Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What is a Yoga-Snack and why do you need one?

           Yoga-Snacks ™
Welcome to the wonderful world of Yoga-Snacks™, an in-school yoga program designed to expose your children to the benefits of yoga during the school day. In just 20 minutes, your children will relax, renew and re-energize. 

During a typical Yoga-Snack, your child is familiarized with yoga. Yoga, an ancient Indian body of knowledge,  dates back more than 5000 years ago. The word "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate." Yoga then is about the union of a person's own consciousness and the universal consciousness.  Ancient Yogis had a belief that in order to be in harmony with your own self and your environment, you have to integrate your mind, body, and spirit. For these three to be in harmony, your emotions, physical energy and perception must be in balance. The Yogis envisioned a way to obtain and maintain this balance and it is done through the three main structures of Yoga: Pranyama (the art of breathing), Meditation (the art of focusing the mind) and Asanas (the art of posturing the body). 

For children, yoga helps them to become aware of this connection between their mind, body and their spirit. They learn how they act within the world the world around them and how they react to this world. Through the use of postures, games, music, dance and relaxation, they learn to pay attention to these actions and use yoga as a tool to calm and focus their mind, body and spirit. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The use of poses can be a vehicle to focus and clam the mind.

Benefits of Yoga for Kids:
  1. Builds their confidence and self-esteem.
  2. Improves their powers of concentration and focus.
  3. Develops their brain and intellect.
  4. Excellent for their bodies and health. Promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and strength.
  5. Helps them cope with stress and difficult emotions.
  6. Develops their creativity and imagination.
  7. Sharpens and expands their awareness.
  8. Helps them develop calmness.
In relation to the Special Needs child, yoga has been proven to provide a perfect opportunity for these children to move, explore their world, and interact physically and mentally in order to understand themselves and their environment. Yoga is not a cure, but it will encourage physical activity, increase self esteem, provide relief from symptoms, promote positive social interactions, teach stress management, and develop muscle tone and flexibility, along with providing numerous physical, psychological and physiological benefits.

Yoga-Snacks ™ are a fun and engaging way to explore yoga poses, cooperative games, breathing, Sanskrit (the language of yoga), relaxation and meditation. The classes convey positive lessons in self-expression, body-awareness, and social skills. Yoga has a significant positive effect on a child's academic achievement and general health. Yoga is non-competitive and fun and students develop strength, flexibility, concentration and confidence. The results are amazing! Children who practice yoga are more focused, and are better equipped to deal with emotional fluctuations and challenges.  Yoga-Snacks™ are a benefit for your child and for you!

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