Whether it’s television, tablets, toys, jobs to do or activities to attend, there’s no denying that today’s world is packed with stimuli. It’s a busy place for brains, whether you’re a young child or an adult. Taking a moment to clear your mind and reconnect with your body can help with gaining focus and moving forward positively. It’s time to squeeze in some yoga and meditation!
Experiencing the benefits of yoga and meditation in early childhood or as an adult doesn’t take much time or effort. You can reap the rewards and then proceed with your busy day in no time feeling more productive and focused than before.
You can fit in yoga and meditation in for five minutes here or there as needed, or incorporate it as a regular feature in your day. For example, at Bonkers Beat Music Kinder, we start each day with a ‘Welcome a New Day’ session. This involves educators, children and even families participating in a 20 to 25-minute session of either yoga, meditation or mindfulness exercises.
Yoga and meditation are great for children as a transitional tool, to reset after rest time, or outdoor play when moving inside, to focus the mind on to a new activity or just to unwind.
The many benefits of yoga and meditation in early childhood
As well as broadly assisting with focus and relaxation, yoga and meditation in early childhood has a range of benefits. Here are some reasons why we love yoga:
1. Better breathing
- You would think that we are all quite skilled at breathing, seeing as we do it all day, but mindful deep breaths have a special effect on our bodies such as increased oxygen absorption and even a longer life!
2. Improve memory and concentration
- Said to be attributed to a combination of deep breathing and the learned ability to focus, yoga and meditation has benefits like improved concentration and memory.
3. Awareness of our bodies
- When we practice the physical postures of yoga or feel the rise and fall of our tummies during meditation, we become more aware of the connection between our physical and emotional states.
4. More flexibility and strength
- Regular yoga and meditation can enable us and children to move more freely and become strong and flexible.
5. Learn to appreciate quiet and stillness
- Yoga and meditation in early childhood can be a path to feeling comfortable in silent moments, and mindful when we are still. This helps us to listen with attention and make informed decisions in our lives.
6. A self-esteem boost
- Accomplishing a new move in yoga or seeing balance improve can go a long way to show children what they are capable of and boost their self-esteem.
7. Better emotional awareness and control
- Deep breathing is an excellent tool to help calm children down when they aren’t able to control their behaviour in an outburst or “tantrum” scenario. Teaching children to use this technique when required can lead to more awareness and control over their emotions.
8. Improved overall health
- Cardiovascular health, digestive health, the nervous system, regulated hormone levels, improved immunity, better sleep — the list of health benefits of yoga go on and on!
9. Better sleep
- Most exercise has this impact and yoga is certainly no exception – regular practice can lead to better sleep, and deep breathing or meditation can be useful tools to help children fall asleep more easily too.
10. Connect with themselves and one another
- Yoga and meditation in early childhood settings can be a fun way to get more comfortable with one another and connect over something they enjoy!
If you’re finding that children need a means of escaping the overload of stimuli that we are all faced with daily, yoga and meditation could be perfect to incorporate into your centre.
To make it simple for children to get involved at home or in centres, we even created our very own Bonkers Beat Yoga Cards! Click here to take a look at them in our shop.