Five Yoga Tools for Healthy, Happy School Kids

The week of August 10 is Healthy Back to School Week at

aruna humphrysGuest Blogger Aruna Kathy Humphrys writes the blog Teaching Kids Yoga. She trains teachers and parents in kids’ yoga with her groundbreaking course based on Yoga and the Ancient Secrets of Success.

Try these 5 Yoga tools to connect with kids and enhance their health and happiness.

Foster a Good Night’s Sleep:  Table Pose
Without rest, kids won’t be at their best. Certain Yoga poses, like table pose, can relieve restlessness. Do table together or use a timer to encourage kids to hold the pose. It’s a great way to fall into a blissful state.  One eight-year-old boy I know did table pose beside his bed. He held it for over 10 minutes, sweating and shaking, and then got into bed and slept peacefully for eight hours. 

You Are What You Eat: A Healthy Diet

For thousands of years, yogis have made the connection between what we eat and how we feel, and used it to their advantage.  They divide food into three categories:

  • Foods that make us hyper (caffeine/sugar),
  • Foods that make us sluggish (processed/fried foods),
  • Foods that make us alert and calm (fruits, veggies, whole grains)

Choosing the right foods can help learning. Nourish kids through the school day with grapes, carrot sticks, cheese on whole grain bread, rice and bean salad, veggie wrap, or a fruit yogurt smoothie in a thermos for lunch and snacks.

teen girl yogaImprove Attention, Focus, and Concentration:  Tree Pose
This pose builds mental muscles! Pick a point in front of you to focus on while you stand on one leg. It’s not physically challenging, it’s mentally demanding. Again, pull out your watch and time the kids. Chart their progress to see the times improve.

Loosen up the Spine and Shoulders: Standing Twists
After sitting all day and then carrying a backpack around, this simple twist can get the circulation moving again. Swing from side to side, as one hand goes back the other touches your chest. It’s great for the hips, joints, and the nervous system.

5. Relax with Yoga Breathing

Full breathing goes a long way when you’re walking the long hallway to a new classroom. Practice five full, relaxed breaths at home so kids remember how to clear their minds before a test or when dealing with a difficult situation.

These five tools may enhance kids’ health and happiness and I’m happy to report they work just as well for adults, too.

Happy back to school!

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