As we enter our first full month of social distancing, we know how hard it is for you as parents/guardians to balance working from home and keeping your little ones occupied and developing. We also know how difficult it is for children to not be able to freely move around and exercise their little legs and arms. This week’s blog is therefore a guide to some of the ways you may wish to try keeping our little angels physically active along with some calm to their wonderful minds using yoga and meditation techniques.
Your little one is likely missing the full range of fun classes they are used to at Little Angels, using the below tips you can bring our Yoga classes to your home. The health benefits of yoga for children are indisputable but unfortunately are seldom highlighted. It enhances a child’s motor skills, increases self-confidence, improves concentration whilst enabling self-expression and body awareness. Yoga also offers an effective way to manage hyperactivity and stress. Teaching children how to relax, unwind and calm down. Physically, yoga builds strength, flexibility and balance, empowering children to feel more confident, relaxed and happy.
There are plenty of resources online for child-friendly yoga routines but our absolute favourite is Cosmic Kids Yoga. This account has all kinds of yoga-for-kids videos. It’s not just for kids either; you can all do yoga together as a family, which makes for the perfect bonding time.
We recommend that you clear a large area in a common living space, preferably in front of a TV and set up your yoga mats to face it (you can still grab some on Amazon or use any non-slip mat). If there are two of you it is optimal to have the child/children in the middle so you can both keep an eye out on their form. You can get your little one excited for yoga time by having a special sports outfit they put on before practice and their own special mat.
Ensure you remind them of the importance of breathing during these exercises! When it comes to young children, a fun way to get them to lengthen their breath is by making sounds, such as “meow” in cat pose. Or just simply “Mmm” for as long as they can on one exhale. It’s a fun exercise that is setting the foundations for deeper breathing exercises.
The cat and dog poses are also great stretching positions for children to practise. Cat pose will warm up the spine, strengthen, increase flexibility and improve posture. Dog pose will improve the blood supply to the brain. These are great to try in the morning before the day starts.
We often teach children how to take care of their bodies through sport activities and diet, however, some forget to teach them on how to take care of their blossoming minds. Studies have shown that teaching children mindfulness and meditation can build their attentiveness, self-control, empathy and reducing hyperactive behaviour. Moreover, children that practice meditation have shown a tracked record of improved development. In the current climate, with such dramatic changes to their daily life, you can take this opportunity to teach these techniques to your children that they can later use for life.
Meditation app Headspace currently offers some voice recorded meditation exercises that you can try together with their kids. The app allows you to personalize the exercise by letting you pick the childs age group and time spent on the meditation. Headspace has also partnered up with Barbie where children can watch their favourite doll share their mindfulness routine.
If you want to completely disconnect from technology, the following fun meditation technique named “The Balloon” can be tried with our little angels:
- – Relax your body and slowly inhale and deeply exhale through the nose
- – Take a slow deep breath in through your nose and fill up your stomach with air as if you are trying to blow up a big balloon
- – Let the air out through your nose as you are releasing the breath from your stomach
- – Encourage your kids to feel their body relax as they slowly exhale each time air is being released from their stomach, aka balloon. Emphasize that they are “letting air out of the balloon” by making a noise
Continue for several minutes.
We hope you enjoy the content in this blog. Please do let us know how you get on, and we would absolutely love to see some pictures and videos of our little angels in action. Please do let us know what other topics you would find helpful for us to cover in future blogs.