‘Optimal learning occurs in conjunction with positive emotional states’ Willis 2006
Yoga can help children build self esteem, reduce anxiety and depression. Yoga promotes better sleep, body awareness, strong bones, muscle strength and flexibility. It also helps improve balance, posture and digestive function as well as assisting in neuromuscular development.
For children with additional needs like Autism and ADHD it can help improve motor control and motor planning skills, develop physical strength, improve flexibility and correct postural misalignment, increase self-awareness, establish calm and organised mental states, improve concentration, reduce hyperactivity, relieve respiratory ailments, develop the ability to relax and release tension.
The classes I design for children, are first and foremost designed to be fun. Themes like Brave, Balance and Shapes allow younger children to enjoy yoga postures in an accessible way. I usually begin my classes with pranayama (breathing exercises), move onto asana (yoga poses) and finish in relaxation using a visualisation to guide children into stillness. I create games for all the age groups I teach, which help to reinforce the poses as the children learn them.
I feel it's important to incorporate yoga philosophy concepts for example Ahimsa which is kindness, Satya which is being true to yourself and Santosha which is contentment, to the children I teach. These are introduced and also discussed at age appropriate levels. For younger children I sometimes include a story to help them understand the philosophy aspect of yoga. The Crow's Tale by Naomi Howarth is one of my favourites. A beautiful tale by the Edinburgh born author of how courage and kindness helps others, and in turn brings great strength and reward to those who foster it.
I’m currently teaching P5-P7 (9-12 year olds) and S1/2 (12 - 14 year olds) classes during term time. P5-7 classes are on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 17.45-18.30 and a later Wednesday class from 18.40-19.25. The S1/2 class is on Tuesday evenings from 18.40-19.25.
Please contact me for further information or to book your child into a taster session.