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The research on sleep for kids is relatively conclusive. Kids at every age need more!

New research explains how vitamin ZZZ may help children fight obesity, avoid colds, and succeed in school. It’s our job as parents to create a climate of sleep. That can be a real challenge with our busy lifestyles.

We collaborated with SleepHelp.org, a site created by insomniacs for insomniacs. It aims to help children get more sleep so parents can keep their sanity. Win-Win!

Littles: How to Prepare Your Child For School Naptime

How Yoga can help at home: Massage is a great bedtime ritual. Once your little is in bed, try shaking out arms and legs like noodles and gently, but firmly, press them down from shoulder to wrist and thigh to ankle to ground the body. This may be silly at first. Repeat if necessary (slower each time) until the wiggles diminish and the body gets heavy and ready for sleep.

School Age: Can Bullying Affect Sleep?

How Yoga can help at home: Try the IYK® Power Down sequence to say goodbye to the day and prepare for better, longer, deeper sleep. This is especially handy for those sudden bursts of energy right before bedtime. ☺

Teens: How School Start Times Impact Children's Health

How Yoga can help at home: Waking up is hard for the teenage brain. Try the IYK® Power Up sequence to get moving and make it a great day!

According to forbes.com, “…results of the new study…add to the growing body of evidence showing how yoga and mindfulness can affect the developing brain, behavior, and mental health. At a time when the most developmentally important learning opportunities are being stripped away in U.S. schools—recess time, art and music, and hands-on learning—and stress levels are rising, the study points to an effective way for schools to help kids deal with it all.”

It takes PRACTICE to develop the task of concentration. Yoga delivers results. Yoga can help with mindset and movement practices made for the classroom.  

  1. Benefits for Every Classroom
  • Improved focus and learning with breath work to oxygenate the brain
  • Growth mindset with intensions and positive self-talk
  • Self-control through body awareness
  1. Outcomes for Students 
  • Concentration and Collaboration
  • Accountability and Adaptability
  • Resilience and Recovery
  • Effort and Endurance
  • Courage and Confidence


These results can be achieved with 2 to 10 minutes of daily practice over time. 

Can yoga increase academic performance and test scores at school? That’s what our partner schools are confirming. Let’s explore how Yoga benefits staff and students with managing transitions and testing to create calm, connected, proud and productive classrooms.  Here are two reasons to bring Yoga to your classroom. 

  1. Focus is at an all-time low. The biggest childhood predictor of success is the ability to concentrate. Distractions affect learning, especially in young minds.  Research shows average focus time is the lowest ever - between 3 to 5 seconds - in our “swipe now ” evolution. Great Schools – Like a Sponge podcast: Their Own Devices  

 

  1. Anxiety is at an all-time high. Of the 74.5 million children in the United States, an estimated 17.1 million have or have had a mental health disorder — more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Half of all mental illness occurs before the age of 14, and 75 percent by the age of 24. Anxiety is at the top of the list.  Source: Childmind - About Us 
     

These facts make learning harder than ever in schools today.  We’ll look at how Yoga can help in Transitions and Testing: Why Yoga belongs in every classroom (Part 2 of 2).

Problems for Youth Athletes (Part 1) outlined common issues student-athletes face at the collegiate level.  Yoga can help protect the growing body and brain from over impact and mental fatigue. The practice takes 2 to 10 minutes daily and can be worked into any sport or performing art. 

These pre-practice, game or performance routines and post-practice, game and performance cool downs can prevent injuries and maximize mental capacity to maintain self-motivation and achieve peak performance.  

Outcomes 

  • Full spinal rotation – lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine
  • Flexible Hamstrings – strong posterior chain from calves to gluteus maximus 
  • Strong and Flexible Extensors – core strength and minimal back pain
  • Opposition – ability to cross the midline with balanced mobility
  • Internal Rotation – ability to connect to core strength
  • Strong Proprioception – body awareness and balance = agility
  • Stable Joints – controlled deceleration and full range mobility 
  • Motivated – positive performance oriented mindset 

Parents can protect their kids by urging youth coaches, sports leagues, and performing arts organizations to explore these basic proven practices that enhance growing kids’ mental and physical performance over time.

Many parents want their sporty kid to play and secure a college scholarship and why not?  Attending college is more expensive than ever! However, according to Stanford Children’s Hospital, ”…More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports…”

Here’s what the top trainers at the collegiate level say about the condition of the students-athletes who actually make it. Common problems emerge from specialization at young ages both physically and mentally. 

Challenges

  • Limited spinal rotation – most sports are linear and don’t incorporate twisting
  • Tight Hamstrings – weak posterior chain from calves to gluteus maximus
  • Weak and Inflexible Extensors – this leads to lack of mobility and back pain
  • Opposition – inability to cross the midline with balanced mobility
  • Externally Rotated – lack of ability to internally rotate and connect to core strength
  • Poor Proprioception – ability to balance on one limb
  • Compromised Joints – connective tissue is worn down creating pain, permanent damage or required surgery(ies)
  • Burned Out – lack of motivation and/or negative attitude or energy

Yoga can help alleviate many of these issues throughout the growing process yielding a healthier student-athlete.

Read Part 2 to see how.   

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Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!