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A Gift Of Empowerment - Using Children's Yoga To Reduce Anxiety And Help Navigate A Modern World

15/12/2016 14:26

It's one of the most frustrating parts of being a Mother. The inability to make everything better for your child. To take their worry away. It's good to talk, although sometimes frustrating with a child who is upset but doesn't have the words to explain what they are feeling. We don't always know why our child is feeling anxious. It could be something big like starting school, or even practising for the Christmas nativity.

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'Belly Breath' photo author's own

A proactive approach for children navigating through the stresses of modern childhood, and the anxieties it can bring is to empower them as much as we can. Incorporating an understanding of yoga in to a child's day, gives them a tool with which they can begin to understand their own mind and body. In yoga we learn that the breath and the emotions are intertwined, so that if you can find your breath in a difficult pose, you can find it in a difficult moment in life. A child learns to understand that they have the ability to calm down, find strength, or balance, or just take a break when they need it - and this can be extremely empowering for them to learn.

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'Kicking Donkey' photo author's own

I trained as a children's yoga instructor with senior yoga teacher Veronica Greene founder of Little Greene Yoga in Glasgow, because I wanted to be able to share this practice with my own children and others. Veronica has taught yoga in schools and in private classes since 2005, see her article 'Stress Free Kids' .

Veronica believes that "When yoga is taught using a child's language it awakens their incredible ability, enthusiasm, and imagination. Yoga based classes can teach children about the power within themselves, physically and mentally."

I have found this to be true with my own children who will often naturally join me without invitation, when I'm practising at home. Granted, I do have a five year old who when told to calm down will suddenly drop everything, and adopt tree pose with a smirk on his face - But this is a good example of the natural, fun way that children will start to incorporate yoga as a tool to self-calm in to their lives.

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'Tree Pose' photo author's own

I've read many articles this year about how to explain the many horrific events that have happened across the world to our children. I read them all with eagerness, because I, like parents everywhere didn't know how to make it all make sense. As much as we try to shield them, children will always understand more than we realise, and questions we might rather not answer will be asked.

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'Belly breath' photo author's own

Rather than feel like victims of the modern world, we can give our children the gift of acceptance, of themselves and others. The power to make a difference is inside of us all. As we say at the end of a yoga practice 'Namaste', meaning 'the light in me, sees the light in you' . This seems like a truly empowering thought for young minds to hold on to, amongst all the noise that 2016 has brought.

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Photo author's own

For children's yoga classes through out the U.K, and more articles on children's yoga please visit Little Greene Yoga.

Anne Marshall writes about women's lives, babies, twins, and moving overseas with four young children, at Untamables.

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