Benefits of Yoga in Schools
Whenever we picture physical education and sports in schools, our mind inevitably takes us to the sight of a spacious gym, with echoes of balls being kicked around and snickers squeaking against the smooth floor. Alongside all PE practices comes the teacher, with their desire to build up the kids’ characters and make them develop teamwork skills, physical endurance, but also a healthy dose of the well-known sense of being competitive. However, more often than not, PE classes end up being a bigger stress factor than they normally should be for the children participating in the carried out activities, tasks, and sports.
However, while PE has its own advantages and server clear purposes of trying to keep children fit and healthy, there could be other classes that would be of much bigger help when it comes to taking care of a developing child’s brain. Physical activity is a great way to keep various psychical disorders toned down, anxiety being the main reason why many children decide to take up a sport, but there are other ways to keep it under control too, besides physically overworking a child.
The implementation of yoga classes in schools would be one of the best ways to help children develop a better grasp of their own feelings and struggles and eventually learn how to overcome their issues. Yoga classes come with plenty of benefits, and at this point, it’s a shame that not many schools have them, really.
1. Accessibility for all kids
One thing about yoga is that it doesn’t have to consist of ridiculously complicated poses like depicted in the media. Yoga is a lot more accessible to all children, and it’s a good alternative for children with disabilities that may not allow them to take part in PE classes. It doesn’t necessarily need to include stretching if that’s not something the child can do, but breathing exercises and meditation will greatly improve with their mood and overall mental state.
2. Consumption of accumulated energy
The stretches, breathing exercises and poses altogether help to reduce the bottled up energy kids get throughout a day of just sitting in the same stiff positions at their desks. It might seem like getting physically tired would be the only way to consume that energy, but a regular practice of yoga is much more beneficial than sweating and becoming sore of all kinds of muscle pain and possible injuries.
3. Dealing with stress
The practice of yoga promotes relaxation and mindfulness, and it strives to help its practitioners improve the way they deal with various problems such as stress, anxiety, ADHD and more, through teaching them how to restore their peace of mind and how to step back from momentary stress that could be holding them back from actually solving their issues. With academic responsibilities always on their shoulders, familial standards always having to be met and general peer pressure in their social lives, students tend to accumulate a lot of stress along the way. If it’s not addressed and taken care of properly, it could lead to bigger issues and various setbacks rather than being diminished and swept away while it’s still in small quantities.
Not only does it help eliminate stress, but it also helps with children’s focus and memory as it teaches them relaxation and an improved sense of self-awareness. The fact that it asks children to maintain certain poses or exercises helps auto-discipline them and automatically improves their focus as well.
4. Improves posture
Regular yoga practicing greatly helps with the child’s posture and it helps to make sure their bones are on the right path in their development and growth. Sitting on a chair at their desks for so many hours a day is sure to ruin their posture and to install bad sitting habits that they will inevitably carry home, but yoga practice aims to reduce all those drawbacks.
5. Helps develop a better sleeping routine
With a clear mind and a more relaxed body comes a much easier ability to sleep and actually get some quality rest out of the night. Children who practice yoga sleep better and wake up better rested, which is the main source of energy for them throughout the day. Nutrition obviously works hand in hand with getting good rest, to keep both the mind and the body healthy, so that shouldn’t be overlooked.
However, with a better and healthier sleeping pattern, stress and anxiety will start to diminish as well, and the child’s attention span and their power to focus will only increase – both of which are essential to healthy development and academic progress.
6. Improves health
Not only does yoga help improve children’s mental health and their skills of managing their own feelings, as already mentioned above, but it also helps improve their physical health and helps get their bodies to work properly. Learning how to breathe correctly, how to adopt a healthy pose and how to maintain their own balance helps improve their blood circulation, improve their own body’s flexibility and with all this it improves their self-confidence as well.
Overall, yoga is a package deal: it comes with better physical health and better mental health as well, and the benefits of introducing it in the school’s curriculum don’t stop here. The main step towards healthier routines and healthier children is making sure that their learning environments promote such development and that they offer them the means necessary to grow healthy. However, until the change happens, you can look into signing your child(ren) up for yoga classes outside of their school, or even joining some sessions alongside them! You’ll be surprised at how much better you can feel thanks to practicing yoga on a regular basis, or even just when you need to unwind and relax and find yourself again.