A little history…
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated more than 3,000 years ago in India. The word yoga comes from the ancient Sanskrit language. It means “to yoke” or “to unite” the mind, body and spirit. The term “spirit” comes from the Greek word spirare, which means “to breathe”.
Yoga can benefit your child’s life at school by:
- Enhancing flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness
- Improving concentration and memory
- Creating a sense of calmness
And from a Speech and Language Therapist’s perspective Yoga:
- Encourages careful listening and looking skills
- Provides opportunities to practise following directions
- Helps with the learning of early vocabulary for nouns, prepositions and verbs, as there is lots of repetition and naming of actions and poses
- Storytelling in Yoga facilitates the development of a child’s narrative skills
- The chanting of sounds and breath control can help with speech development
- Having the chance to lead activities and show favourite Yoga poses increases a child’s confidence
- And, of course, learning together in a fun way helps with social skills!
Here are you a few activity ideas you can try at home:
- Play games like Simon Says and Follow My Leader – make up your own poses for each other to copy
- Take it in turns to read stories to each other, which contain the names of animals. Move your bodies into position when you hear the name of a specific animal being called.
- Play Alphabet Soup – place letters of the alphabet (on paper or magnet letters) into a ‘feely’ bag. Take it in turns to move your body so it looks like the letter of the alphabet or, if you are familiar with Yoga poses, try and think of a pose that begins with that letter.
- Create a pose and share with family members
- Play pose tag – if someone gets ‘tagged’, they must freeze in a certain pose, e.g. Triangle Pose. The only way to be unfrozen is if someone runs between your legs.
- Play ‘What Yoga Pose am I?’ guessing game
Let you imagination run away with you. The important thing is to have fun!