This is an excerpt from a post that was written for Yogi Times, a lifestyle guide for the modern yogi, titled “Encouraging Children’s Creativity through Yoga.” See below for the link to the entire article.
A creative mind can think critically, solve problems, and take risks. We often think of painting projects when we imagine children exploring their creativity. However, yoga for kids also encourages children to use their imaginations. Children use their bodies to express themselves and take their minds on imaginary journeys. The yoga experience is unique: it can help children regulate emotions, sleep better, and celebrate their individuality, all while increasing their flexibility and strength. Yoga encourages creativity while introducing breath work, inviting movement, and offering the opportunity to connect with others over a shared positive experience.
Creativity through Breath
Even from a very young age, children are open to learning about breath awareness. Breathing techniques are effective coping strategies that help children manage their busy lifestyles and stressful situations.
To introduce breath awareness, ask your children to imitate sounds they hear in their surroundings, using their own breath. They might hear blowing, sniffing, humming, or whooshing noises. Children who are not auditory learners might connect the strength of their breath with a blowing flag or a spinning pinwheel.
Creativity through Movement
Children can use their bodies to tell stories and go on pretend journeys to anywhere that interests them. The physical postures of yoga were invented thousands of years ago by people living in the Indian mountains. Today, children can also mimic their environment and act out yoga stories to develop their self-expression and self-confidence skills. Yoga is for everybody, anywhere.
“All you need is a little concentration and a whole lot of imagination!” Anna tells her new friend, Nick, in Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats, a book about friendship, acceptance, and happiness. Like Anna and Nick, my daughter and I take make-believe jungle adventures as we sway like palm trees, stretch like jaguars, and hiss like snakes.
Creativity through Connection
Yoga allows children from all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes to connect with each other. Through Partner Yoga poses, children can explore moving their bodies together. Students in yoga classes bond over the language of movement. Kids yoga teachers take their students on group imaginary journeys using yoga poses, singing, breathing, and guided relaxation stories.
How do your children use yoga for creativity? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
Photography by natiya guin
Yoga Books for Kids
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“Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats is for young and old alike! Your kids will love traveling with Anna through a safari desert, the pyramids of the desert, through the waters of the world’s oceans – and more! It’s a beautifully told story with beautiful watercolor-like illustrations. Anna and her rainbow-colored yoga mats teach a story of acceptance, friendship, and being happy with yourself – being yourself – in your own space.”
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