Author: Kerry Moeller
My name is Kerry Moeller aka “Super Kerry” named during one our super hero themed kids yoga classes. I am a Little Pretzels yoga instructor at Power Yoga Canada, as well as being an Education Assistant as my big girl day job. I have only been practicing yoga for a couple of years, as I thought it was some sort of cult for old fogey’s, oh but how wrong I was! My first class not only kicked me in the butt, but also awakened my mind and body to something fresh and new.
Working with children has always been a passion of mine, but to now teach yoga and remind myself what joy children have when bending their bodies, learning to love themselves and having fun using their imagination, is truly a dream!
Working with children with autism, anxiety, ADHD, behaviors, as well as self esteem issues, I knew I had to bring yoga into the classroom/schools. I have recently had the privilege of introducing yoga to several kindergarten classes and it’s been awesome. In both the Little Pretzels class and the classroom, the children are learning breathing and meditation techniques, self regulation/love, how to have fun without the competitiveness of sports, mindfulness, connection to spirit, compassion and being of service in the world (for others). Whether it’s a busy family lifestyle or getting into a argument on the playground, child-stresses aren’t to be minimized. As we continue to see the benefits of yoga in prisons and 3rd world countries, how can we not bring this magical experience of mindfulness to our children?
A study at a Bronx, NY public school on kids with autism that had a daily yoga program, found that the program reduced kids’ aggressive behavior, social withdrawal, and hyperactivity, compared with a control group of kids with autism who did not practice yoga.
Bringing yoga outside of the practice is where you can really see the benefits for your children. They are given breathing and social tools to use when faced with a situation. Learning to breath instead of react is beneficial to anyone in their everyday life. A tool like ‘Lion’s Breath’ teaches them to release negative energy and frustration. Something you may even want to practice yourself! Sit on your knees with your heels together, and breathe in deeply through your nose. As you breathe out, roar like a lion and stick out your tongue. Make a fierce face! Taking a deep breath through the nose instantly calms, and the lion’s roar helps us find our voices, feel strong and release.
When my kids start chanting “yoga,yoga,yoga” when they see their yoga mats, I truly believe a difference is being made. I encourage parents of whatever age your child may be from 3-93, to check out a local yoga studio, Google children’s yoga or roll out a mat and see where your Lion’s Breath takes you!