Yoga and Mindfulness can help children with self regulation, calming, anxiety, behaviour, balance and coordination. For more information on this, check out our recent post here.
Introducing Yoga and Mindfulness to children can be very worthwhile. We’ve put together a list of tips that will help avoid any pitfalls and make it fun and easy for everyone.
- Introduce yoga and mindfulness and deep breathing through story and picture books.
- Start small – just one pose or activity.
- Choose poses and activities wisely considering the sensory needs of individual children). Some poses might truly upset a particular child eg touching toes would mean having head upside down which could set a child “off” if their vestibular system isn’t functioning well. Go gently.
- For a larger group of children, possibly with differing sensory needs, have a couple of options or modifications up your sleeve.
- Focus on performance first (of the activity/movement)
- Use games to introduce Yoga and Mindfulness and Deep Breathing
- Name the activities and poses so once children learn how to do them it will be easy to implement them from then on.
- Use large pictures of the activities and poses so once children learn how to do them all you will need is to hold the picture up.
- Access really good child-friendly informative books, with good pictures and illustrations as they do a fabulous job of explaining and showing what to do. They’re great for adults too!
- Gradually introduce the idea of attending to how the body feels or the sensations while performing the activity/pose.
- Use ready made resources that have all the work done for you (eg the what, the how, the how long, the benefit, how to modify)
- Start a routine for when and how Yoga and Mindfulness is done.
- Try doing activities and poses with eyes closed.
- Create your own “kit bag” of activities and poses.
- Discuss the benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness
- Explain the purpose of the activity or pose
- Share stories of people who have found yoga and mindfulness helpful
Our favourite Books, Games and Resources
Such a lovely picture book for talking and thinking about deep breathing.
A gorgeous hard cover book covering lots of Mindfulness concepts for younger children.
An easy card game that can be used in lots of ways.
A beautiful set to have.
Yoga Spinner is a fun game to play with smaller or larger groups of children.
Play the Yoga dice as instructed or use them as a resource to invent your own games.