Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yoga for Children's Mental Health

by Rhonda Callahan

Children who experience attention issues and/or anxiety issues can be benefitted by yoga. Studies have found that yoga can help increase focus and to reduce anxiety. Yoga can be used to enhance and complement other interventions in a therapy setting, a classroom setting or in the home. There are many great resources including videos and classes that children and their “helpers” can use to do yoga. Yoga can also be a very connecting experience for children and their therapist, parent or teacher. The video will give some tips that can help a therapist in doing yoga with a child and demonstrate some simple poses while using kid-friendly terminology and making the relaxation exercise a fun experience.

Please see these articles for more information:

Arnold, L. (1999). Treatment alternatives for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Attention Disorders. 3, 30-48, doi:10.1177/108705479900300103.

Harrison L.J., Manocha R., Rubia K. (2004). Yoga Meditation as a family treatment programme for children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 9 (4) ,479-497.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mindful breathing with children

Children as young as three or four can benefit from mindful breathing.  Mindfulness practice can help relieve anxiety, depression, and help a child calm down.  It can be used in any setting, and children can be reminded to use it on their own when they are worried or anxious.  This video will demonstrate an easy mindfulness breathing technique.

If you are working with kids just a bit older, you can include more visual examples such as asking them to imagine themselves breathing in good energy through their noses and breathing out all the stress and negativity through their mouths.

by Melanie Sage

This article offers several scripts for introducing mindfulness to children.  If you would like to read more about research that shows the benefits of mindfulness with children, check out these research articles:
  1. Treating anxiety with mindfulness: An open trial of mindfulness training with anxious children
  2. Mindfulness based approaches with children and adolescents: A preliminary review of current research  in an emerging field
  3. Mindfulness with children and adolescents: Effective clinical application
  4. A randomized trial of mindfulness-based CBT for children: Promoting mindful attention to enhance social-emotional resiliency in children