In our busy world, it can be easy to let the days pass you by. This can often take a toll on our minds and bodies. Because of this, it is important that we find time in our day to take a moment to be with ourselves and reinforce how important it is for children to take a moment to be with their bodies.
I started introducing basic yoga poses to my 3-4 year old class in the mornings and before nap. I have seen a huge improvement in their behavior. We start every morning with a “Good Morning Yoga” book by Mariam Gates to stretch out our bodies and get ready for the day. Then, we sit down and I have the children put one hand on their heart and the other on their tummy and they listen to their breaths. I then have them think about the choices they are going to make throughout the day. After they open their eyes they all have a new calmness about them that is amazing to see.
Another strategy I have found to be helpful is having children take a rainbow breath. A rainbow breath is when you put your hands together by your chest and lift your arms up and spread them out like a rainbow. This has helped my class very much in slowing them down before they get upset at another classmate and I often see them reminding their classmates to take a rainbow breath when they get upset. I would highly recommend incorporating rainbow breaths daily or at least a few days a week. The more the children practice their rainbow breaths, the better they will become with this new skill!
We also do yoga before nap time as a way to calm our bodies and get out any extra energy before nap time, which has helped them sleep better. Calming yoga before nap time allows them a fresh restart of their day once they wake up from their nap.
The kids have really gravitated towards yoga and it seems to be one of their favorite activities. Some of their favorites include, child's pose, warrior pose and tree pose. They like these poses because they say it makes them feel “strong and powerful”,“peaceful” and “it calms my body down.” Yoga has not only given my class a fun way to get out their energy out, but it has also given them a great vocabulary to use when they are feeling upset or angry. It has given them an outlet when they need a break and help them figure out what they are feeling. When you are at home, I encourage everyone to take just 10 minutes to be with your child and do some yoga and breathing exercises. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped us! Check out this video to do some basic yoga poses with me if you need some help getting started!
Christine S. | Lead Teacher