Mindfulness and resilience taught in a way that kids love!
Posted on 12th November 2018
As parents, family and teachers we often expect children to manage their emotions, but have we given them all the tools to do so? Mindfulness, resilience and focus are all learned skills and activities like yoga are a wonderful way to learn them. After more than ten years as a kindergarten teacher, Chantelle Emmerton moved to become a full time children’s yoga instructor after seeing the benefits of introducing breathing exercises to her 4 year old students. After adding her Mindful Munchkins Yoga Cards to our range, we wanted to find out the best ways to increase the mindfulness of the little people in our lives!
What is mindfulness and why is it an important concept for kids to understand?
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment rather than focusing on the past or the future.
It isn’t only something that is done in a yoga or meditation class, many activities can be done mindfully. For example, you could eat a meal mindfully by focusing on each mouthful and enjoying the food, rather than worrying about the day ahead. Mindfulness practice gives children the strategies to tune into their senses and become aware of their thoughts and emotions. This is important because these tools can help children to manage their emotions when faced with challenging situations.
Is teaching yoga to kids different to teaching adults?
I am asked this question a lot actually and my answer is always YES! Yoga for children needs to be FUN! It needs to be structured in a way that interests children and keeps them engaged. For this reason, you will often see games, songs, stories and props included in a class to keep little yogis interested. Without including these elements the class becomes boring and children get easily distracted.
Children love stories, so my yoga classes always incorporate storytelling. We jump on board the adventure bus and head off on an imaginative journey to explore the world around us. One of my most popular classes is the dinosaur adventure. As the story is told, the children form yoga poses to represent the different dinosaurs and objects that we see along the way.
Can anyone use these cards? Teachers? Parents? Therapists?
Yes! These cards were intended for children between 2- 8 years old, however I have also seen adults and teenagers enjoying the cards too. The cards are perfect for teachers and therapists as the illustrated poses and instructional rhymes make it easy and fun to teach yoga. They can also be used in a variety of fun yoga games.
Families also enjoy using these cards as a mindful activity to incorporate into their daily routine. Although these cards are great for adults to use as a visual tool to teach yoga, the cute yoga pose illustrations make it easy for children to practice on their own too. For more ways to use these yoga cards click here.
What are the biggest benefits for kids participating in activities like yoga regularly?
Yoga for children has become more popular recently and for good reason. It not only develops children’s strength and flexibility as they learn the physical postures, but has a number of proven physical and emotional benefits as listed below:
– Reduces anxiety
– Teaches children to use their breath when experiencing big emotions
– Improves self regulation
– Improves empathy which helps in building relationships
– Teaches children to become aware of their bodies and how to look after it
– Increases self confidence
– Improves balance and coordination
– Increases attention span and concentration
To purchase a set of these wonderful yoga cards simply click here to visit our website. They make an excellent addition to group therapy classes as well as kindergartens and child care centres. For those who may want to attend a Mindful Munchkins class or bring a class to their child care centre visit the Mindful Munchkins website or visit their facebook page for more information.