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Your Kids Brain on Yoga

Children’s yoga classes are popping up everywhere. At Behaved Brain, we are hosting our own yoga workshop. But why?

According to the article posted in BUSTLE, yoga has quite the impact on changing brain structures and impacting the brain.

Dopamine and Serotonin, the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter, often linked with anxiety and depression is increased during yoga. The mindfulness, breathing and blood flow that yoga facilitates assist in these chemicals being transmitted throughout the body.  For a child with anxiety, increase sensitivity to environmental stressors, this could mean HUGE relief of symptoms with daily, or even weekly yoga practice.

Due to the increase in stress our children are exposed through with demands on their schedule, increases in academic pressure and the rise of standardized testing, stress management techniques are vital in helping their brain’s health and increasing their tolerance to a stressful environment.

Yoga also helps increase executive functioning and the size of the brain. Children with focus issues, or difficulty sitting still can hugely benefit from the brain benefits of yoga, while also learning appropriate coping techniques for classroom management. If a child learns how to be aware of their body, and increase their awareness of their body processes, they will be able to learn to calm themselves and stay focused more readily in the classroom environment.

So this is great information, yoga is everywhere and it is great for kids’ brains! Not all families are able to commit time to attend a weekly yoga class. What do they do? Good news…there are great online resources for adding yoga into your daily routine.

  1. Make a great yoga story has some great resources
  2. Read a yoga book in the morning, after-school or before bed. Here are a few recommendations:  Good Morning Yoga Pose  and   ABC Me
  3. Online resources such as  Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great tool for quick videos and various fun yoga routines

Life, unfortunately, is not getting easier. The rate of childhood anxiety and stress-related disorders is increasing, and continues to rise. While this is scary to hear as a parent, the great news is, research continues to support the brain changing benefits of lifestyle and diet changes.

There are a number of fun ways to implement and use yoga in your routines at home.  It is empowering to know that as parents, kids learn from watching what we do. So make these changes yourself. Manage your stress. Take time to enjoy your kids and the things going well for you.  If you start to take a yoga class, or purchase a family video, your children will be more likely to follow suit.

As always, it isn’t about being perfect, but it is about being mindful. So much of our lives are running from one place to the next, bombarded with phone calls, work demands and school commitments. Take time to do breathing in the car. Have your kids do a wake-up stretch with you. Breathe before you leave the house in the morning. These little routines, taking no more than 30 seconds of your time, will mean big changes for your brain, and your child’s’.

Contact me for a private family consultation.

Katie Gately
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents

Photo Credit Bigstock.com se