Bliss for Kids

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You’re familiar with the blissed out feeling you get after your lunchtime yoga class or your midday meditation break. That inner peace is the product of practices like coordinating breath with the movement of the body, focusing the eye gaze or mind on one point of attention and guided relaxation. And you know the zen buzz doesn't stop once class is over. The benefits are carried off your mat and have made participation in mind/body endeavors increase dramatically.

School-aged kids can also benefit from bringing yoga and meditation practices into their day. Over the years, studies have shown that yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices can help kids’ brains and behavior.  The uptick in attention span, grades and emotional wellness that’s been documented from downward dog and quiet sitting hasn’t gone unnoticed by the educational system.

UK schools are so hyped about this that they’re including mindfulness in their curriculum as part of a study that will run until 2021. Their hope is that mindfulness practices will act as a method of intervention for rising numbers of mental health disorders in school-aged children. Here in the States, The David Lynch Foundation brings Transcendental Meditation to underserved schools as Quiet Time, “a practical, evidence-based approach to reduce stress and dramatically improve academic performance, student wellness and the school environment.” And more and more schools in the US are jumping on board with yoga and meditation programs to help boost learning and decrease stress.

While these programs may not look exactly like your vinyasa class or your daily meditation break, they use the same techniques and tools, just geared toward the specific age group they’re being presented to. The yoga mats are probably in perfect rows at your boutique studio, but the school gymnasium is the likely setting for a more abstract yoga “game.”. You might sit on a cushion and recite a mantra internally for 20 minutes, but students probably use their desks for a short 2-5 minute guided relaxation or focused attention practice. What’s beautiful is that no matter how the tools are integrated into the educational day, their effectiveness appears to be maintained.

The proof is in the peaceful pudding. Yoga and meditation have been shown to help kids with feelings of anxiety, an unfortunate byproduct of our busy, often rushed, and tech-heavy lives. It also has a positive effect for other mental health and behavioral challenges like ADHD, depression and executive brain function, a key set of mental skills that helps you manage time and pay attention.

Want to see the students in your life study this subject? Goomi Group is launching afterschool yoga and meditation classes in your area. Connect with us at GoomiGroup.com to find out how to bring the bliss to a school near you.

Sierra Smith