Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
Confidence, are we born with it? It is easy to think that some people are born with confidence and some people, without. That is not the case though. Marissa Peer in her book Ultimate confidence says that we are born with confidence. A baby does not stop to think if they are worthy enough to receive attention and their needs being met, they scream and cry until they get it. Somewhere along the way, we lose that confidence or maybe we don't. Do we need to wait until we lose it to work on it? Should be wait until we are adults? Why not work on it from early on?
Five Reasons Children Need Confidence
- Easier to spark their own happiness which can be important in challenging social conflicts at school
- Feel good about themselves and seek less outside validation
- They are better able to self regulate their emotions
- Can do better in school and different activities
- Naturally attract good friendships that are healthy
Yoga is a great way to help build confidence in children. Not only do they make new friendships in classes, they have a safe space to explore emotions, to connect with themselves and be in a environment where they can just be themselves - no competitiveness, no judgement, no need to be 'more' or 'less' of anything.
Here are ten ways Yoga can help build more confidence
1. Foster their independence. In classes children are given little tasks such as rolling up their own mats, giving out cards, switching off the light etc as well as the space to make decisions and listen to themselves.
2. Group work. One reason I love being in a circle is it really makes you feel like a group where everyone is equal, everyone is seen and no one is left out.
3. We praise effort over achievement. Look how hard they are practicing to get to that crow pose! Whether they get there or not, is not important, its all about the journey and they need to know that a 'perfect pose' is not what is important.
4. Interaction. Social interaction with each other is really important to help build their confidence. We use partner poses and activities to allow for more one on one time as well as the group interactions. Even in times of social distancing when this has been more challenging, the social aspect is really important.
5. We include a lot of praise and positive comments within the group, keeping it genuine. This is great for them to practice receiving that energy as well as giving it.
6. We hold space for them to share their feelings, and really listen. All feelings are valid and welcome in the class. It is our job to 'fix' anything, just hold a safe space. This is not a counselling session so we avoid treating it as such, instead it is very much group led. It is amazing to see how supportive a group can be with each other.
7. We play games. Games are a great way to have fun which makes for the best learning environment and a great way to interact with others and build strong connections.
8. We journal. They could write down things they like about themselves, a love letter to themselves, write affirmations, things they are proud off etc. We bring this into class from time to time as our 'quiet time' activity.
9. We read stories about self esteem, self worth and confidence.
10. We practice some challenging poses. I am not one for show off yoga at all but their is some beauty in challenging ourselves and building confidence as we practice. Some of my favourite poses for this are crow, side plank, warrior three or even a fun partner pose. Something we can work towards with options to change the pose to suit us, so what variations can we take? Maybe crow lying down or side plank with the knee down. Everyone's challenging pose is different and we want to build confidence so allowing space for props, support and variations can help get us to get this pose. The most important thing is the journey and the breath!
If you are local and would like to come to one of my classes please sign up via - Vstudio if not you may be interested to know I am finally launching my online Family yoga club very soon! See more details about that by signing up to my email list or visiting me over on Instagram at www.instagram.com/amazing_me_yoga
What is something that makes you feel confident? Share with us in the comments.