Q/A with Beth – Yoga and Mindfulness with Kids
How is yoga and mindfulness beneficial for kids
What differentiates Kids Yoga from other large motor activities is its additional focus on deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation. The fun physical exploration of bending, stretching, twisting and even turning upside down, allows children to cultivate strength and flexibility in a non-competitive and compassionate environment.
Mindfulness - or learning how to be in the present moment – teaches us how to see and accept things as they are, without emotion or judgment, to simply be in the moment with a sense of equanimity and calm. Mindfulness experiences force us to slow down and pay attention. In just a couple of minutes of mindfulness activity, we can shift from a hyper, stressed state to one that is calm and more balanced.
Yoga and mindfulness experiences teaches children how to be less reactive, more in touch with how they feel, compassionate and thoughtful. They become better skilled at managing stress and are better able to stay rational in both thought and behaviour.
How can I incorporate this at home?
The Karma Class has produced two incredible resources for parents – the Karma Home Activity Cards and the Karma Collection of online kids yoga classes and mindful activities.
The cards are designed to help parents support their children’s social, emotional and physical wellbeing within a calm, compassionate and caring home. They deliver a holistic body, breath and mind experience for every age and stage, based on the science of Yoga, Breath and Mindfulness and offer a multitude of ideas and activities to support overall social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
The Karma Collection is a compilation of 42 kids yoga classes, meditations and mindful activities to benefit children’s minds, muscles and moods.
What is a fun and engaging yoga practise for kids?
Pick a theme – A visit to the Zoo – and become each animal that you see. Turn your body into that animal’s shape and breathe like that animal. Have a conversation about caring for the animals. At the end of the outing, take a rest. Listen to some calming music or read a guided meditation (see the Karma Home Cards for many different ideas).
What are the warning signs to look for in kids if they are feeling stressed or anxious?
Notice changes in behaviour and mood. Their sleep might become affected and they may become more clingy. Food and eating may become an issue and they may start to act out in ways you have never seen before.
Are kids today more anxious than previous generations? Why?
Kids may be more anxious than previous generations – it looks and feels as if they are.
It’s pretty challenging to be a kid these days. With the onslaught of social media and its distractions, temptations and tendency to overstimulate young brains, as well as peer and school pressure, children are showing early signs of stress and stress-related challenges.
There’s an increase in both parents needing, or choosing, to work full time which often means young children start daycare earlier, resulting in increases in anxiety (separation anxiety) and stress, even in our youngest.
And there’s the issues of home stress – divorce, financial, work, Covid 19. Children absorb the stress of their parents and adults around them.
Giving them tools to manage their stresses in a safe, healthy and compassionate way goes a long way in building their resilience, confidence and self-awareness and may minimise mental health issues in their teen years.
Beth Borowsky, founder of The Karma Class is an educator, kids and adult yoga teacher and teacher trainer. Their programs and products are designed to bring health and wellbeing tools into the home and classroom, and offer inspired techniques that start in each, and last a lifetime. For information on the cards and trainings contact www.thekarmaclass.com