It is becoming more common for children to practice yoga, either with their families, in extracurricular activities or even within the school space. The benefits that yoga exercises have shown to reduce anxiety states and bring calmness, make this activity very suitable for the school environment for obvious reasons. What teacher would not sign that his pupils are more focused and relaxed?
The reason why children need to do yoga at school
Our children live in a fast-paced world of busy parents, pressured educational institutions, long hours in class – too long – artificially created needs and competitiveness. And surely we do not notice that all this can influence or even stress the smallest of the house, affecting their internal joy usually for bad.
Yoga can help counter these pressures, especially if instead of posing as an activity added to your busy schedule, we include it as part of the school program. When children learn techniques for relaxation, self-knowledge and health care, we make them directly aware and involved in their well-being and help them navigate the challenges of life with greater ease. At an early age, yoga promotes self-esteem, cooperation, compassion, and body awareness without generating more competitiveness than they already live. In addition to gaining physical flexibility, strength, and coordination, they also learn to concentrate, calm down, and relax when they need it.
Adapt to the circumstances
Before thinking about which exercises we are going to perform, it is important to take into account some important conditioning factors for the practice. At what ages will we work? Of course, it is not the same with the 3 to 6 year age group than with the age group of 7 to 10 years, or even with all ages mixed. Where will we do it? The space of the classroom, the patio or a multipurpose room will mark certain possibilities and limitations that we can not ignore. How big will the group be? There will be more complex exercises that with small groups we can work, but not with large groups as it will be impossible to adequately supervise the correct implementation.
Yoga exercises we can do at school
Then, when proposing five basic exercises, the idea is that they can fit into all the mentioned variables. And for this reason, it will not hurt to complement the practice with some more exercises that adapt to the specificity of the age, a size of the group or space where we work.
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stay standing with feet together or slightly apart. Find a balance point by equating the weight between the two feet, activate your thighs and abdomen. Rotate shoulders back to open a chest. You can leave your arms at your sides with your palms facing forward or lift them and clasp your hands over your head. You are a mountain, strong and stable, at rest. Breathe slowly, if you feel like closing your eyes and become aware of your whole body.
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Get on your hands and knees on the floor and you see lifting the hips up trying to press your heels toward the floor. You will form a kind of inverted V. For more fun, move your tail while taking a walk as if you were a puppy or even try to imitate his bark.
- The swordsman (Anjaneyasana): From the dog upside down, one foot forward between your hands and let your back knee on the floor. It incorporates the trunk and raises the parallel arms. Smile and if you want, say hello to your classmates. Hands return to the floor to change legs.
- The tree (Vriksasana): Hold on one leg and enraízate on earth. Lift your other foot and lay it against the thigh of the stretched leg. Grow your branches and reach the sky. Change sides and repeat.
- Position relaxation (Savasana): Lie on your back with your legs straight, arms outstretched at your sides, palms facing up. Let the legs separate naturally and let the feet fall to the sides. Avoid talking and looking around. If you’re comfortable, close your eyes. Let each part of your body relax and melt on the floor. May the land under you sustain you. This is the position with which all practices of yoga are completed. Be satisfied and grateful for the positions you have been able to do.
By doing yoga, children exercise, play and connect more deeply with their inner being, in addition to developing a closer relationship with the nature that surrounds them. Yoga brings to the surface the inner light that everyone, especially children, we have.