Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids (Pre-School through Grade 12)
Ivy Child International offers Yoga and Mindfulness programs for kids and caregivers. Contact us if you are interested in hosting this at your organization. Individual and group classes are also available by appointment – request online.
A local media outlet spotlighted this program!
Ivy Child International designed this curriculum originally for pediatric cancer patients, derived from research supporting the benefits of the integration of yoga and mindfulness into existing courses of treatment.
A study conducted in a Minnesota hospital showed that adolescents experienced a significant decrease in anxiety with an improved sense of well-being after a single session of yoga. They had a median score of 41 on the Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory decreasing to 28 (P = .04).
We are forming partnerships with hospitals in Massachusetts and beyond to implement the curriculum in those facilities in mid-2012.
In the interim, we proudly launched the Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids curriculum at Salmon Center for Early Education, Worcester, MA with a 16-week certificate program for children ages three to five that began January 23, 2012. Classes are held for an hour every Monday morning.
Though there are myriad benefits to practicing yoga, Ivy Child International is focusing on the following for this certificate program as a response to increasing cases of aggression, anxiety, and depression among younger children:
- Fostering joy of movement and togetherness: Children have fun and move their bodies in a non-competitive environment. Yoga is not about being right or wrong or being best or worst. It is about experiencing one’s body on a deeper level. In such a group setting, children are all working towards the same goals, so a harmonious connection between them is being created and developed.
- Enhancing imagination and empathy: Children are asked to strike poses from nature. Then they are asked to imagine being those life forms. In this way, children learn early on how to connect with all living creatures on the planet and realize that similarities far outweigh differences.
- Cultivating self awareness: Children who practice yoga early on learn to tune into their bodies and regulate their emotions thereby strengthening their emotional intelligence. Self esteem is bolstered as children gain control over their bodies and minds.
Here is a sneak peak at the curriculum.
“The Yoga and Mindfulness program is unique in that numerous developmental domains are targeted within one lesson. Gross motor, listening skills, following directions, music appreciation, expressive language, self- regulation skills and social-emotional development are incorporated into the 60-minute class.” - Shirley Sherman, Director, Salmon Center for Early Education
- 20 minutes of circle time to learning mindfulness practices
- 20 minutes of yoga postures
- 20 minutes of discussion time
- self assessment “feelings” charts (collected at every class).
Classes are conducted by a yoga practitioner as well as an Ivy Child International representative who records the quality and progress of each class.
“Our son is so enthusiastic about participating in the Yoga and Mindfulness program! It combines his natural love of movement with his inquisitiveness about ways of interacting in his surroundings and with others. He relishes teaching us what he’s learned!” - Jennifer A. Defronzo
“ I love yoga and stretching to make a moon inside [the classroom]. I like being the teacher when we play Simon says and sharing our happy feelings. No one is allowed to yell or scream.” - Ivy Child Mahnoor
“Now I play Simon says at home with my brother. I like Yoga and Calming Hands™. My favorite pose is the shark. I like pretending to be swimming in the ocean.” -Ivy Child Jason Defronzo
“Calming Hands™ is my favorite. It makes me feel happy when I am sad.”Ivy Child Olivia
“My daughter has shown remarkable improvement. Now she asks for things she wants to do without crying and screaming.” -Ivy Child Parent
With the contribution of your skills, time and passion, Ivy Child can provide the critical tools for kids and teens to thrive. Make a true difference by volunteering or interning with us.