Yoga for kids is popping up everywhere — and a good thing it is! With their busy schedules, hectic home lives, and increased social demands, kids these days are under more pressure than ever before. No wonder they’re often cranky, clumsy, over-stimulated, distracted, unfocused, lacking energy, or hyperactive.
Add to the mix, the fact that most kids aren’t getting enough sleep at night. When a child becomes sleep deprived, they are likely to have a hard time controlling their emotions. This can lead to potential problems at home and at school, and it can be exhausting for parents!
As if parenting isn’t hard enough, having a child with sleep problems can make your job even more difficult.
But why are our kids having such a hard time getting to sleep?
Worry and Stress: It’s easy for kids to feel overwhelmed with busy schedules, academics, hectic home lives, and increased social pressures. For many kids, it’s hard to refocus their mind away from worrisome thought patterns, especially when they are trying to fall asleep.
Separation Anxiety: Youngsters often feel anxiety when separated from their parents. A child is likely to become anxious if you aren’t there or may become preoccupied by the thought of missing out on something. This makes it hard for them to relax and fall asleep.
Major Life Changes: Moving, divorce, death, etc. If adults have a hard time handling such monumental periods of transition, imagine how difficult they must be for our kids! They learn how to cope by watching us.
Bedtime Fears: Kids have active imaginations. Remember the monster under the bed?
Nightmares: Kids are more likely to have bad dreams if they watch violent or scary movies before bed.
This is where bedtime yoga can help. Yawning Yoga (a bedtime yoga series designed specifically to help children enjoy a restful sleep) is kid tested and mother approved! It’s careful sequencing makes it perfect for bedtime and helps children establish a bedtime routine that is proven to work.
Try these these exercises before going to bed….
RAG DOLL: Fold in half, with your head near the ground. Shake your head no and shake your head yes to let worries go.
THE TWISTER: Twisting at night to the left then the right makes your tummy and spine feel so fine!
WISHING STAR: Imagine a star way up in the sky. Paint it a color in your minds eye! Picture its starlight shining in you.
Laurie Jordan is the Creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for Kids and the Director of Kids Programming at Kaia Yoga. She has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work and is a certified yoga instructor for children and adults. Be on the lookout for her upcoming book, “Yawning Yoga” based on this successful bedtime series. You can learn more about Laurie and her work at www.jordanyoga.com and www.kaiayoga.com