The stereotype of who can “do yoga” is drastically changing. I enjoyed watching pre-season NFL intro packages of Aaron Rodgers training through hot yoga sessions. I have even seen articles pop up on my newsfeed of professional bodybuilders adding yoga into the routine and seeing amazing physical results. These images help solidify the knowledge that yoga is not only a feminine sport and is accessible for all genders!
Professional and ametur atheletes alike will toute the physical benefits of yoga. This year I have been teaching my third graders in West Saint Paul, Minnesota the joy of yoga by integrating techniques into daily instruction. Yoga, not only improved physical health, but also the social and emotional well being of my boys.
I was shocked how the boys, pre-adolescent and testosterone brewing, took the yoga practice so very seriously. Not only was I seeing behavior changes in the classroom, but parents were also reporting behavior changes at home. I was overwhelmed during parent teacher conferences with the feedback from parents on the social emotional well being of their boys. These are their quotes.
Here are four reasons why you should implement yoga with your pre-adolescent boys.
Yoga is a tool for anger management.
“It has been great to see my son be able to calm and center himself when needed using volcano breaths. It helps him find focus during times that might otherwise lead to escalation and a meltdown.”
“He’s able to walk away when he gets worked up, breathe through his emotions, and come back much clearer and with action items.”
“He has used breathing techniques and yoga poses when he feels tension to control the stressful moment.”
Yoga can reduce anxiety.
“Every student needs anxiety management tools every now and then. I hope learning these techniques this year will give him a leg up in that regard that he can rely on for years to come.”
“My son’s anxiety levels have significantly decreased over the course of this school year. I’d say his most used tactic is breathing and getting himself centered.”
“I frequently catch my son closing his eyes and practice deep breathing skills. It’s taught him to relax when he’s feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.”
“My son has learned the impact of his breath and how it affects both his body and mind. That the breath can control anxiety.”
“I also think that since learning how to do guided meditations in the classroom, he falls asleep more quickly at night.”
Yoga brings families together.
“My son has even taught his own parents techniques to keep calm and having good control over your attention during the present moment. Witnessing him slow down and use mindfulness is quite amazing to see as a parent.”
“It’s great having a partner to practice yoga with also!”
Yoga increases motivation and optimism.
“He has had his most successful year in school and enjoys going more than ever. I believe very strongly that this has to do with what he has learned!”
“Teaching kids at a young age to implement this into their life growing into adults, has so many positive benefits!”
In my ten years of teaching, yoga has been the best tool I have found for teaching social emotional skills to my boys. By nature, boys are less verbal than girls, so providing a physical pathway has been incredibly powerful.
Are you interested in receiving weekly tips and lessons to teach social emotional (and academic!) lessons through mindful movement? Email me to learn more!
What results have you seen with yoga and boys? Leave a comment!
Educating Heart, Mind and Body,