Yoga and mindfulness techniques, practiced regularly, can have a profound influence on both managing and drastically reducing stress.
They have been found to help create greater resilience, enhancing one’s ability to stay centred in challenging situations; calming the central nervous system and promoting feelings of health and happiness.
Having more awareness of the body, mind and emotions brings about greater respect for self, for others and for all of life.
Relaxation is one of the keys to staying balanced. Teachers, in fact all us grown-ups, can be over-worked and constantly on the go with little time to let go and just be. Having unstructured time for relaxation is vital for good health. It enables us to be in the most optimal form for our selves and for those around us.
It is imperative that we model this way of being to children. In doing so we are giving them the skills to stay in healthy balance, and creating valuable habits, that will help them move through different phases of their development.
There are so many benefits, hmmm... where to start? Perhaps with a definition of "yoga"! By that I mean - movement, relaxation, breath work, meditation and also mindfulness as this adds an extra depth to all the above.
Yoga is a great way for us to be able to say to our kids - "hey, let's get to know ourselves better". It brings about a deeper understanding of who we are, how our bodies can move, how to make friends with our breath, how to connect with our feelings and take control of our minds.
Through all the different elements of yoga we're giving our children personal skills, developing a strong core and inner strength, resulting in greater resilience to deal with many of the challenges they may face in the world today.
As well as yoga being a personal inward journey that is non-competitive, it can also be a great tool in building social connections with other kids. One of the benefits of yoga is more love and acceptance of self with the wonderful side-effects of greater connections, acceptance and respect for others!
The yoga journey, with it developing greater awareness of self and others, doesn't end there. It invites us to feel our place in the world with a deeper awareness of the elements and our natural environment and how we interconnect with them so we can contribute to life in a more positive way.
In a nut shell...it's through discovering the perfection of who we truly are that we can tap into our greatest potential... it's through our offerings out to others and to the world that we feel we have purpose...and it's through having purpose and a sense of value that we experience deep happiness. Pretty cool skills and life lessons for kids to learn at a young age!
Here's a list of specific benefits broken down in to the areas of development: