Sunday, 28 September 2008

Kids Yoga Teacher Training: Bringing Yoga Into The Classroom

For teachers looking for a way to make their students feel more focused and relaxed in school, why not try incorporating a few minutes of yoga into daily classroom activities? Not only does yoga for children help with physical fitness and stress relief, it also integrates movement into the learning process. Yoga is a wholesome, exciting way for kids to explore their own creativity while seeing that there are other dimensions to learning--making them feel like they're a part of their learning environment and their world.

Storytelling, music, and creative/expressive arts all blend seamlessly with yoga for children. Traditional "adult" yoga is reinvented in a way that suits the playful spirits of the youth that practice it. Kid's yoga practice uses the Multiple Intelligences Theory, developed by Harvard educator Howard Garder, to create a framework for yoga activities that become fully integrated into the core educational curriculum.

Today's children experience a great deal of stress that stems from school, their peers, their living environment, and expectations from the media. This pressure only increases as kids get older. Stress, in whatever form it may take, affects the way children absorb knowledge and interact with their surroundings. It also affects their physical health and self-esteem. Yoga for children brings an element of adventure into learning while helping kids relax, focus and stay stress-free.

Now teachers and parents can take kids yoga teacher training and certification programs so they can effectively bring yoga into the home or classroom. Focused parents and educational professionals who want to integrate these methods into their practice or community can help facilitate healthy lifestyle development, better test scores, improved knowledge retention and a more harmonious learning environment. By bringing yoga into pre-kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms, teachers and students alike are adopting a learning motto of "less stress, greater success."

Imagine walking into a classroom full of third graders. Everyone is fidgety, bored and unfocused. You then tell them to take a few minutes to stand by their desks and do the "tree pose." Simultaneously, the children stand up beside their desks, take deep breaths, focus straight ahead, then lift one leg and both arms into the pose. The kids already know this pose, but you--the teacher--guides them through it with a yoga pose card. When the students return to their seats, they are calmer, more alert and ready to learn.

By: David Tang

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