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Reduce Anxiety - Eagle Pose
Credit: YogaPoseWeekly.com

Are your looking to reduce anxiety in your child?  Yoga is by far one of the most accessible, effective and low-cost anxiety reducing techniques available.

Did you know that 1 in 8 children are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder?  That’s just children formally diagnosed.  Many more children experience anxiety, especially children who have various isms they deal with on a regular basis.  Many children with various isms develop anxiety as a result of the difficulty they experience in interpreting and responding to their environment.

Reduce Anxiety with Yoga

Yoga is well-known as an unsurpassed anxiety reduction strategy.  Perhaps, even more importantly, Yoga is powerful prevention.

A daily routine that includes focused breathing, rhythmical movements and guided relaxation can go a long way towards keeping anxiety from becoming a problem in the first place. Children are better able to recover from an anxiety producing event and can better self-regulate symptoms of stress as they arise.

Reduce Anxiety & Gain Time

The school day often includes a packed schedule every day.  For kids, juggling all the have-tos against the want-tos can feel daunting. Adding one more “activity” – even one that facilitates relaxation – can feel like one activity too many.

However, when you consider the time gained against time lost, you just might start adding yoga to each day!  Think about it – How much time is spent recovering from a meltdown?  How much time is lost when the child feels too unfocused to complete an assignment?

As well-known Yoga instructor, Ganga White said, “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.”

A 15 Minute Yoga Routine

Creating more time in the day is just the kind of everyday magic all students can use. Simply add 15 minutes a day each weekday for three weeks in a row and see if you don’t experience a sense of having more time available during the day.

Here is a simple routine to start the day or to use mid day in the classroom.  Trim down the time allotment in the classroom if a full 15 minutes is not doable.

Be Still

Tune in. Take a moment to sit still, eyes closed and watch the breath. You may wish to strike a chime, ring a bell or chant the sound of OM.

Count Breaths

Place hands on the belly and breathe into your hands. Count the breath and see if you can have your exhale last longer than the inhale. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Practice Rounds

Practice three to six rounds of Sun Salutations.

Strike a Pose

Choose two or three standing poses to practice, holding each pose for up to 1 minute. Here are three you may like to try:

Triangle (Trikonasana)

Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)

Eagle (Garudasana)

Relax

Relax on the back for two to three minutes – or reduce to one minute if in the classroom.

Watch the Breath

Sit and watch the breath for one to two minutes.  You can set a timer.  If doing this sequence at home, you can also increase this time gradually so everyone in the family has a regular habit of sitting in silence, stilling the mind for 5-10 minutes a day.

This simple yoga routine is by far the most beneficial anxiety reducer and a wonderfully free tool to prevent anxiety.   Teaching children the importance of instilling quiet, mindful moments cannot be underestimated.   This morning practice will help everyone start the day on the right foot.  If used mid day in the classroom, it can help get kids on the right foot! Mind, body and spirit will be clear, open, balanced and relaxed.

Committing 15 minutes each day to your own health and wellness sets a wonderful example for your children. Participating in this practice together can build strong family support and connection as well as a feeling of ease and well-being for everyone in the home.