Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are just as important as nutrition and sports for development in a child’s early years.
Some of the key benefits are:
- Help develop an awareness of our feelings, thoughts and physical environment
- Develop body awareness
- Learn how to use and move their bodies in a healthy manner
- Learn how to manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
- Build concentration skills
- Increase confidence and positive self-image
- Be a part of a healthy, non-competitive group
- Provide an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices
Children often feel frustrated or irritable when things get difficult or they don’t get their way. This is simply because they haven’t learnt the virtue of patience yet. It is common through these early developmental stages for them to have tantrums and tears. Mindfulness practices can help them easily navigate these emotions without too much distress.
At home, families can promote breathing techniques. When frustrations occur, whether it’s your child not getting their way or not wanting to take a bath, practice some breathing techniques. It helps distract from the cause of the frustration and creates a balance back to a calmer state.
While technology has many positive benefits, it is also a factor that has increased the expectation of instant solutions, which can increase impatience in children.
Yoga for children is intended to stimulate the physical, mental and emotional abilities of each child. The goal is to help build their self-esteem, discipline, and social development, providing them with some necessary tools for dealing with future challenges in life. Plus, yoga has been shown to enhance physical flexibility, refine balance and coordination, develop focus and concentration, and strengthen the mind-body connection.
Our childcare centres encourage meditation as it allows children to return to their natural rhythm and helps them cope with emotions of frustration and fear. It helps balance the entire system, supporting emotional development and bringing rest to the mind, so children are not overwhelmed by their feelings.
Employing mindfulness practices helps maintain awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and surrounding environment with a gentle and nurturing outlook. Mindfulness in our centres helps to show children to calm down and slow down.
We also provide safe and calming “Sanctuary” spaces for children to be able to go to when they may feel overwhelmed, upset or just need some quiet time. This allows for self-regulation as well as knowing they are comfortable and secure.
At Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure, incorporating yoga, meditation and mindfulness into our practices, we provide children with time to focus on breathing and reflect on their thoughts. This encourages them to learn these practices from a very young age through calm, fun movements.