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Lessons Learned From Very Wise Children

May 2, 2014

art1yoga3

 

Vista Hill SmartCare was honored to be a recipient this year of a grant from the Ramona Community Foundation to provide our Ramona Youth Yoga, Art & Wellness Camps as an enhanced Wellness Event.  The funds allowed us to bring in experts, including Joy Bennett, certified children’s yoga instructor of The Joyous Soul, and Teal Young and Tomi Hayes, art instructors from Sun Dog Art Studio to enhance these Wellness events.  It also allowed our Ramona team of Behavioral Health Consultants and Educators, and me, to step back and be the “support staff”, allowing us to assist, observe and soak in the wonderful lessons that children remind us of each day.

First, of course, as the literature tells us, and I only want to underline here, children reap great benefits from yoga.    Just as with adults, they benefit from the stress reduction, increased flexibility and balance, as well as overall improved health that the practice of yoga brings us.  Also, as with us all, yoga gives children the opportunities to slow down, to quiet their minds and improve their focus, and to learn to focus on their breath.  And, as yoga is non -competitive, it is a wonderful opportunity to increase self-acceptance and self- confidence.

Second, also as the literature strongly supports, children need the arts in their educations and their lives.  There is a strong correlation between art education and academic performance as well as social and emotional development.  Study after study confirms that participation in the arts is beneficial for motor skills development, language development, decision making, creativity and more.

But here are some additional, valuable lessons which some very wise children reminded me of recently as they participated in our Yoga, Art & Wellness Camp:

*We all need time to play, each and every day

                (Unstructured, unplugged, free time, with only our imaginations to guide us)

*Playing outside, in the sunshine, maybe with some sand, and especially with our shoes off, is awesome!

*We need food in our bellies first (healthy, organic preferred!) in order to best benefit from our lessons and activities

*When praised and encouraged, we will rise to the occasion!

                And unkind words can be more hurtful than even physical blows…

*We should all be reminded daily to have respect –

                for ourselves, for each other, and for our surroundings

*Almost anything is more enjoyable when you can share it with others that we care about

*Shavasana  (final resting pose)  is perhaps the most important pose of all!

                (let’s bring back our daily naps!)

Many thanks, Ramona kids, for these wonderful reminders!

 

Pamela Sachs, LCSW

yoga2art5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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