Top 5 Benefits of Yoga for Kids

When I first started taking yoga classes, I noticed an immediate impact on my mental state. I thought often about how I wished I had the tools I was learning as a child. What a gift it is to have gone through yoga teacher training and to be able to pass on the wisdom of the age old practice of yoga to my children and the children in my community. There are certainly many more benefits to yoga than I have listed below but here are some of my top 5.

  1. Self- Control - Kids learn self control by learning to listen to their body and slow their mind. Using breath practices allows for the body to slow down the central nervous system, taking children out of fight or flight mode and into a more relaxed state.

  2. Quiet mind- We all have a soundtrack in our head all day every day; our own inner voice talking to us. Yoga helps kids to learn to quiet their “monkey mind” through meditation and breath practices.

  3. Physical Strength- Yoga helps kids work with their physical strength. By moving the body into different poses, kids can explore the strength of working with their own body. As yoga can be done anywhere it gives kids the opportunity to realize that they can exercise and increase their physical strength whenever they’d like. For kids who are athletes, yoga is a great compliment to whatever sport they play. They can learn certain stretches and poses, to help them strengthen the muscles necessary for their sport.

  4. Focus and Concentration- Through breath work, meditation, and holding poses children learn to focus and concentrate more deeply. Using tools, like the Hoberman sphere, children can experience using their breath practice to aid in concentration.

  5. Provides tools to reduce anxiety- As kids learn how to control their thoughts and slow down their breath, they can take these tools with them into their daily life. For example, when they are feeling anxious at school, they learn to bring their thumbs to each finger and remind themselves to breathe in and out. They learn through meditation to focus on the words, “Peace Begins with Me” or “I am calming down”.

Hoberman Sphere

Hoberman Sphere

There are just five of the benefits of kids yoga, but there are many more! I can’t wait to share my practice with the little people in your lives!

Love + Light,

Molly

Kids Valentine Yoga Class

 
 

What a fun afternoon celebrating Valentine’s day with these beautiful little yogi’s! Our theme was “You are loved, loving and loveable.”

We began our class talking about affirmations and going around the room saying something we LOVE about ourselves!

Next, we all took turns playing the singing bowl and listening to see if we could hear all the way to the end of the sound we made.

 
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As we moved through our Valentine’s yoga class, the kids partnered off to see how many ways they could make hearts with their bodies.


 
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We did a few different types of meditation throughout the class but the kids favorite was definitely the lollipop meditation. Each kid got a cherry lollipop. They took their time holding it and thinking about how it would smell and taste. They noticed how it felt to unwrap the candy. They took breaths in and out as the smelled the lollipop and noticed that their mouths were already watering. They finally got to taste the lollipop. While they ate them, we read a book about being present! We talked about how eating times are often rushed and can become a time of calm if we slow down and become present while we eat.

After a few more fun games, it was time to make our Valentine craft! The kids decorated mason jars with tissue paper hearts. We talked about how looking at the candle would be a reminder to take a deep breath and be calm. We talked about how the hearts on the outside would be a reminder that we are LOVED, LOVING and LOVEABLE!

 
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Stay tuned for more kids classes coming soon!

love + light,

Molly

Minute of Mindfulness

Today’s “Minute of Mindfulness” practice is a bedtime routine in our household. A few years ago we started asking the kids at bedtime each night two questions.

  1. What was the best part of your day?

  2. What was the hardest part of your day?

Recently, after adopting a daily gratitude practice into my own life, we began asking the kids a third question.

What are you grateful for today?

“Practicing gratitude invites joy into our life.” -Brene Brown

 
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Today as you wind down your day, ask your children what they are grateful for. Ask yourself what you’re thankful for, no matter how small or inconsequential what you choose may seem. Ask your spouse what they’re grateful for. And end your day reminded that there is always, always, always something to be grateful for!


love + light,

Molly

Minute of Mindfulness

Today’s “Minute of MIndfulness” Practice is a favorite final relaxation meditation of mine. I learned about this in high school. About once a month in religion class, our teacher would take us to the chapel at school and allow us to lay on the floor. She would then read us prayers or meditations and let us spend the class mindfully. On a few occasions she took us through this body scan. I fondly remember this experience. At the time it never occurred to me to ask her for a copy. Many years later as I began taking yoga classes, I remember being guided yet again through this wonderful experience. It was then that I dug deeper and realized that I could find a version of it on YouTube and use this 61 point guided meditation before bed or in a stressful moment. It only takes a minute but packs a big impact!

Try it with your children or your spouse before bed tonight and see if they enjoy it as much as I do!

61 Point Guided Meditation

Bring your awareness to each of the following body parts. No judgement. Don’t dwell too long. Just bring your attention there and feel a sense of relaxation settle in as you come to each body part.

  1. Center of Forehead

  2. Base of Front of Neck

  3. Right Shoulder

  4. Right Elbow

  5. Right Wrist

  6. Right Thumb

  7. Right index finger

  8. Right middle finger

  9. Right ring finger

  10. Right little finger

  11. Right wrist

  12. Right elbow

  13. Right shoulder

  14. Base of the front of the neck

  15. Left shoulder

  16. Left elbow

  17. Left wrist

  18. Left thumb

  19. Left index finger

  20. Left middle finger

  21. Left ring finger

  22. Left little finger

  23. Left wrist

  24. Left elbow

  25. Left shoulder

  26. Base of the front of the neck

  27. Center of the chest

  28. Right of chest

  29. Center of chest

  30. Left of chest

  31. Center of chest

  32. Navel

  33. Pelvic bone

  34. Right hip

  35. Right knee

  36. Right ankle

  37. Right big toe

  38. Right second toe

  39. Right third toe

  40. Right fourth toe

  41. Right little toe

  42. Right ankle

  43. Right knee

  44. Right hip

  45. Pelvic bone

  46. Left hip

  47. Left knee

  48. Left ankle

  49. Left big toe

  50. Left second toe

  51. Left third toe

  52. Left fourth toe

  53. Left little toe

  54. Left ankle

  55. Left knee

  56. Left hip

  57. Pelvic bone

  58. Navel

  59. Center of chest

  60. Base of the front of the neck

  61. Center of the forehead

Happy Relaxing!

love + light,

Molly

Did you know? Child's Pose and the Vagus Nerve

Ever wonder why child’s pose is considered a rest pose? Ever thought about having your child take a child’s pose before doing homework? Or maybe just putting their forehead down on their desk at school or table at home?

When our forehead is resting on the floor (or table or our hands), we are stimulating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve helps to regulate our nervous system. When we put pressure on it, it helps to lower blood pressure and slow our heart rate. It also helps to decrease levels or cortisol and reduce tension. Child’s pose also allows the opportunity to draw our senses inward.

In need of a brain break? Take a moment to rest that forehead and notice the effect it has on the entire body. You can rest the forehead still or roll slightly side to side. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.

Child’s pose + inhale, exhale, repeat = ahhhhhhhh!

Try it out with your kiddos and let me know how they feel! Ask them to come into child’s pose, notice their breath and take note of how it impacts how they’re feeling - even just taking the time to ask them this question may be all the difference they need to calm themselves!

love + light,

Molly