“Stand tall. Sit upright. Shoulders back, tuck your bottom…”
While your grandparents might want you to be prim and proper, posture is much more involved than just how you look. How we sit, stand, or maintain any upright position without support requires postural control. We do this daily without much thought or effort so that we can use our energy and focus on more complicated tasks. But for some, especially kids, just sitting in a chair without falling is a challenge. It may not seem like a big deal, but almost activity we do requires sustaining an upright position against gravity.
Yoga is simple enough that your child can do it.
Here’s some suggestions for your kid at any age.
By now, we’re all pretty familiar about the perks of yoga. It promotes our overall health and well-being, reduces stress, and helps us “find our center.” The practice has been trending in the past decade and schools have even implemented it to help guide children’s focus and self-regulation.
Research has shown positive outcomes from regular yoga practice, including:
- Increased attention, decreased hyperactivity, and faster task completion in 5-year-olds who completed yoga 2x/week
- Mental and emotional benefits in children ages 5-18 years, including decreased anxiety, boosted concentration and memory, improved confidence and self-esteem, and improved academic performance
- Brain scans revealing reduced activation of the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for emotions and arousal levels) in 6th graders
- Improvements in attention as well as decreased oppositional behaviors, restlessness, and impulsivity following 20 sessions of yoga with boys diagnosed with ADHD
- Improvements in imitation and play with peers in children with ASD following 10 months of yoga 5 days/week
Sounds good on paper, but yoga with kids can be intimidating. “Am I doing this right? Can kids even do these poses?”
It’s not just a bunch of poses and breathing. Although that notion is partially true, there’s more to it. The goal of yoga is to grow self-awareness, connecting the mind and the body to the present moment. It’s because of this broadness that makes participation in its practice easy.
The first five years of your child’s life is bursting with curiosity, exploration, and…emotions. One moment, they’re happy and the next, they’re bawling their eyes out because you gave them the wrong color cup or because they can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
In our past post about self-regulation, kids need to adjust their arousal levels to meet and manage the energy demands of their tasks throughout the day. This includes how to appropriately handle emotions.
Mary and I had planned on sharing our potty-training stories over a year ago. We had two very different situations, but didn’t want to write about them until we had successfully got our kids trained.
Fast forward one year, we think we finally have some things to share.
Disclaimer: This is not a how-to potty train post. This is simply our two stories and some weird (yet common) things we ran into in the process.