By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Could kids Yoga stories help to increase a child’s intelligence? In the last decade, studies have been conducted that look into the benefits of Yoga; and several have concluded that with regard to children, consistent Yoga practice is linked to improved academic performance, decreased misbehavior, greater physical fitness, and better overall health.
Use in Schools
Some schools, public and private, across the United States, have incorporated kids’ Yoga into their curriculum, and still others receive subsidies for offering Yoga classes as part of their physical education programs. The results are clear; Yoga definitely helps young people focus, feel better about themselves, and behave more appropriately in an academic setting.
It must also be noted that Yoga can help enhance children’s intelligence. Due to the fact that inversion poses improve blood flow to the brain and change the way a practitioner sees the world while practicing, they stretch and stimulate the mind. Yoga poses also feature relaxation techniques that can halt the onset of anxiety, which is a problem experienced by more and more young people and which can block certain brain cells from functioning. As a result of decreased stress levels and increase circulation, children can be more receptive to learning situations. Young minds are so flexible and resilient, increased learning receptivity will naturally broaden the ability to think outside the box.
Storytelling and Kids’ Yoga
To enhance intelligence with Yoga, storytelling is a useful tool that provides a young mind with external stimuli to focus on, while the physical Yoga poses help the child work out excess energy, stress, or other negative emotions. Stories can be told from books, from story boards, or even from memory, as the instructor uses the stories to pace a Yoga asana series and to emphasize certain poses.
In schools, smart teachers can use kids Yoga story time to reinforce their lessons, especially given the enhanced receptivity children have toward learning when they are relaxed. Parents, too, in a family Yoga session, can utilize stories that impart wisdom or moral lessons, to encourage children to grow into kind and wise adults.
Keeping kids Yoga stories creative and fun can also enhance intelligence. One way to do this is to give the class a role in creating the story, by contributing one line at a time, or by giving children responsibility to come up with unique poses to fit the Yoga story’s contents. Allowing young people to author their own Yoga practice can be rewarding for them physically, as well as mentally.
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