Wellness and yoga games for our young
There is a growing body of scientific research proving that yoga, meditation and indeed self care in general can improve self-esteem, memory, focus, behavior, academic ability and can reduce all sorts of worries and stress in children (and adults). By taking the time to encourage wellness in our young we are subsequently promoting happiness in their lives; filling their cups to the brim with strength, confidence, acceptance, clarity, compassion and inner calm to deal with life and whatever it may throw their way. When we do all of these things the body is at its happiest physiological and mentally.
Here are some fun yoga games and breathing exercises for kids. If you are familiar with yoga, you can try these games and breathing exercises at home with your your little darlings.
Mirror, mirror. This game is a good warm-up exercise to increase focus.
One person starts as the leader. The leader chooses a pose to do and shows it to the others.The other players copy the leader’s pose as if they are looking into a mirror.Change the leader with each round of poses, so that everyone has a turn at being the leader.
One person is selected as the Yogi. The other participants must do the yoga poses that the Yogi tells them to do if the instruction starts with “Yogi says.” If the Yogi doesn’t use “Yogi says,” then players do not do the pose. Keep changing the person who is Yogi, so that everyone gets a turn.
Red light, green light yoga
One person is chosen as the Stoplight. He or she stands at the front of the room. The other players are the “cars,” and they start at the opposite wall. The Stoplight starts the game by calling “Green light!” The other players then use yoga poses to move forward. When the Stoplight calls “Red light!,” each player needs to be in a yoga pose and remain still. Everyone takes a turn being the Stoplight.
Simple yoga breath exercises
Flying bird breath
Stand tall, with your arms at your sides and your feet hip-width apart (2 fists between your feet to determine hip width apart) in standing Mountain Pose. Imagine being a beautiful, strong bird. Pretend to prepare to fly by inhaling and raising your arms (“wings”) until your palms touch overhead. Keep your arms straight. Exhale slowly as you bring your arms back down to your sides, palms facing down. Repeat in a steady motion with each breath, inhale as you raise your arms, and exhale as lower your arms. You can also close your eyes as you repeat the movements with breath, and imagine yourself flying in the sky like a beautiful strong bird.
Grab 7 crayons (colours of the rainbow) Begin to draw a rainbow, start with the inner semi-circle breathe in, draw the next semi-circle breathe out, and the next breathe in and so on until you have coloured all the rainbow. And repeat 5 times
Smell the rose, blow out the candle
As a Nurse this is one of my favourite breathing exercises as it has so many benefits. Did you know that deep breathing exercises are scientifically proven to reduce a fast heart rate ( known as ‘tachycardia’) amongst many other benefits. And so here you must take a deep breath in (smell the rose) and hold it for a count of three.Breathe out forcefully, like you’re blowing out a candle. Repeat this for five cycles of breath.
Meditation can be short and simple, and really doesn't have to involve complex yoga poses or staying still in a quiet, dark room. Meditation in your home could involve turning off electronic devices and reflecting on the day with your children, using questions like, “What are you grateful for today?”
Here are a few simple meditations for children, which can be done for as little as 30 seconds or longer for several minutes maybe.
Find a comfortable seated position or lie down. Close your eyes and think about someone who has been kind and loving towards you ie Mum or Dad or Aunt etc. Hold them tight in your heart and continue to think about that person.
Find a comfortable seated position or lie down.Close your eyes.Try to listen to every single sound in the room.
You can also head outside, grab your mat, take a walk through nature with your guardian and find a spot with a scenic view, or head to the beach, sit in child’s pose, listen to the sea lap the shore and be grateful for all of life’s blessings. The earth really does have music for those who listen💫