• Kerry Emerson

New - Kids Yoga

Yoga's cool. Yoga's fun. Yoga's fab.

As a yoga teacher, I see and feel the benefits of yoga every day. As a parent, I want my son to share those benefits: I want all children to share those benefits.

Countless exploratory studies have created a long list of 'yoga positives' for children. As you may expect, that list includes significant improvements in flexibility, muscle strength and cardiopulmonary fitness. But the benefits far outreach (excuse the pun) the obvious.

Studies have shown, for example, that, following a course of yoga practise, children between the ages of nine and thirteen years old performed better in hand steady testing, which suggests an improvement in attention and concentration. The same age group also showed improved spatial memory which is, principally, a function of the right cerebral hemisphere. This indicates that Yoga provides a wonderful balance for the busy left hemisphere which is engaged for so much of the day in logic and analysis.

Managing stress and anxiety through breath, mindful movements and meditation can help build a child's concentration and increase their confidence. If a child is trying to balance in a yoga asana (posture) their mind focuses on only that; any other worries move aside! Confidence grows through achieving varying degrees of balance or giggles tend to be the result of 'falling out' of the posture. Either way the result is a positive one because Yoga is meditative by nature.

And so this is more than sport for children. Yoga redirects focus from a 'chattering mind' to feeling the body's sensations i.e. how the muscles in the arm feel as it moves through the air, how the body moves during respiration as they sit still. This focus develops awareness without distraction; a gentle kind of discipline. Co-ordinated breath with movement teaches children how to control their breath to move in a connected, safe and conscious way. Controlled breath leads to controlled emotions!

How wonderful that there is a system to help increase the likelihood of positive behaviour patterns in our children. What a relief to discover a way of developing healthy coping strategies that can raise self esteem and promote positive mental health. How fab that yoga is cool, fun and fab for kids.

Contact Kerry Emerson at THE Little YOGA Place for class details

or see www.thelittleyogaplace.co.uk for more details.

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