After the difficult period that we have all been through, we decided our children would benefit from some specialist yoga teaching. Lucy Franko came to Rollright to deliver yoga to all of the children for a term and this has proven to be so successful that her sessions are now a regular fixture in our week and are greatly enjoyed by all of the children. We are very grateful to ‘The Friends of Rollright’ who continually fundraise to pay for these sessions.
Your child might feel overwhelmed on a daily basis. Many children today are suffering from a lack of connection to their bodies, to their environment, and to themselves. Through the use of yoga tools, stories, and play we can provide children with opportunities to grow physically, mentally and emotionally, helping them connect with themselves and others with compassion, understanding and clarity.
Yoga is fun, non-competitive, it helps concentration, it improves coordination and balance, is a great way to build confidence, it keeps children fit and healthy, it can help children keep calm and can reduce stress and anxiety caused by exams or other pressures.
Benefits of Yoga for Children:
- Physical strength and flexibility
- Body awareness (anatomical reference) and Self Awareness (emotions and body)
- Balance poses to improve strength further but help develop concentration and focus
- Practice cross pattern movements such as All Fours and Yoga Walk
- Experience the opposing actions of dynamic moves versus stillness, stretch and relax
- Breathing practices help link emotional to physical and offer tools for stress and anxiety management
- Breathing and relaxation provide an opportunity for stillness, quiet and peace
- Learning that we can control ourselves
- Learning that we have a choice and can decide how we feel
- Thinking about our actions and how they impact others
- Becoming aware of our thoughts and how they can impact our actions or exposure to situation i.e. being open to experience
- Working with partners and the group demands coordination and social interactions
- Story-telling and Yoga games promote creativity and expression
Yoga is inclusive and non competitive
Appeals to Children with any Learning Aptitude
Yoga uses physical skills as well as intellectual skills and imagination therefore it can appeal to children who are creative or children who are more logical, children who are expressive or more introvert. All 3 -Visual, Audio and Kinaesthetic – types of learning cues are used during a Yoga class, appealing to a wide range of abilities and personalities. In fact, some of the experience that we can create for children in our stories can appeal to the wider sensory inputs known as VAKOG: Visual Auditory, Kinaesthetic. Olfactory and Gustatory. In the Yoga class, everyone is equal and we get to learn that we all have very varying abilities and unique skills as individuals and to respect our differences. It is a lovely way to experience a different activity: the quieter children will be gaining confidence and the more boisterous children will be learning to focus.
Why are breathing exercises important for kids?
Teaching children mindful breathing provides them with a simple but effective strategy for slowing down – emotionally, mentally and physically, which in turn provides them with space to notice how they’re feeling and/or the opportunity to calm down in the face of overwhelming emotions.
It’s not about avoiding big feelings. Instead breathing exercises can help a child feel more in control and ready to constructively process their feelings, or the stressful situation they find themselves in. The exercises help children develop greater emotional awareness and coping skills.
Breathing also helps kids;
- Feel happier
- Reduce stress and tension
- To lower a high heart rate and blood pressure
- Improve focus and concentration
Here is a link to try few fun breathing exercises at home
5 Breathing Exercises for Kids for Calm and Focus (+ Free Poster) (kidsyogastories.com)
( Feathers and pom poms are great props when focusing on your breathing and are fun to use) Blowing on a feather with long inhales and exhales or trying to move a pom pom with your breath is a fun way to explore connecting with your breath. Blowing bubbles and pinwheels are very popular with children too. They are having fun but by paying attention to their breath they are learning to self-regulate.
You can support your child at home by doing simple yoga poses and breathing exercises.
There are various yoga cards available to purchase online. Children love trying the poses and often make up their own stories.
You can play musical chairs with the cards or create new poses! 😊
Sometimes Lucy is able to link her sessions to other curriculum areas too. We have had story themed sessions, Jubilee yoga and even some mathematical yoga where the children made group poses to link to their work on shape and space!
Please click on the link below to access Lucy, our yoga teacher’s brochure and further information.