Jan 15, 2017 06:19PM
By By Sara Carapezzi
Yoga, which is described as a form of “union” in Sanskrit, connects body, mind and spirit. The joy, simplicity and gentleness of the yoga discipline can provide children with life-long self-calming and de-stressing tools.
Stretching, breathing and moving the body into various yoga poses promotes health. It encourages strong muscles, bones and joints; helps maintain and improve flexibility; promotes healthy, efficient digestion and circulation; and supports correct posture. Focusing on awareness of the breath while practicing the poses helps tone the internal organs and stimulates the body to function efficiently. Through yoga, children learn to go with the flow of what feels right for them and listen, thereby developing respect and acceptance for themselves.
Like adults, children experience stress and demands from school, home, sports and peer relationships. They hear about world events and feel troubled by them. This worry creates an uncertainty in the comfort they feel in daily living. Each child has their own unique way of responding to the stressors in their life. They may act out, show unkindness to others or retreat from activities and others. Children deserve to enjoy life with innocence and purity. Yoga is a way for them to process the stressors in their life, balancing the nervous system and allowing them to view their world with peace and confidence.
The modality helps children to focus and concentrate, improve self-esteem and confidence, and nurture awareness and kindness to others. A child’s mind may be over-stimulated by the pace of life and the clutter of visual and auditory stimulation from computers, video games and television. By learning to breathe deeply while lying still and listening to the “silence”, children can enjoy and appreciate the time and space to be quiet and calm. The breathing and visualization techniques can be incorporated before homework or a test, when they are upset or just to fall asleep peacefully.
Yoga is an exciting and peaceful opportunity to help our children learn to be individuals, accept themselves and others, and be physically and mentally fit.
Sara Carapezzi is the owner of The School of Royal Yoga, which also offers yoga to individuals with special needs through its nonprofit organization, The Center for Special Needs. Connect at TheRoyalPathways.com and 908-879-9648.