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Yoga empowers children


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Important postures or asanas for kids Standing ones Virbhadra series for improving physical and emotional strength:
When they perform virbhadra series, it is not that they benefit only physically, but by holding the tough postures for long count and withstanding the pain helps them to strengthen their will power. It also helps them to face the realities of life as it makes them strong emotionally.

Suryanamaskaras with right breathing techniques:
Suryanamaskaras are a boon to mankind of all ages who can overcome all sorts of diseases by practically performing these 12 sets of movements in one Suryanamaskara.

Children, in order to remain healthy, can perform 24 or more with right breathing pattern, in a day to maintain flexibility, prevent sickness, improve their immune system, overcome their adenoid and sinusitis and use their energy in a right direction for their better purpose.

Balancing postures: In yoga, a combination of a few different poses can work together to improve your balance. Relying on only one type of yoga exercise is not the way to go to improve your balance. There is not one perfect pose to miraculously improve your balance. What is required is an approach that relies on several poses.

The three most important things for children to remember are to breathe gently, focus your gaze, and relax your thoughts.

Similarly, if the feet are misaligned or the body weight is off centre on the feet, it will be very difficult to have a tall, spacious, centred pose and to maintain healthy alignment throughout the body. Best balancing pose in the beginning that one can practice are standing ones like Vriskshasana, Natrajasanan or Virbhadra series. These will help them to focus. They can also practice later by closing their eyes which shows the perfect body control and focus.

Backward Bends: This helps children to improve their body posture and throughout the day long activities so that they are able to prevent hunches, align the spine to prevent neck and lower back pain and feel tall and confident. It also helps them to overcome pain in the back and neck due to heavy shoulder bags.

Important one is Ushtrasana
-- Stand on your knees with legs parallel to each other. Keep your thigh perpendicular to the floor.
-- While inhaling, raise your arms up and while exhaling, gently place it on the respective heels. Practice normal breathing and gently push your stomach ahead and shoulders back. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat three times.

Head stands: Any challenging posture is welcomed by the children and once they achieve, they conquer their own weaknesses with a "never give up attitude."

-- Since handstands are technically a weight-bearing exercise, they can help strengthen children's bones. Handstands are also beneficial for their spine, and help aid the health of the bones in your shoulders, arms and wrists.
-- Not only that, the upside-down nature of a handstand can increase circulation to their upper body, while relieving pressure on their feet and legs and stretching their diaphragm at the same time, which in turn can increase the blood flow to your lungs.

Hand stands can also make them feel happier, since the blood flow to your brain has an energising and calming effect, especially when you're feeling really stressed out. Let the child hold the pose only for 20 counts with counter postures later.
-- Counter postures after any head stand would be Shashakasana wherein you can relax your head and heart at the same level as the floor and relax the arms later.

Pranayama: Children must practice Bhastrika pranayama every day at least 10 times and repeat three times by giving a break. If the child is suffering from asthma, allergic problem, sinusitis or adenoids, airborne diseases, etc., then he or she must practice twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.

Steps to practice Bhastrika: for children
-- They don't have to sit and practice, and can instead practice as a cleansing technique either while standing or sitting. Best thing to do would be to take a hot shower as the warm water falls on their chest, back and face or and the mucus dilates after steaming.
-- Inhale completely but remain gentle and do not exert force and while exhaling, let it be forceful just like blowing the nose, but every time the child has to inhale and then exhale forcefully. Repeat the same 10 times.
-- Then, rest a while, take five deep breaths and then practice again, twice in the same way. Repeat again at night before going to bed but preferably two hours before or after partaking food.
-- The cabbage steaming works well even for children below the age of six with five Bhastrikas later and repeat three times. Do not make them practice more than is mentioned.

Relaxation technique or meditation for children
For children below the age of 12, they require more visualisation in meditation and we can help children develop better emotional quotient by teaching them how to analyse the situation so that they learn to respond and only then react. Teenagers require proper meditation and must focus at a certain point and then learn to overcome their delusions, fear and anxiety about academic results and their future.

The writer is a yoga instructor and  therapist based in Muscat

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