How to Calm Your Child Using Yoga (Yoga for Kids Video)

Jodi Epstein
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A friend of mine recently asked, in reference to practicing yoga, “If I’m not sweating, what’s the point?”
 
I completely vouch for the physical practice and have considered myself an asana junkie at times, but many people often think of yoga as purely a form of exercise, when it really has so much more to offer.
 
Yoga is a philosophy and lifestyle practice that includes movement, stretching and strengthening. Teachers will often begin or end a class discussing a yogic principle, or it will be weaved thematically throughout the duration of the practice.

If this is the case in an adult setting, then there is an opportunity to incorporate these teachings into a setting for children.

A wonderful and simple way to start is with the breath. When children are upset, they tend to hold their breath, breathe rapidly, or have trouble catching their breath while crying. Encouraging a child to take one or a few deep, slow breaths can help them calm down physically and emotionally.
 
In the “Jodi the Yogi” Namaste yoga for kids video segment, shown below, Downward the Dog is upset because he can’t remember where he buried his bone. Jodi the Yogi wants to offer the solution of looking for the bone together, but first suggests taking two “Happy Heart Breaths” to help Downward the Dog settle down so that he is able to be more focused and positive while he looks for his bone.
 
A “Happy Heart Breath” includes the act of smiling, because changing the body – even in small ways – affects the mind. Jodi also has Downward place his hands on his heart, since this can be a gesture of self-comfort.
 
Pausing to take a deep breath is a lifestyle practice that can be useful at any age. It’s a practice I find myself teaching adults and children, and as a student of yoga, it’s a practice I constantly remind myself to return to.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Use this yoga video for kids the next time your little one needs to stop and take a breath.


 

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Jodi Epstein

Teacher, musician and creator of the children’s program, Jodi the Yogi, Jodi makes sure to laugh at least three times every day. She considers her small yogi students to be her greatest source of inspiration. When Jodi’s not teaching, she’s on the mat learning or off the mat playing. “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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