Success in school depends on a variety of factors. One of the most important factors is the issue of individual maturity, which takes place at unique rates. Bringing the brain in sync with the body can be a challenge, especially if your child is blossoming at a different rate than the school expects. Helping your child develop a yoga practice is one option that can be very effective in integrating mind and body for school success.
Is Yoga Too Slow for Kids?
Yoga is known for being a slow, methodical practice. Parents may wonder if such slow and deliberate movements can really help their kids — especially if the kids are more spirited than average or lack patience. It turns out that the gentle pace of yoga actually has a calming effect on many kids, even kids with short attention spans and a lot of energy. Many yoga programs are specifically developed for children and may incorporate more movement than traditional yoga as well.
How Yoga Helps
Yoga teaches the ability to focus the mind and attention. The focus on learning to control breathing also has a calming effect on students, which can in turn improve performance in school. Students who struggle to focus often have issues with anger and stress. Studies have shown that yoga can make a big difference in managing emotional issues and improving focus. Two randomized trials have shown that yoga can be an effective therapy alternative or addition to other treatments for ADHD.
Yoga and Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is an important component in being a good student. But it’s not a skill that comes naturally, and some kids have more difficulty developing it than others. Yoga practices teach patience and mindfulness, which helps to build self-discipline as well. When students practice yoga poses and combine them with breathing techniques, it creates the ability to focus on tasks at hand. Self-discipline is not a gift that either you have or you lack; it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Yoga just happens to be a fun and relaxing way to do that.
Helping your child become a better student is often a matter of being willing to experiment with new ideas. Try adding yoga to your child’s schedule — or even make it an activity you do together. You may find that it helps your child’s ability to stay calm and focus.