The importance of early learning for children’s development has been illustrated in numerous studies. Young children benefit from activities such as yoga that promote concentration, emotional self-regulation and socialisation. As a result, many childcare centres in Victoria now incorporate yoga into their early learning programme.
Zoe and Harrison used Space when they began looking for a Gowrie daycare that offered daily yoga for their daughter Evelyn. They began to see improvements in her concentration, endurance and patience. She also began to sleep better, which helped her mood and focus during the day.
What is yoga?
The origins of Yoga stretch back 2500 years to the Vedic traditions of India and the Himalayas. The practice teaches breathing, stretching and holding poses to build strength, control and peace of mind. Early Learning Yoga instructors adapt their classes to suit very young children, with poses and stretches suitable for small, flexible bodies and soft bones. Children are encouraged to join in at their own pace and enjoy the mat work and poses.
Improves control of mind and body
Learning deep, abdominal breathing has multiple life-long benefits when taught in early childhood. The gentle, slow stretching strengthens the body as well as building awareness and control of individual muscles. This allows better movement and coordination in physical activities such as ball games, running and climbing.
Yoga exercises encourage quieting the mind and allowing the body to be relaxed and still, which improves development of skills needed for indoor activities. Yoga helps children improve their ability to sit still and concentrate on tasks such as building blocks, playdough, reading and drawing.
Evelyn’s parents found that learning how to relax herself with yoga techniques helped her fall asleep more easily and wake up with an active and eager mind, ready to make the most of the day. She had more energy to participate fully in learning activities, taking more interest in reading books and number games than she had before she started early learning yoga.
Yoga is for everyone; Yoga is for life
As young children develop at varying rates, some children will be very good at activities that others are not ready for. Zoe and Harrison found that one of the benefits of yoga at Evelyn’s daycare was that all children could join in equally and participate successfully at their own level. Regardless of the child’s developmental stage, everyone could take part in the stretching, breathing and movement exercises and feel positive about their achievement.
Another advantage of practising yoga is that it is not just good for children’s early development but can also provide life-long benefits. Deep breathing promotes relaxation, intensely focuses the mind, and can help with pain control as endorphins are released. The slow breathing and deep inhalation of oxygen can also interrupt the production of cortisol, reducing stress.
Early learning yoga is a fun, enjoyable activity for children, that they can fully partake in while gaining multi benefits for their learning development and lifelong mental and physical health.