Feeling loved and feeling connected to others, are two of the most basic childhood needs. Children need to feel loveable, important and worthy in order to thrive, both physically and emotionally. Mini Me Yoga founder Dr Kate Bartram-Brown, developed a 15 minute programme which uses kids yoga, meditation and mindfulness, to help children explore ideas around love and connection.
This week, our wonderful Ambassador Clair-Louise Walsh, draws on her experience of teaching kids yoga to discuss this concept a little further.
My favourite part of being a teacher is carrying the message of love. Children have the biggest hearts of all and if you give 100% to kids, you will absolutely get 100% back. So, when you look at it that way, there’s a HUGE amount of love going around!
As we grow up, the world around us has an affect on the people we become. Our world is beautiful and many of the experiences that affect us are positive, but there are also the negative pressures that often determine our state of being. We can’t escape the reality of the problems that life may throw our way but we can develop an attitude toward them that allows us to cope with the bad days a bit better.
It is true that in today’s world, most children are very protected. It is a parent’s worse fear that their children may be harmed and so we teach children the lessons we feel they need to learn in order to survive. “Don’t talk to strangers”, “don’t let people touch you” etc…it is, of course, a necessary part of life, after all, it is vital that they learn how to look after themselves. But the question I often wonder is, are we forgetting about the child’s natural instinct to love and connect? In amongst our well intended lessons on survival, are we somehow allowing fear to conquer love? Perhaps this is a question that is ‘too deep’ to ask everyone, especially parents, however, as a yoga teacher, it plays a big part in my children’s classes.
I believe that it is crucial for us to teach our children that love and touch are a part of our lives, of who we are, of what we need to exist. Most children will be taught about the dangers of the world, of this we know, but let us also put emphasis on the importance of the joys of human connection. Children’s yoga classes and family classes focus on this subject, partner work, group work and extending the act of human connection beyond the comfort of our family units to others around us. This is particularly good for children who may suffer from separation anxiety or children who are very attached to their own parents. It can help them to become more at ease with other people and can also aid their confidence. Yoga helps us to be less fearful of our human instincts and more at ease with the presence of others in our ‘space’.
Another wonderful thing about children’s yoga is the powerful messages you can send through storytelling. Children adore stories and what could possibly be better than exciting stories with movement and animated characters! Through these adventures, children learn important lessons such as sharing, taking care of the planet, self-love, compassion for others and many other wonderful acts of kindness and strength. Yoga classes for children are happy and colourful classes that provided a safe and supportive environment for the children to learn and grow, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Most importantly, the children have fun and share love.
The benefits of Yoga for children are never ending. As a teacher, I feel that yoga classes for kids provides me with endless opportunities to encourage love, light, kindness, courage, sharing, compassion, acceptance laughter and fun into peoples lives and as a direct result, my life is also full of such positive energy. I learn so much from the Children. They teach me how to live every moment by being present and they inspire me constantly to love others and to love myself.
About Clair-Louise Walsh
Clair-Louise is a trained Montessori Teacher, a registered Children’s Yoga teacher and trained in India for a 200 hour teaching certificate in Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga. For the past seven years she has lived and worked in Luxembourg offering Yoga to children, adults and families. Most recently, Clair graduated from university with a degree in ‘Drug and alcohol addiction therapy’ and now uses yoga and mindfulness in her work as a holistic therapist.
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