The pandemic has been a strange and stressful time for families, most of all for children. As adults navigate the work-from-home situation, lockdowns, restrictions, and many other things that the pandemic brought in their lives, the kids are at home trying to figure out how to deal with the pandemic on their own. Don’t forget that like you, kids get stressed and depressed, too. Even now that schools are allowed to hold face-to-face classes, the reality is that their lives are not fully back to normal just yet.
Yoga is not only great for adults. It is good for kids, too. It helps calm their minds and relieves them of the stress of having to stay indoors most of the time. Yoga can be fun and entertaining, too. It doesn’t always have to be a serious activity where no one is allowed to speak and only the rubbing of the yoga mats against the floor can be heard. In kids, yoga can improve resilience, academic performance, memory, focus, and self-esteem. And during this period, yoga will reduce anxiety and the risk of childhood depression.
Who Should Teach Kids Yoga?
Don’t try to teach them yoga poses on your own. YouTube is a great substitute for most things, but not when it comes to a yoga teacher. Look for someone with an AFAA recertification. This only means that the yoga teacher has been in the business of teaching yoga for a long time. He/She has the experience. Yoga poses can be stressful physically if not done right. You also cannot force your kids to do these poses unless their bodies are ready. Doing so can lead to injuries.
What Yoga Poses Can Kids Start Doing?
There are eight yoga poses that most kids can do easily. These are the child’s pose, the tree pose, the thunderbolt pose, the frog pose, the crocodile pose, the standing forward bend pose, the cobra pose, and the legs up the wall pose. All of these are designed to help their minds and bodies relax. These are not yoga poses to lose weight or tone muscles. These are all for relaxation and calmness—the two things kids need right now.
Don’t be afraid if your kids can’t easily remember or even do these poses. The yoga teacher will help calm their minds first so they can hold these poses for a long time. That’s why you need someone who does this professionally. Your limited knowledge about yoga may not be enough to guide your kids to master the poses.
What Stressors Do Kids Face During the Pandemic?
Children are always on the move but for the better part of the past year, they had to stay at home because of the virus. That causes an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. Why? They had to distance themselves from their peers and their families—cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Without their extended families and friends, they struggle with the loneliness of being alone. They have to entertain themselves, play with whoever in the house has time for them, and deal with the monotony.
Being with people improves a child’s development. But for the past year, they were forced to practice distancing. That affects the development of their basic life skills such as cognitive control, communication, creative thinking, emotional reasoning, and interpersonal relations.
Even the presence of online classes doesn’t help. Virtual learning is not for everyone. It is not for a majority of learners. A few people can cope with the idea of not having face-to-face classes, but for the most part, children are better learners in the classroom than in their homes. The disruption of school is also a major reason why children are anxious and depressed. They could no longer ask direct questions to their teachers. They cannot spend time with their classmates.
Kids are at a critical juncture in their lives. During the pandemic, this means they are trying to figure out on their own how to deal with these situations. Parents must do their part in explaining the coronavirus pandemic to them.
Don’t think that they don’t understand. If anything, the pandemic forced them to grow up too soon. They have to understand why they have to wear a mask, why they cannot see their grandparents, and why all of their age groups are staying at home. The pandemic opened their eyes to reality. It has impacted their childhood in the most unfortunate of ways.
Most adults don’t realize that more than them, kids are having a tough time with the pandemic. They need mental strength to combat boredom, frustration, anxiety, and confusion. Yoga, hopefully, will give them a respite from these stressors.