This Saturday, I worked at the DVAEYC (Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children) Annual Conference in Philly. I was assisting Bari Koral, an incredibly gifted singer-songwriter who makes kids music. Bari designed activity books to use the music with movement, dance and yoga, to be implemented in the classroom or at home–a BIG win for teachers and parents!
Her music is fantastic–I’ll admit I chose to listen to it on my iPod as I traveled home. Even as an adult, I can’t get enough. It’s that good.
It was a blast to show teachers tools they can start using in the classroom right away. Conscious breathing (bring two fingers in front of your face to make a “candle,” breathe in, then slowly blow out the candle) to calm the central nervous system. Songs they can play that children love. Basic yoga poses (butterfly, tree, down dog, child’s pose, rocketship) to do with the songs.
The physical and mental effects of stress are not experienced by adults only. It happens for kids too. And yoga helps both age groups. Sure, it’s taught a little different, but the same principles apply. Ever watched a kid have a temper tantrum? What’s their breath like? It’s short and shallow, not long and deep. If you’ve had a panic attack, it’s pretty similar. When we practice slow, conscious breathing while we’re calm, it’s easier to handle those stressful moments when they arrive.
The movement piece-yoga asanas-help children learn focus (and for some kids, encourage the physical movement they need to be healthy and aren’t getting enough of). I won’t go on about this; the ever-buff and beautiful Michelle Obama can take the mic on that one with her Let’s Move! campaign.
I’ll be adding some kids yoga to my scheduling soon, so if you are a studio owner or a school teacher looking to bring someone in, please give me a shout on my contact page!
In the meantime, check out one of Bari’s songs on YouTube: