Take a deep breath. Hold it for a second. Okay, let it out. Whew. We all need a reminder to do that every once in a while, right? Something about those three seconds of focus on nothing but a calming breath makes me feel a little better and maybe more ready to tackle what lies ahead. Taking a moment to tune out and turn inward calms our nervous system.
Now, if you need a bigger mental renovation - go for a walk! Aerobic exercise like walking or jogging promotes the uptake of chemicals in our brain that make us feel more relaxed and improve our mood. This month, I want to talk about using yoga to find moments for your child to experience more movement, free-form play, and downtime away from a screen to harness some truly powerful positivity as they navigate the challenges of their own world.
Let's talk yoga. Forms of traditional yoga include aspects of breathing, strengthening, stretching, story telling, and mindfulness. But, yoga doesn't have to fit any specific definition - it can simply be movement that makes us feel good. This is why it's so great for kids! Working some form of yoga into your child's daily or weekly schedule can reduce their stress and anxiety levels, increase concentration and memory during school hours, develop strength and flexibility, and improve self-esteem. Powerful positivity!
I've created an activity for you to try at home. I think this creates a great opportunity for a "brain break" from school and opens the door for creative story-telling, movement, and play! Here are a few ideas for how your child can use the attached card set:
Including mindful movement in your child's day doesn't have to be an added stressor for you to plan and set up. It can be as simple as pulling a video up and letting your kids have free reign. I recommend exploring the hundreds of kid's yoga classes available for free on YouTube and find one with a theme your child is interested in (Star Wars, Frozen, colors, relaxation, animals...you name it!). Some tips and tricks for video-led yoga at home:
I can't wait to hear how you've used yoga and creative play as a jumping off point to add some fun, variety, and movement into your day. Be sure to check out KidSPOT’s Yoga in the Park program currently going on every Saturday at 9:00am! Click below to learn more and sign-up!
Written by: Reagan Rupard, SDPT
KidSPOT Doctor of Physical Therapy Intern
RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor