October 27, 2013

How to Sneak in Some Yoga at School & Home. ~ Elena Sheehy

From the moment a child comes into this world, they bring us so much sweetness and joy.

Why does that warm and fuzzy feeling turn into a struggle and stress as they get older? Kids are like sponges; how can we use children’s receptivity and wonder to allow them to shine the brightest?

One way I found is though an ancient scientific system called yoga.

Here’s a parent/teacher’s guide to sneaking in some yoga:

1. Create a mantra for the day.

Kids love routine.

Especially at the beginning of the day, setting a positive tone can help you and your child create the most harmonious day.

Start each day with a mantra, idea or intention for the day/class.

Here’s a wonderful peace pledge I use from kids for peace global.

I pledge to use my words to speak in a kind way.

I pledge to help others as I go throughout my day.

I pledge to care for our earth with my healing heart and hands.

I pledge to respect people in each and every land.

I pledge to join together as we unite the big and small.

I pledge to do my part to create peace for one and all.

 Then create a fun mudra and mantra using the hands.

I even like to incorporate the latest patty-cake partner clap to go along with the intention. It makes setting an intention or wish fun by sealing it in with laughter.

2.     Hummie hum hum

Try introducing the power of sound vibration to your kids by humming. Ask your child or children to play around with humming.

Hummmmmmmm all together and then begin another round with closing their eyes.

Invite them to imagine a bright yellow light get brighter as they hum stronger sending the hum to each body part.

 3. Move mid-morning with a breath of fire and mountain pose.

You’ve burned through your lesson plans or running around with errands: declare a shake down party break!

Teach them the breathe of fire and mountain pose—which is essentially standing up with awareness—first.

Breath of fire is easy to teach kids and can shift their energy and focus levels immensely: simply ask them to stand up and allow them to focus on the support of the ground and the earth. Ask them to close their eyes and allow them to focus their attention going from head to toe.

Invite them to be like a scientist scanning their physical and emotional body like a person at the zoo observing the animals, just like a scientist spectator.

Explain just like the weather it shifts and changes so it’s our job to just observe it.

Then teach them breath of fire: Ask them to open their mouths and breathe like a dog in heat, tongues out. Then ask them to practice it with their mouths closed, pumping stomach in and out, strong breath going out of the nostrils.

Raise up the arms nice and straight big thumbs up.

And begin!

Make a contest to see who can do it the longest.

Put on some Katy Perry or any music they like then have a shake out party from head to toe  This is a fantastic way to allow kids to move and re-energize in a safe, confined way, letting out any stuck energy.

4. Take a twist before lunch.

A seated twist is the perfect way to signal to the kids that lunch is on the horizon. It’s also a great way to stimulate digestion just before a meal.

Have the kids lift their arms up to the sky as if they were hugging the sun and then flow the arms to one side.

Making sure the head neck and trunk are aligned.

Then have them reach both arms up to the sky to give themselves a nice hug.

Let the inner Buddha’s out by trying some of these positive mindful exercises that will hopefully inspire and generate some future healthy habits.


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Assistant Ed: Paige Vignola / Ed: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Elena Sheehy}

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