Yoga has long history of supporting our wellbeing, improving flexibility, reducing stress and improving sleep – these benefits are essential to kids as well as adults. So why is it only now (in the western world) we are only beginning to see Kids Yoga as equally beneficial and essential to their wellness?
#1 – The Art of Breathing
Babies are born, typically as belly breathers. Many a parent has enjoyed the simple joy and reassurance of seeing their little ones belly rise and fall with each breath. As we grow, many of our children, like adults begin to develop a shallow breath.
A full Yogic breath begins with an inhale that expands the diaphram, on its journey to the belly. The exhale begins at our full belly, releasing the diaphram and chest – as we feel the body empty of breath.
Children, like adults, who are mindful with their breath – feel the calming effects of diaphramatic breath. Guiding children to deepen their breath, begins with using tools that children can see and touch. We help children to better understand the process of breath, so that as they practice their breath awareness deepens. Often simple tools such as: breathing balls, tissue box on the belly, finger tracing, and many more.
Once children have begun to internalise the sensation of diaphramatic breathing, the filling of the belly with breath and emptying completely – with control and focus, we progress to less tangible objects. We begin to ask children to visualise such things as a balloon gently filling and inflating, as they inhale. The exhale is the gentle controlled releasing of breath as the balloon deflates. These visualisations are as effective for adults, as they are for children.
Belly breathing is an essential tool to support children to develop their breathing muscles, especially the diaphram. As children experience challenges, worries, stress and uncertainty, their belly breathing technique can be deployed to help bring a feeling of calm, improve focus and lower blood pressure. If you are curious to learn more about the benefits of Belly Breathing, you may like to explore this article: Diaphragmatic Breathing and Its Benefits
#2 – Yoga Supporting all Children
Yoga is practiced all over the world, from a very young age, children enjoy physical yoga poses. You may have seen children as young as 18 months begin to explore ‘downward dog’, perhaps at only a few months old babies grabbing their toes in ‘happy baby’. The asana, or physical Yoga poses come from natural body movements and hence are loved by children of all ages.
As children grow and are able to create the poses from simple instructions, we begin to see how asana can be accessed by all children. As children explore how different poses feel in their bodies, they are able to experience stillness, strengthening, energising and calming poses. Once discovered, the physical benefits of Yoga continue to unfold for children, they begin to experiment with their favourite poses and develop a deep love of the practice in their bodies.
Teens equally enjoy the challenge, comfort and calm that comes from a regular Yoga, breath and mindfulness practice. With greater ability to sustain focus and dive a little deeper into the philosophy of Yoga, teens are able to build greater appreciation for self-care and improved relationships. Gratitude, patience and acting from a place of kindness (Ahimsa; respect for all living things and practicing non-violence) are important ponderings for teens and pre-teens to explore. Children from 7-8 years are supported as they begin to navigate more complex friendships, physical changes and crave greater independence. This journey, when approached with loving support and a sense of curiosity, encourages pre-teens and teens to consider positive relationships and how to sustain and grow these.
Seeking more insight into the benefits of children finding their way onto their Yoga mat? We recommend enjoying a read of this journal article – to find out more Teaching Yoga for Kids: Why Kids Need Yoga as Much as Adults Do
#3 – Yoga for Kids with Anxiety and Autism
One of our greatest joys at Haven Yoga Studio is to support children with diagnosed disabilities, as well as those with anxiety and other social or emotional needs. Connection with belly breath and calming poses, can support children to begin to self-regulate their emotions, allowing them a sense of control over how they feel and respond.
We also love our play-based approach to Yoga. Too often life feels so serious, even for our children. So we encourage play, playfulness and a child-centered Yoga and breath journey. Children are encouraged to experience breath, movement and stillness through Yoga, play and games. We discuss, share and have a go at new poses. We love hearing children’s voices in our classes. Be it through drawings, physical movement, stillness or words – all children are able to share their preferred and non-preferred elements of Yoga.
Our philosophy is that all children are welcome, all children can benefit and all children deserve to learn the skills of Yoga and breath. We love creating a supportive and safe environment, where all children feel confident to grow and share. Our children include those with diagnosed disabilities, including Autism and we are delighted to observe their love of Yoga grow with their experience, confidence and with modifications to our classes as require. I love learning more, if you do too, perhaps this article will be one for you – 6 Benefits of Yoga for Children with Autism
#4 – School Wellness and Learning Through Yoga
Schools who embrace Yoga breathing, mindfulness and simple movements attribute a reduction in student and teacher stress levels. Those schools who encourage elements of Yoga philosophy share that they experience more harmony and improved relationships among students, staff and the wider community.
