Why we need yoga and mindfulness in Early Childhood
Over the past few years there has been an increase in new childcare centres opening across Sydney. Centres looking to differentiate themselves are increasingly looking to health and wellbeing programs like yoga and mindfulness to attract new families.
Structured yoga and mindfulness programs are more than fun and games; they complement the Early Years Learning Framework and help kids to develop physically, mentally and emotionally.
One of our families recently commented “The most valuable part is the tools it provides them to recognize and deal with Big Emotions which is something they otherwise would miss out on”.
As a yoga and mindfulness teacher delivering programs into childcare centres it fills me with joy when kids share stories of how they’ve used their breathing skills to calm their mind or defuse a situation. Last week a girl told me about an altercation she had with her older brother, instead of getting upset and crying she used her Finger Breathing to calm herself and then showed her brother how to do it.
Yoga and mindfulness programs empower kids to take control of their thoughts, feelings and emotions. They learn to self-regulate which is a key predictor for future success.
Kids feel secure with routine and predictability. When life changes happen such as moving house, childcare centres or a change to family living arrangements it can be difficult for them to adapt. Yoga and mindfulness gives kids tools to deal with change.
When children have a heightened awareness of how they are feeling and the tools to help them through tricky times it provides them with space to focus on their learning. This aids school readiness and sets them up for a successful transition to Big School.
Children of all abilities can practice yoga and mindfulness. For those with special needs it can be an invaluable way for them to relax their bodies and minds, release their emotions and completely let go of anything they’ve been holding on to.
Mental health awareness is highlighting the many challenges that kids are facing today. Yoga and mindfulness teaches kids to love themselves as they are, it develops robust resilience and boosts self-esteem whilst creating confidence to build relationships and to reach out to ask for help when it’s needed.
It is widely agreed that the first five years shapes a child’s life. Introducing kid’s yoga and mindfulness programs within Early Childhood can help to get them to get off to the best start.
“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts” ~ Dalai Lama