiety can give kids the tools the handle the stress.
When we worry, we take short, shallow breaths which continue to ignite the feeling of unease in our bodies. Slowing down our breathing and taking long, deep breaths naturally brings on a sense of calmness and peace.
Try these three breathing exercises with your kids. These calming techniques are effective for any age, and can be done anywhere – in the morning, during a car ride, sitting in school, or before bedtime. Yoga for anxiety can be done anytime, anywhere.
Roll your shoulders back and down so they are away from your ears. Breathe deeply in through your nose as you raise your shoulders up by your ears. Breath out and lower your shoulders. Repeat movement 3-5 times and feel the tension melt away.
Darth Vader Breath
This is a favorite with children as they associate an image with this breathing exercise. Breathe deeply in and out while exhaling strongly through an open mouth.
Close your eyes and imagine you are an ocean wave. Breathe in and out deeply as if you are an ocean wave crashing on the beach. Alternate the frequency of your breath to become shorter and longer waves.
Are you interested in learning more about how to effectively teach yoga and mindfulness to children? Learn more about our new online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training.