School does a great job teaching children how to do things like solve math equations or write reports. And as important some basic skills are, it doesn’t really prepare them for the rest of the messier and unpredictable 95% of life. They aren’t being readied to handle real world emotions, respond with good character, maintain healthy lifestyles, balance stress, or have mental discipline, which are really the keys to a quality life.
And that is just what Yoga provides. The breathing and meditation techniques and emphasis on being mindful in Yoga helps develop compassion, patience, stress management and mental flexibility early on, which will nurture children into future adults who remain positive and committed no matter what life throws at them.
Being in the moment, which is a central Yoga theme, has been lab proven to drastically increase a child’s concentration, mental determination and intelligence over time, developing them to have greater productivity and commitment towards life goals during adulthood, as well as school performance in childhood.
Yoga works to bring a wholesome sense of health to all aspects of the body as opposed to simple sport activities, which only builds up muscle and cuts calories. Yoga also instils the habit of keeping the body stable through peaceful thoughts. At the same time, children learn to build strength, coordination and balance without developing the unhealthy effects of aggressive competition found in some other sports. Yoga is about community and acceptance, and does not reject students because they are not perfect, super strong or super fast. It embraces everything and everyone as they are.
Together these aspects ensure that children fully develop all areas of their bodies and minds into healthy adults who keep their health despite the unhealthy tendencies of adulthood. The mindfulness aspect of Yoga plays a key role in this process.
As someone who has taught Yoga for over a decade, it would be my sincere wish to see this activity be part of the regular curriculum in schools all over the world. Combined with healthy eating and nutritional education, as well as mindfulness training and community activities, I believe we could eliminate problems like child obesity, lack of enjoyment in school, concentration problems and bullying completely. A school should offer a safe environment for a child to develop into a healthy, emotionally balanced adult. It is therefore important that we start moving away from purely mind based activities, and include some heart centered work, to help children connect to themselves and live more comfortably and with less pressure from what society expects of them. As a Yoga Teacher I have seen the many positive effects of these simple practices on children with all different sorts of physical and emotional complaints.
For more information on Yoga classes in schools, please contact Camille on 050 118 1078 or visit Kayalifestyleyoga.com
This article is written by one of our expert panel member Kaya Peters. Kaya is a writer, Yoga Teacher and founder of Kaya Yoga Registered Yoga School, as well as the KayaLoves.com Lifestyle Blog. You can meet her here to learn more about her and her services: http://www.familytreeuae.com/meet-the-team/