Yoga is an Ideal Tool for Children
Higher grades, better behavior, body awareness, improved self-esteem, and balanced emotions are a few of the many benefits that come from children participating in yoga. More and more stories are popping up about the ‘C/D’ student rising to the ‘B/A’ student, or the trouble-maker transforming to the peaceful child, or the shy student finding the confidence to speak up in class, and the list goes on.
What do so many of these children have in common?
They take yoga, a tool that provides them a hands-on experience for balancing mind, body, and spirit — a practice that brings them peace and calm that extends far beyond their yoga mats.
“Yoga provides children with exciting new ways to explore and appreciate their body’s creative and academic potential. They learn invaluable skills that set the groundwork for meeting challenges and growing strong and flexible — physically, mentally, and emotionally — while cultivating self-esteem for a lifetime of successful achievement,” explains Jackie Morrison, YogaKids® teacher and trainer who teaches yoga for kids at Life’s Journey Yoga & Wellness Center (LJYWC) in Orange Park.
Grace Episcopal Day School (GEDS) in Orange Park has hopped on board with yoga, too, and added it as an elective to the school’s list of classes. Once a week, middle-school students from GEDS visit LJYWC during their school day to attend yoga class.
“Our students love it,” says Martha Milton, head of school. “We are in our third quarter of offering yoga as an elective.”
Adam, 7th-grade student at GEDS who is in his second quarter of taking yoga at LJYWC, is often heard saying, “It’s now time for peace and rest in our sanctuary,” as he enters the serene studio each week.
“I go back to school and tell all my friends about it,” he says. “They don’t know what they’re missing out on. When I went to the doctor and he said that I have a nice, slow heartbeat, I told him that I do yoga!”
Adam has become such a yoga advocate that his yoga teacher, Penny Powell, also the Community Liaison at LJYWC, recently gave him the title of “Student Yoga Ambassador” for LJYWC; Adam was proud to accept it.
“I wish we could do this every day. This feels so good. Can we stay a little longer? I’m doing this elective every time. I’m doing some of this at home, too,” are a few of the many positive comments Powell hears the GEDS students saying during their yoga classes.
“I am seeing, week after week, that children truly do appreciate some time out for that sacred quiet time just as so many of us adults do,” Powell states. “There’s a calm that yoga naturally provides that even the most hyper child can feel on the yoga mat. I encourage parents to at least let their kids try yoga. The results can be astounding.
“Jackie told me that ‘we learn 10% of what we read, 15% of what we hear, but 80% of what we experience,’ “so I say, let the children experience!”
Stay tuned for upcoming YogaKids Summer Camps beginning in June!