Back to School Cool: Easing Anxiety Before the Bell Rings
School is starting again. The excitement is paramount for many families, but with the approaching first day comes much anxiety. Did we choose the right school? How will the teacher and classmates be this year? And how will we fare with our many activities and therapies?
To keep the transition calm and fun for everyone, let’s get working on a few yoga poses and breaths.
As a family at the breakfast table each morning, start with simple exercises like nodding your heads up and down, saying “yes, yes, yes.” Then move your heads side to side while saying “no, no, no.” Next crane your necks to bring an ear left then right from shoulder to shoulder while saying “maybe.” You can then scrunch shoulders up and say “I don’t know.” This series of poses helps to relieve stress. Remind kids that it can be done at school desks when feeling a bit anxious. Either way, it’s an easy way to transition from the breakfast table to the front door prior to school.
Before kids are out the door, you can prep for the new day ahead by calling to mind things they’ll encounter at school. Make poses resembling such things, perhaps beginning with a classroom chair. To do this, stand next to your child and make room by pushing the wall with both arms. This input serves as an aid to teach kids where they are in space. It dually brings calm. You can pretend that the room is getting bigger, providing space for both of you to sit in chairs. Then put your backs to each other and squat. Try to stay in this position for a count of ten. Increase the number as you are able to. Little by little, stretch your arms up and try to sit without using the wall. This is a wonderful grounding posture that builds strength and balance.
Once back at home, at end of the school day, encourage kids to draw calming breaths in and out. If children remain quite active, take a straw and blow a cotton ball across the floor. This promotes serenity through breath, as well as enhances focus. To develop core balance during the activity, show kids to use their arms and legs to move across floor in bear pose. They’ll be immersed in the fun and enjoy a sense of peace afterward. Get the entire family involved, blowing pom poms or cotton balls across the floor a few times. Then rest the night away.
Kami Evans is a Registered Yoga Teach and Children Registered Yoga Teacher, she is also a Family and Child Advocate and speaks at various events in the US and UK. Contact for more info 800-584-7940 or [email protected]
Images courtesy of ©inacio pires/photoxpress
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This post originally appeared on our September/October 2012 Magazine