November 14, 2017

Life these days has become busier and more fast-paced. We have constant access to technology and there is increased inappropriate child-directed media creating un-healthy and unattainable body images in children as young as five. Therefore it is not surprising that more and more kids are displaying symptoms of anxiety, stress, attention disorders and anger issues with The Royal Children’s Hospital quoting the alarming increase in children presenting with these types of issues.

As we see this increase we should also take the time to note the flip side which is a positive. We now have many parents, carers, teachers and early educators out there who are intent on doing something positive for their kids. Finding an outlet where their children feel safe but are also encouraged to be their best, try their best, accept and love who they are and importantly learn skills which they can carry through life and help them deal with the up’s and downs that it will inevitably throw them.

What we are seeing is a growing trend of children’s yoga in the market. It is easy to look around and see this growth. There is an increased focus in newspapers and journals on studies which have proved the positive benefits of yoga for children. We are also seeing health professionals such as medical doctors, osteopaths and physiotherapist actively recommending yoga as a key part to children’s health and wellbeing. A way not to just assist in recovery or management of symptoms but encouraging children to establish a regular yoga practice.

Breathing exercises and mindfulness practices taught to children in age appropriate methods are becoming more and more popular as people realise that simple strategies such as mindful breathing exercises can do wonders in managing not just adults stress levels but also children’s.

Dr Margie Danchin a paediatrician from The Royal Children’s Hospital states that ‘teaching kid’s relaxation and breathing exercises can be a great first step to helping them deal with anxiety. Many Victorian schools are introducing ‘mindfulness sessions’ into the curriculum, where kids learn to calm their thoughts and bodies to enhance their learning.’

No wonder there is the growing trend of children’s yoga with statements such as this from our top children’s health care organisation. More and more yoga schools are opening their doors to our little ones to help teach them values and skills such as resilience, calmness, gratitude and confidence to name a few. We are also seeing yoga classes designed for teens, helping them to manage the stresses that come with VCE and choosing a life path.

With yoga being the fastest growing fitness activity in Australia amongst adults it is no wonder that people are now wanting to bestow these benefits onto the next generation.

Children practicing the art of belly breathing to calm the body and the mind

October 25, 2017

Meditations Effect on the Brain


Meditation has been recognised for its health and wellbeing benefits for thousands of years, and now there is a plethora of science to prove it. With the help of advanced technologies such as FMRI and EEG’s, the ancient practice of meditation is receiving great praise in neurological circles.

Recent findings in the 2017 study conducted by neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive Brain Sciences in Germany, discovered that meditation does more than reducing stress and promoting calmness; it actually reshapes the physical regions of the brain! These changes could be witnessed after just 3 months of meditation. The region developed depended on the intention of the meditation (whether that is breathing, chanting or visualisations). For example, meditation that focuses on breathing and releasing tension resulted in a thickening of the prefrontal cortex – the region of the brain in charge of decision making and problem solving.

 Whether you sit with your eyes closed for 20 minutes every morning or squeeze in 5 minutes in your weekly yoga class, science has validated that there are some pretty good reasons to jump on the meditation bandwagon today.

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For more reasons to meditate visit:

https://www.headspace.com/science/meditation-benefits 

Reference:

Pultarova, T. (2017). Different Meditation Practices Reshape Brain in Different Ways. https://www.livescience.com/60609-different-meditation-reshape-brain-different-ways.html.

October 1, 2017

To maintain your child’s peace and your sanity this school holidays, here are some ideas for activities that are cheap, technology-free and fun

  1. Have a crafter-noon with mindfulness colouring

Mindfulness colouring books are available at most news-agencies. Kids will love the challenge of keeping between the lines of the intricate mandalas – and what’s best is that you can get involved too. Mindfulness colouring has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in adults. So grab the Derwent pencils, put on your chill playlist, make a cup of chai and begin to cultivate the zen.

  1. Bake some healthy treats

See the recipe for our favourite Ayurvedic Ginger Shortbread Cookies. Baking requires kids to use their mathematics skills, patience and creativity. Plus there is a pretty good reward at the end of it. Happy tummies.

  1. Go for a bush walk

Spring holidays, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and let the kids run wild. Pack a picnic blanket and some healthy treats and then reward yourselves with a picnic once you get to your destination. You don’t need to go far from Melbourne to find some beautiful scenery. Some of favourite kid-friendly walks include Emerald – Cockatoo recreational trail, any of the trails in the Dandenong Ranges and the trails of Werribee Gorge State Park.

  1. Hit the beach

It is not quite swimming weather but it also is not quite sun burn weather, so it’s an amazing time to set up on the beach for a day. Build sand castles, explore rock pools and play cricket without that fierce summer sun forcing you into the shade of your beach tent.

  1. Get into the garden

Spring is the best time to plant seeds for an abundant harvest this summer. Have fun experimenting with different crop varieties. If you don’t have a garden, try using some old pots. If you’re really keen you can paint and decorate the pots beforehand. Growing food will give your kids a long-term responsibility, connect them to where their food comes from and teach them healthy habits and skills for the future.