It is that time of year when backpacks, notebooks and pencil bags line the shelves. New clothes hang with anticipation in the closet and old shoes are handed down to make room for the growing feet of adolescents.
Going back to school after a summer of fun in the sun can be an anxious time for school kids. The unfamiliarity of a new classroom, new friends and harder classes can zap enthusiasm in a heartbeat.
Maintaining a zest for learning can be challenging for kids and adults alike. Thankfully there are things we can do to keep our interest up. The number one most important thing we can do at back to school time is reduce stress, and yoga can help.
The following is a list of suggestions for simple yet effective yoga poses that can be done in the morning before heading off to the school bus. Saving just five or ten minutes during the bustling hours before the bell rings can mean better grades, healthier friendships and happier parents!
Slow Motion Jumping Jacks
These aren’t actually jumping jacks, although the arms and upper body will closely resemble them when done in slow motion.
Stand with feet hip width apart. With a slow inhale, raise arms overhead and bring both palms together. With a slow exhale, lower arms back down to the side. Repeat up to ten times.
BENEFIT: This is a great way to wake up and stimulate the brain by flushing it with fresh oxygen.
Tall Mountain Pose
The traditional pose is called Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, but in Tall Mountain Pose the arms lift high toward the sky.
Stand with feet hip width apart. With an inhale, raise arms over head and stretch as tall as you can. Remain in this position for up to ten breaths.
BENEFIT: This pose not only stretches the entire body, it instills a sense of confidence and self esteem by standing tall like a mountain.
Stand on one foot and raise the other foot to the inside of the standing leg, above or below the knee. Raise both arms overhead like branches of a tree. Hold as long as possible and then switch legs.
BENEFIT: Balance poses sharpen focus and improve mental stamina, two components necessary for doing well in school.
Parents and teachers can also benefit from these poses during their busy back to school mornings. A few minutes a day can really make a difference.