Mindful movements: Teaching children emotional regulation through yoga practices | Health - Hindustan Times

Mindful movements: Teaching emotional regulation to children through yoga practices

Jun 04, 2023 11:16 AM IST

Discover the transformative power of yoga in teaching children emotional regulation. Explore effective techniques and empower their emotional well-being.

Emotions are a normal part of everyday life. Emotional regulation is the ability to recognise, manage, and respond to your emotions. It is the gap between feeling an emotion and then responding or reacting to it. Yoga helps as it is a comprehensive practice that facilitates change not only mentally but also behaviorally. It helps us take in information, process it, and effectively communicate our needs to others. Kids often go through volatile emotions and are unable to express or understand them. Calm, empathetic responses to big feelings teach children that it’s possible to feel upset about a situation while keeping your anger in check at the same time. (Also read: How to take control of our emotions? )

Through gentle movements, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices, children can learn to cultivate inner balance and resilience. (Pexels)
Through gentle movements, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices, children can learn to cultivate inner balance and resilience. (Pexels)

Teaching emotional regulation to children

To teach emotional regulation to children, we must help them feel seen and heard, not judged. So, the next time your child is dysregulated, follow these steps suggested by Sabrina Merchant, founder of Li’l Yogis, mindfulness coach and author of the book “Ocean Yoga”.

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Step 1: Take a moment before you respond. Stay calm

Step 2: Acknowledge the feelings: No emotions are bad. All emotions are important.

Step 3: Listen without correcting or judging.

Step 4: Address the behaviour after your child is calm.

Sabrina further shared with HT Lifestyle, 5 yoga poses to help your child with emotional stability.

1. Child pose

Child pose (Sabrina Merchant)
Child pose (Sabrina Merchant)

1. Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels.

2. Bend forward to rest your forehead gently on the floor.

3. Relax your arms in front of you, palms down.

4. Imagine you are a hippo in the water.

5. Close your eyes and relax your body for several breaths.

2. Gate pose

Gate pose (Sabrina Merchant)
Gate pose (Sabrina Merchant)

1. Start by kneeling down on your may.

2. Now stretch out your right leg to the right side, knees straight.

3. Lift your hands up sideways and bring them parallel to the ground.

4. Start bending towards your right side bringing your right hand towards your right leg.

5. Left-hand stay of top close to your left ear.

6. Feel the stretch on the outer left side of your body.

7. Unbend and come back to the centre and bring your hands dom and leg back to the start position.

8. Repeat on the left side.

3. Butterfly pose

Butterfly pose( Sabrina Merchant)
Butterfly pose( Sabrina Merchant)

1. Sit up tall and bring the bottoms of your feet together to form your butterfly wings.

2. Breathing in lift your knees. Breathing out lower your knees

3. Continue to breathe and flap your wings.

4. Tree pose

Tree pose (Sabrina Merchant)
Tree pose (Sabrina Merchant)

1. Begin standing straight with toes, feet and knees together. Palms together at the sternum. Find a focus point with your eyes.

2. When you are ready shift your weight to the left foot and turn your right knee out to the side.

3. Rest your right heel on the left ankle, keeping your toes on the floor. If you are feeling balanced, try lifting your right foot up to rest on the inside of your calf, or bring your foot up all the way to press into your inner thigh.

4. Slowly grow your arm branches by reaching up to the sky. You can bring your hands together overhead or keep them apart.

5. Balance her for three to ten slow, deep breaths or for as long as you are able to.

5. Padmasana

Padmasana(Sabrina Merchant)
Padmasana(Sabrina Merchant)

1. Sit on the floor or on a mat with legs stretched out in front of you while keeping the spine erect.

2. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure that the sole of the feet points upward and the heel is close to the abdomen.

3. Now, repeat the same step with the other leg.

4. With both legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, bring your palms together towards the centre of your chest.

5. Keep the head straight, spine erect and eyes closed.

6. Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.

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