In the previous article, Back to School Yoga, we talked about diaphragmatic breathing for young children. We will build upon this foundation by talking about methods to assist children shift from one part of the day to another. Change durations are those times that involve moving from one activity to another. This sounds easy enough, but think about that many activities are time-bound.

yoga for children

For kids, limits are set by an external authority, thus, motion needs the behavioural and intellectual capabilities necessary to conform to outside demands. At five years of age, for instance, when everything holds so much fascination and capacity for pleasure, limitations appear arbitrary at best. For related factors, transitions are difficult for kids, and yoga can help. Relinquishing one activity for another can be assisted in by describing the steps involved. As adults, we commonly benefit from having memorized the initial step or two of a procedure – so too can kids.

One of the first transitions that we make during the day is from sleep to wakefulness. Many kids have trouble getting out of bed, and when we think about that, extremely often, hurried morning meals, quick showers, parental exhortations, and shuffling into the vehicle or bus are the alternatives to a serene rolling over back into sleep, it’s little marvel at all that this period of modification is possibly upsetting. The technique is to include a gentle intermediate process – a ‘stepping stone’ – that prevents an unconscious ‘this or that’ contrast.

Take, for example, a greatly customized Sun Salutation, including Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Standing Forward Flexed (Uttanasana), and a gentle Back Bend. Given a really standard four-second count into each position and the same count out, this vinyasa would take less than a minute to finish, yet the advantages have the capacity to influence a whole day.

The instant sense of urgency and bustle that the calmest of us feel when rushed from bed by an alarm system can be stopped in its tracks by the really practical, very rational realization that there does, certainly, exist a sixty-second slot every morning that can be dedicated to nothing even more than breathing! The skill involved in mindfulness, that required point of view, is a vital aspect of healthy living, and must be taught straight to children.

So, how does all of this come together? Institute a well balanced mini-vinyasa, such as the one pointed out above, as a ‘just-out-of-bed’ routine. Have your kid stand next to you to stretch. Attempt not to provide this as another morning task, but as a fun activity. ‘Let us stretch!’ is an enthusiastic invitation, and one that many children will certainly want to accept. Keeping the series really brief and the breathing simple (see below) will certainly ensure that kids remain focused.

As an example, when your youngster gets up, have him/her stand next to you. Instruct him/her in the following series, demonstrating and encouraging participation.

  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Picture that your feet are the roots of a tree, wiggle your toes into the earth and feel extremely firm. Now, imagine that you are growing taller and taller! Reach your hands up like branches. Breathe in all the way to the bottom of your stomach, breathe out slowly and lower your hands to your sides.

  2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): flex your knees just a little and flex your torso forward toward the floor. Make sure that your lower back is straight (no curve in the lumbar spinal column). Bend forward as far as you can, keeping your lower back straight. Inhale slowly and afterwards let it out slowly. Place your hands on your hips. Inhale, keeping your lower back directly, and gently raise your upper body away from the floor till you’re standing directly up once again. Lower your hands to your sides.

  3. Gentle Back Bend: Raise your hands, palms dealing with up, toward the ceiling. Unwind your shoulders. Clench your buttocks and imagine that you’re arching back over a big barrel. Don’t stress over stretching far back – your focus must be on even rounding through the vertebrae. What this indicates is that there are no sharp bends – your spine ought to flex evenly and carefully in an even curve. A great cue is that your eyes and face need to be pointing in the very same direction as your sternum. Take a great, deep breathe, and as you breathe out, clench your butts and slowly roll back to a standing position. Lower your arms gently.

Try this yourself a couple of times, paying attention to your breathing and your count. You’ll certainly notice a certain distinction in your mood shortly thereafter, an improvement in outlook that’ll enhance in time as you continue. Introduce this regular slowly, asana-by-asana if essential, to your kids, it ought to be a steady and satisfying addition to their daily routine.

Best of luck in this and all transitions to healthy living!