Yoga through storytelling is an unconventional but compelling way of helping kids engage the creativity of their minds with the capabilities of their bodies. Coupled with music, this routine by coach Shereena Master combines the benefits of yoga with the relaxation of playtime.
COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down for the most part, but the conversation often seems to leave out the younger, well, the youngest population. Children had to shift from the hustle and bustle of school, playtime with their friends, sports and extracurricular activities to a computer screen practically overnight. When you think about it, children born in the beginning of the pandemic are toddlers now. Spending the first years of their lives almost entirely at home has obviously affected them physically and mentally. According to the World Health Organisation, 81 percent of adolescents between 11 and 17 years do not get enough physical activity. Moreover, the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) across India suggests that poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle has led to a spike in obesity among kids under the age of 5.
What’s the solution, then? With limited to no access to the outdoors, and the fact that not all of us have backyards or terraces for extra wiggle room—how do kids get an outlet for all their bottled up energy? Well, Mumbai-based coach Shereena Master has discovered a unique solution. By conducting yoga for kids under the guise of enacting fun and imaginative stories, Master has mastered the art of coupling storytime, playtime and exercise. Kids yoga through storytelling is a safe and attainable practice for children, where caregivers must prioritise participation over perfectionism. Not only is this routine perfect for online yoga sessions, it also promotes interaction, relaxation and fitness in children through simple poses, engaging music and a lot of joy.
Yoga poses for kids can:
- Build strength: Kids yoga and mindfulness may use simple poses, but can still have a number of physical benefits like building strength, balance, endurance and aerobic capacity, says Harvard Health Publishing. By simulating actions like packing a food basket and going to a beach, this yoga video takes snippets of picnic fun and seamlessly combines them with effective yoga movements.
- Improve coordination: Kids yoga, like any other fitness class, requires the students to follow the instructions and emulate the movements of their storytelling coach. By completing each yoga pose in time, kids are able to enhance their hand-eye coordination skills.
- Regulate breathing: Breathing yoga and exercises are an amazing way to feel less anxious, more grounded and in control of one’s self and it works for any age. Research suggests that controlled and conscious breathwork is an easily accessible way of teaching kids to deal with unpleasant thoughts, stay positive and feel rejuvenated. It can help kids deal with tantrums and regulate their emotions.