5. Children Inspired Yoga to achieve that 'Just Right Level' for Learning & Wellbeing
Welcome to the 6th and final post in this series of blogs giving guidance, and tips, on how yoga and movement can help you and your child work, rest, sleep and play.
We started with five key thoughts and have now explored levels of alertness, sensations the food for the brain bringing these thoughts together to discover how sensations can help regulate alertness levels. In our 5th post we challenged you all become 'sensory detectives' both for yourselves and then for your children.
Activity for Wellbeing
In a recent blog Dr Anna Lowe, programme manager at The National Centre for Sport & Exercise Medicine, highlighted the importance of physical activity for mental and physical wellbeing.
"Physical activity is a critical mechanism to manage mental health for everyone, particularly for people with existing mental health conditions. Evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour can increase depressive symptoms in healthy adults after as little as seven days, and that it has a protective effect against developing anxiety"
Using Children Inspired Yoga to feel 'Just right'
"There is no right or wrong way!"
"My children don't realise what they are doing"
.. these comments from parents highlight the broad reach of our yoga sessions.
At our core we are playful and fun - we aim to meet every child 'where they are at'. Below I discuss two of our yoga activities highlighting how they bring children into that just right state for learning, activity or sleep.
Frog pose to Frog song
This pose to our frog song, plays with alertness levels, in a similar way to a conductor leading an orchestra through a symphony!
We start in a calming pose, transitioning up to an alerting activity (frog jumps), then return to a calming position, before alerting ourselves once more (more frog jumps!). We finish in the calming pose - to place us in a 'just right' state.
The 4 frog jumps are strongly alerting, dialling up both the vestibular and proprioceptive sensory input. As we hide under the lily leaf, we embrace the proprioceptive and deep touch sensations, which calm and ground us. This combination of movements makes frog pose to frog song the ideal movement break for home schooling.
Remember if we jump for too long we could end up at the top of the alertness staircase, over excited – we need to combine the jumps with calming movements.
Butterfly pose to Butterfly song
This activity is Intrinsically calming. In sitting, our head is largely still so this pose dials down the vestibular input. Softer music, with a slower beat, provides calming auditory (hearing) sensory input. If you blow a paper butterfly high into the air, your deeper breaths will slow your breathing and then your heart rate.
Butterfly pose is a pose to do after you have come in from outside or are wishing to calm for sleep.
Revel in sensations, take time to find out how they affect you, and enjoy your home learning with yoga!