Yoga and breathwork prior to exams and major assessment tasks have a calming and centering effect on the students. Allowing their focus to improve, their heartrate to lower and in turn improve the possibility for positive results. Academic learning is possible when our ‘brains are on line’. We require our emotions to be regulated, so our whole system is able to move from ‘fight, flight or freeze’. Once we move to this space, new ideas are able to be retained, memory is able to be accessed and we can perform to our best. Children, teens and adults experience the same benefits of belly breathing and Yoga, the amazing ability to tap into potential, rather than shutting down.
After an energetic lunchbreak, a breakdown in friendship, conflict during games or even the challenge of learning something new, children and teens need to be support to regulate their breath and bodies. Our schools, the ones who embrace a ‘whole school approach’ to wellness through Yoga, report happier teachers, calmer classrooms, less conflict and deeper relationships. These schools value the wellbeing of
their teachers. They offer regular on site Yoga sessions and professional development in simple breath, mindfulness and Yoga techniques, supporting teachers to bring a deeper sense of calm to their classrooms.
#5 – Happiness, Hope and Connection to Self
What parent, teacher, care-giver doesn’t want the children and teens in their care to thrive? To be happy, have a sense of hope about themselves and their futures? Yoga, breath and mindfulness helps children and teens to be supported to explore who they are, who they want to be and how they wish to journey through this life.
We love observing as children and teens grow in confidence and improved appreciation for their breath and their ability to regulate it. Regular Yoga classes for children, teens and adults help them to deepen their understanding of themselves. Gaining greater control over their breath, movement and stillness of mind and body, improves self-confidence and self-respect.
Yoga teaches us to be grateful for that which we have; breath, our body, our loved ones, our health, our abilities. As this awareness increases, so too does our love of who we are and our sense of self-care deepens.
Children, teens and adults who have a deep sense of self-care, understand that they are worthy of love and kindness. They begin to establish healthier boundaries in all relationships, beginning with respect for all – themselves included. When nurtured to respect others, themselves and approach life with loving kindness, we observe children, teens and adults who begin to thrive and feel a sense of deep hope for the future.
Kids Yoga Classes Join Us Now
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting Kids Yoga Classes at Haven Yoga Studio. We are excited to share with you an exclusive early access for your child/ren to join one of the two classes each week. Registrations are now open.
:: Click below to secure a space for your primary school child for our Haven Kids Yoga term:
Your early exclusive access, will help you to secure a space for your child. Please email email@example.com if you require support to book your child.
:: Class Details ::
Classes run for an 8 week block, from week 2 of the school term through week 9, allowing us to deeper our connections with our selves and each other.
Our classes are created around these two age groups to ensure your child is given the best opportunity to learn, grow and feel comfortable. Please ensure your child has a water bottle, comfortable clothes and a yoga mat.
:: Location ::
Haven Yoga Studio, 37 Main Street Buderim.
:: Investment ::
Our 8 week term pass from only $128 per child.
Bookings essential. Limited places available.
Kids Yoga Teacher
Charmaine is passionate about the wellness and happiness of children. As a mother of two primary school children, a teacher and deputy principal, she has witnessed the benefits of self-care, positive mindsets and self-belief for all children. Charmaine is the owner and creator of Haven Yoga Studio, and has created playful approaches for children to experience yoga with children in a fun and inspiring way. Through a combination of movement, play, breath and meditation, she loves helping children to gain the skills to be calm, resilient and balanced.
:: Our Kids Yoga Classes Will Include ::
*Positive Mindset activities
:: Some of the areas you can expect your child to explore ::
– Calming and relaxation strategies
– Emotional awareness and self-regulation
– Stress management and techniques to decrease worries
– Concentration and focus
– Connection, communication and socialization
– Self-confidence and positive self image
Benefits of Kids Yoga
– Improves flexibility and increases physical strength
– Reduces anxiety and helps children learn to relax
– Improves coordination
– Builds communication and social skills
– Teaches self regulation, emotional awareness and sense of self
:: Testimonials ::
“Ben came away from your Mini Retreat and said he gave it 102%, then he thought a little more and said, “I give it 1000% and I want to do it again.”
– Helen, Mother
“Thank you for the Yoga Charmaine, I loved playing the favourite pose game.”
— Thomas, Year 2
“I feel love in my whole heart.”
— Indi, Prep
Haven Yoga Studio is your sanctuary for Yoga, Barre and Wellness in the heart of Buderim. Thank you for choosing to care for yourself and support our boutique local Studio.