THE benefits of yoga are being soaked up by the smallest Port Stephens residents, and they are thriving.
Local preschools are booking yoga classes alongside the traditional soccer lessons, puppet theatres and mobile libraries to visit their centres and work with children.
Medowie Community Preschool is one such centre, inviting Aimee Angelique from Medowie Yoga to join them on Mondays to work with their students.
Aimee Angelique said she is so pleased with the enthusiasm from the preschoolers she has met so far.
“Over the last two terms of having yoga at Medowie Community Preschool, I have seen the children develop strength, flexibility and also seen it help their coordination and balance.”
“Michele and the other beautiful teachers have told me that when I am not there they often have the children practicing their yoga poses and also their “Oms” which makes me feel so happy and proud.”
“I have also seen over the past couple of terms the children’s concentration improve and we have been able to take their relaxation at the end from about one min to a full five minutes which is amazing for three to five year olds to be able to lay still for that long,” she said.
Yoga has some wonderful benefits for young children, including, but not limited to; enhancing concentration, increasing flexibility and balance, improving general well-being, boosting confidence and relaxing their minds.
Yoga can also assist with breathing awareness, helping children to calm their mind and control emotional outbursts, which can often lead to crying, screaming, defiance, anger and stubbornness.
Teachers are noticing an increase in attention and focus from the children as their term doing yoga has progressed, with most children making wonderful improvements as they learn.
Aimee said she always remembers what her own teacher taught her, “The best thing about kids’ yoga is that it is non- competitive – so rare in today’s world of performance activities.”
Aimee and her partner currently offer a number of different programs, but hope to soon branch out and offer the program to high school students and other community groups, given the success of their regular programs and preschool classes.
By Rachael VAUGHAN