We all know yoga definitely helps our mind to get refreshed and relaxed. So, if we introduce Yoga for preschoolers then would it be a good idea?
Let’s find it out by a small introduction about Yoga & its benefits.
So, Basically What is Yoga?
The Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice of ancient tradition, which originated in India. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit & it means unity because Yoga symbolizes the union of body & mind.
The United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga , with the aim of promoting that “people and populations make healthier decisions and lifestyles that promote good health.”
This activity is an intervention tool to promote the health and quality of life of the little ones, as well as a means of preventing future habits and behaviors.
When putting this discipline into practice, we must bear in mind that we will work in a playful way through games, massages, relaxation activities, songs and stories.
Benefits Of Yoga
There are many benefits of yoga especially going to very helpful for preschoolers:
- Yoga can be considered to be an excellent integrative activity of the emotional, cognitive and creative aspects.
- It is a good option to achieve the union of play and physical and mental development at an early age.
- It contributes to awakening ‘multiple intelligence’, to being more creative, intelligent, happy and free. For a good learning, the body needs to be relaxed, the breath must be free, the emotions, balanced and the mind must be concentrated.
- With the implementation of Yoga practice in preschools, the children have been more relaxed when working on the other contents of the Infant curriculum. They have enjoyed the workshops and activities, motivating their families to start this practice.
How to Introduce Yoga Practice for Preschoolers ?
In yoga the areas of the Early Childhood Education curriculum will be worked on: self-knowledge and personal autonomy; knowledge of the environment and languages: communication & representation.
For this reason yoga has been present on many occasions in my classroom (both in psychomotor workshops and in workshops to encourage reading, art, English, music …).
In addition, it was decided to put a fixed session in the schedule for a yoga workshop. Taking advantage of the psychomotor sessions we perform yoga exercises in the gym.
Yoga sessions usually last 45 minutes. They are adapted to the level of children of 3, 4 and 5 years old.
The bottom line is that postures, breathing, and meditation are done through play.
As a complement to the practice of yoga, we worked both in the classroom and in the psychomotor room with the story ‘My little Yogins’ from the Red Circle Publishing House.
The author is Mari Carmen Henales Rodríguez and the illustrator is Sofía García Bustos.
The story tells about two little ‘yogins’ who are ill because of the dark and go on a journey to heal and find happiness.
A different Class…
During the trip they meet various characters, animals, insects, constellations, stars, and the Moon that guide them on their way.
Until they finally meet a giant Buddha who reveals the secret of happiness.
The class begins with ‘The song of the greeting to the sun’ and a dynamic game that allows children to discharge energy in all its forms such as running and jumping.
Then the little ones learn the postures (asanas) through games such as imitation of animals in the jungle, the forest, the sea …
Through motivating characters and pets, the infant students have started in the world of yoga: The Yogi dog ‘,’ the Zen cat ‘,’ the Namaste cobra ‘and’ the Mantra bee ‘ .
In this way, they have learned these and other postures or asanas: the tree, the mountain, the butterfly, the warrior, the salute to the sun, the cow, the baby.
In the ‘pranayamas’ or breathing exercises we carry out breathing games with objects such as feathers, colored balls for children to blow on, dolls …
For meditation , we draw the child’s attention and concentration to a specific activity, such as drawing a mandala or arranging small stones in a sequence.
Here we carry out plastic expression activities: we make a giant mural with the two characters (the two Yogins), we draw a Buddha and decorate it with different plastic techniques, we color mandalas …
And for relaxation, we sing the ‘Omm’ and give massages. Finally the children lie down and with their eyes closed they listen to a story where sound, tactile and olfactory elements appear that help the children relax completely.
YES, Introducing Yoga practice for preschoolers in the classroom through games and dynamics allows to develop multiple intelligence, regulate emotions or relax them. We only have to guide them properly. That’s all.
Hope you liked this article.