Our Youth Programs offer activities such as Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness and other healthful tools specifically designed to help children more effectively cope with stress and anxiety, and improve their quality of life. Each program includes age appropriate activities and is specifically designed to meet the needs of the group.
Bani has experience teaching kids for over 30 years. As a certified NYS Teacher she has a passion for helping children achieve their highest potential. Classes are offered through the year and range from 1 hour sessions to half day camps. Class schedules and offerings will be updated here, so stay tuned.
Read about the Bloomfield PTSA Relaxation Grant
KIDS YOGA-Why should kids do yoga?
Children benefit significantly from the practice of yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, it helps to improve focus and concentration, promotes a more calm inner state and increases their ability to relax.
Children more and more are having to cope with the stressors associated with hectic schedules in their fast-paced environment which encompasses busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. These influences can be stressful for children and can have a negative impact on the quality of their life.
Yoga can help counter these pressures. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation and inner fulfillment, they can navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease. Yoga at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that’s noncompetitive. Fostering cooperation and compassion—instead of opposition—is a great gift to give our children. Yoga also fosters self acceptance. It offers an opportunity to develop self-compassion and compassion for others.
When children learn at a young age the benefit of a committed practice, it ripples out into their everyday life activities, relationships, and responsibilities. They learn that yoga takes practice versus an immediate accomplishment, which helps them to understand and accept that life is a path with good days, bad days, and everything in between.
KIDS MEDITATION-How does it help?
Teaching children how to use a powerful self-enhancement tool such as meditation helps them to develop healthful practices that they can tap into when they need. As they develop and mature, these tools will be intricately engrained and will have lifelong application.
Just as yoga addresses the specific needs of children, meditation helps children in similar ways. It helps reduce stress, strengthens the immune system, can improve relationships at home & at school , decreases aggressiveness and anxieties, improves behavior and attitude, improves focus, memory & concentration and promotes inner peace. Kids meditation has also proven effective in helping to release negative thoughts and behaviors, and aids in building self-confidence.
Meditation addresses what many of us grapple with, harnessing the monkey mind. The practice of meditation helps us to settle our swirling thoughts and encourages a more calm, clear, positive and focused state of mind. With all the distractions children face, both internally and environmentally, cultivating mental focus is a true asset.
MINDFULNESS-What is mindfulness and how does it help children?
Mindfulness has been defined as “paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”. Healthful tools like yoga and meditation, where there is more emphasis on tuning into the present moment and observing our current state, help cultivate the essence of mindfulness.
For children, practicing mindfulness can help them to learn to focus, manage stress, regulate emotions, and develop a positive outlook. It can help them improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions. Children who struggle to wait their turn, calm themselves down, or follow rules can utilize this effective tool to build their behavioral and emotional control, which gives them a more positive life experience.
Scientific research supports its positive effects on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to increase one’s ability to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy. Mindfulness also is widely considered an effective psychotherapy treatment for adults, children, and adolescents with aggression, ADHD, or mental health problems such as anxiety.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Mindfulness for children? Here are some helpful testimonials and resources:
Click here for a short video of kids talking about Mindfulness > http://amysmartgirls.com/short-film-just-breathe-helps-kids-deal-with-emotions/
Why Teach Mindfulness to children? > http://www.philstar.com/health-and-family/2015/03/31/1439159/why-you-should-teach-mindfulness-your-children