Educating the Body, Heart and Mind of Every Child
Humans were meant to move.
Studies have proven that exercise increases neural pathways and neurogenesis, improving executive function. Movement makes us more alert, provides a better sense of well-being, improves memory, increases health and wellness, and reduces stress. Exercise helps your brain think better and more efficiently so that you learn faster and are more creative. In addition, movement increases patience, enchances optimism, maintains focus and retains motivation. (recommended reading Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John J. Medina and Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey).
Incorporating yoga into the classroom allows teachers to harness the power of movement and to create an enriched learning environment. The slow, focused movements used in yoga poses and activities develop concentration, coordination and body awareness. The use of yoga in the classroom addresses the whole child: stimulating social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. (See upcoming webinar Kids Yoga: Fostering Emotional Well-being, Creativity & Imagination Aug 15 & 20, 2012)
Yogic breathing techniques are especially useful to creating a calm, supportive and learning ready state for students and teachers alike as they improve attention to the present moment, enhance concentration, relieve anxiety and reduce fatigue. When teachers first start using these techniques in their classrooms they are astonished at their effectiveness and ease of implementation.
Yoga is easy to incorporate into the classroom as it requires no additional equipment, is adaptable to all individuals, can be done alone, with partners or in a group, and has a flexible time requirement (as little as one breath to an entire period). Everyone, anywhere, at any time can practice yoga improving health, vitality and mental acuity.
Our moving brain is our thinking brain. Unleash the power of yoga within your classroom and get your students working at their optimum levels mentally, physically and emotionally.
To learn more on exactly how to accomplish these results with children join Donna Freeman in Calgary on August 16-18, 2012 for YIMS Level 1 Training: 22 hours of intensive and fun instruction in teaching yoga to kids including poses, breathing, mindfulness, games, partner poses, lesson planning and so much more.
If you enjoyed this post join YIMS on Facebook and engage in a lively #kidsyoga community.
Photo by MJTR