The Benefits of Yoga for You & Your Family
Feeling the stress of the times? You’re not alone.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of today’s world. There seem to be a million things vying for our attention and energy throughout the day. Our to-do lists are never-ending and we are constantly presented with new things to worry about.
Unfortunately, kids are also affected by the dynamics of the present time and are struggling to find their stride. In fact, studies are showing that children and teens are reporting higher levels of stress than adults and that overall kids’ mental health is declining.
Kids and adults alike are finding themselves exhausted, ill, anxious, and depressed after being bombarded by external stressors and constant distractions throughout the day. By evening, we are energetically drained and it is tempting to spend our downtime scrolling social media or watching tv. There is nothing wrong with relaxing in mindless ways sometimes. It’s just that these types of activities do not help us to recharge our batteries.
The truth about yoga.
We have all heard of yoga and have a basic understanding of its health benefits. When you think of yoga, you most likely think of stretching and moving your body into various poses with grace and balance.
But…yoga is much more than just stretching on a mat. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. It is considered both an art as well as a science, with the ultimate goal of establishing harmony between the mind, body, and spirit in order to promote health and self-actualization.
Yoga classes typically include breathwork, a series of physical poses, and a relaxation component. Practicing yoga is inexpensive as it only requires comfortable clothing and a mat. By attending yoga classes, an individual learns various techniques that they can easily integrate into their day-to-day life in order to improve their overall health and wellbeing. In this sense, yoga could be viewed as a hobby that helps us to thrive in all areas of our life.
How does yoga work?
Yoga calms our minds.
It has become the norm to live in our minds. Most of us find ourselves anxious, overthinking, and unable to fall asleep at night. When we live like this, it can be difficult to focus, relax, and enjoy our lives.
Meditation is often viewed as sitting in silence and thinking of “nothing,” however, meditation or mindfulness practices are actually exercises that help us to develop the awareness and discipline to continually return our attention to the present moment.
A yoga class often includes different types of meditation, such as breathwork and visualization, but is in itself a meditation as the aim is to move continuously through the class in an intentional and mindful manner. By keeping our focus turned inward and redirecting our mind when it wanders, we can notice the sensations, emotions, and thoughts that arise.
Yoga helps to build new connections within your brain, over time changing your brain structure and functioning. Growing evidence is showing that yoga can be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress, providing both immediate relief and more importantly long-term symptom reduction. Improved memory, attention span, and clarity of mind are just a few of the mental benefits of practicing yoga.
Yoga heals our bodies.
Our bodies are constantly communicating with us, sharing messages about our physical needs. Most of us are tuned into the more obvious messages - when we are thirsty, hungry, experiencing pain, need to use the washroom, etc. Through yoga, we can learn to listen to the more subtle messages our bodies share and become aware of the imbalances that exist within us that contribute to injuries and illness. By listening, we can be guided by the true needs of our bodies, building trust in ourselves and unlocking our intuition so that we may achieve our highest potential.
By moving with intention and awareness, we are able to improve our coordination and balance, increase our flexibility, and build strength. We learn to challenge ourselves in a healthy way, respecting our limitations and exercising self-compassion. The beauty of developing these attributes is that they are not exclusive to our yoga practice; the balance, flexibility, strength, and self-respect that we gain through yoga flow into our daily lives.
Through regular yoga practice, you can expect to see improvement in muscle tone, blood flow, and overall energy. On a physical level, yoga has the transformative power to change the way that you move through the world.
Yoga strengthens our connection to our souls.
As we regain understanding, balance, and control of our mind and body, we come to know ourselves on a deeper level. We develop emotional intelligence and well-being. We are able to align our lives with our beliefs and values, finding purpose and meaning in life. Our intuition, creativity, and productivity are optimized, allowing us to embody our full potential. We become all that we can be.
Can kids do yoga too?
Yoga is a healthy outlet to help bring balance to the busy lives of children and teens. It helps kids to relax and unwind as well as promotes the development of gross motor skills, strength, and flexibility.
In the same way that yoga teaches adults how to quiet the mind, connect to the breath, and move mindfully, it does the same for kids. When kids practise yoga, they build self-awareness and self-regulation skills that will last a lifetime.
Kids can start learning yoga as soon as they are old enough to understand basic instructions. The key to effectively teaching kids about yoga is in the presentation. Making yoga fun and age-appropriate means introducing the concepts and postures through exploration, games, and play. Keeping sequences dynamic and short helps to maximize engagement.
When children and teens are given the opportunity to learn about and practise yoga, they begin to expand their toolkits with mindsets and strategies that set them up for success in their lives. Empowered children have the resilience to navigate through challenges and the potential to change the world!
Yoga for a better world.
Imagine the world we would live in if we had all been guided to connect deeply with ourselves as children…taught to listen to the messages of our bodies…to calm our minds and observe our thoughts. Imagine if from a young age we had learned to understand our emotions and trust our intuition, and been encouraged to explore and express ourselves fully…
Yoga is one of the greatest gifts we can share with our children. By introducing them to yoga, we support them in building a strong foundation within themselves so that they may thrive.
Leading by example is the best way to inspire others. When children and teens see adults around them doing yoga, it inspires them to do the same. Let your children watch you practise yoga. Let them join you. Practise yoga as a family.
By choosing yoga, we take one step closer to finding health and harmony within ourselves, so that we may be the change we wish to see in the world.
Join us for a fun and memorable SUMMER CAMP experience that nurtures the social, emotional, and physical development of children.
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June 27th to Sep 2nd
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