By Lorraine Rushton.
Yoga provides some of the best tools for strengthening little bodies, minds and emotions: asana, breathing, visualisations and positive communication. Combine these together and you can equip your children with valuable tools to take into adult life.
One desirable attribute is self-con dence. Numerous studies have shown that self- con dence will help children at school, in relationships and later in life, in the workplace. If coupled with the quiet humility that yoga tends to manifest, your little one will be well-equipped for the road ahead. Here are three ways to practice with your children at home that will give them a foundation to build upon week after week, year after year.
The Superman Pose is a favourite because it builds back strength and helps spinal alignment, which results in a children feeling powerful, strong and in control.
The visualisation and success list are designed to build mental and emotional resiliency and lead to them feeling happy about who they are.
I am Strong and Confident Pose
Superman Pose. Tell your little one to lie down on their belly and take their arms and legs wide into a star. Perhaps tell them to imagine they are a very powerful superhero who is about to set out to make the world a better place. “You are about to set out on a journey using your special and unique gifts to make the world a better place. Think about three things that you do to make this world a better place. Maybe you give great hugs, look after friends, tell bullies to stop, give the best smiles.” Ask them to tell you three of their special qualities. Then tell them to get ready to take off. “Take a big breath in and as you breathe out, lift everything off the oor and FLY!” They lift up four to six times and each time hold long enough to spread their gift to the world and share with people who need it.
After the last time, tell them to lie down, turn their head to the side and rest, feeling their heart ll with joy and happiness, saying, “You are such a gift to the world and make it a brighter place.”
I am Confident Visualisation
Lay them on their backs, turn their palms up, let their feet op out to the sides and ask them to pull their chin in slightly into their chests. Tell them to relax every part of the body and close their eyes. You are going to guide them to a happy place where they will picture all the things they are good at. “Keeping your eyes closed, imagine walking into a beautiful place. Choose somewhere that makes you feel really happy. Look around at all the colours, smell the beautiful fragrances; feel the sun shining down on your skin.”
Ask them to imagine they nd somewhere to sit down where they can relax and feel happy. “You look around a nd a soft patch of grass to sit down on and lie back gazing at the sky, feeling relaxed, calm and peaceful. “
Now ask them to focus their mind on a positive time.” Remember a time when you did something great, or when you did your best, when you achieved something good or tried something for the rst time and were brave. Remember how you felt, that feeling inside and you can picture your face so happy.”
Remind them that they can remember this time whenever they are feeling afraid, insecure or uncon dent; that they will always have this feeling; that it’s captured inside them and can be drawn upon whenever they need it.
My Daily Success
This is a great family ritual for school pick-up time, to do at the dinner table or to end the day with at bedtime. It sets a positive frame of mind and builds inner strength in children, by reminding them that they achieve things — big and small — every day. Do this every day for one week and see the impact.