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 you can help build more confidence in your classes
1. Foster their independence. Give them small jobs to do like handing out cards or turning off the light, rolling up their own mats at the end etc.
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. 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. Use partner poses and activities to allow for more one on one time as well as the group interactions.
5. Include a lot of praise and positive comments within the group, keeping it genuine. This will be great for them to practice receiving that as well as giving it.
6. Hold space for them to share their feelings, listen. All feelings are valid and welcome in the class. It is not your job to 'fix' anything, just hold a safe space. This is not a counselling session so avoid treating it as such if you don't have those qualifications. It is amazing to see how supportive a group can be with each other so let them lead.
7. 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. Introduce a journaling practice. They could write down things they like about themselves, a love letter to themselves, write affirmations, things they are proud off etc.
9. Read stories about self esteem, self worth and confidence.
10. 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!
I have written three lesson plans just for you so that you can bring in these elements into your classes.
You can check them out here : Etsy
Here is what is included:
Class one: Stress management and strengthening inner awareness
Class two: Love and Confidence
Class three: Loving Kindness
Classes include mindfulness activities, yoga pose suggestions and flows for each class, games and meditations. This is a pdf word document available digitally only. It will be sent via etsy on purchase.
Want to get a feel for my style? Grab your free 8 week lesson plan over at www.amazingmeyoga.ie/8weeklesson.html
What makes you feel confident? What would be one thing you would say to yourself as a child? Share with us in the comments.