Yoga tools to ease kids’ stress
Posted by Katie Brown, 05-Jul-2021
Children’s Yoga expert, Loraine Rushton will be running a two-hour workshop in July for the IYTA. The focus is on specific yoga practices to help children deal with anxiety and stress – it’s a workshop every parent and yoga teacher should attend.
The global pandemic has meant stress and anxiety has impacted all of us, but the fall out for our children and teens is daunting.
Loraine says that mental health issues among children is on the rise and it’s affecting children from a younger age than ever. Loraine says in the past she would have aimed a workshop like this primarily at teens, but says: “Now we are seeing three year olds displaying signs of stress and anxiety and missing day care…”
So why are our young people suffering at these unprecedented levels? Loraine believes it is due to our fast paced stressed society.
She says: “Children can feel it, they are surrounded by it and they are impacted by it.”
She believes the main culprits are: screen time, disconnected societies, the diet children are eating, lack of sleep, excessive worry, trauma and anxiety over the instability at home and in the world.
Loraine’s workshop will deal with stress and anxiety from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. It is aimed at yoga teachers and parents – offering specific corrective exercises, breathing exercises, relaxations and personal development exercises that are fast, effective and really work.
She says the focus is on specific meridian based yoga therapy exercises to target the kidneys, adrenal and nervous system. “You will see them, experience them, and feel them work.”
“These practices are targeted to help children calm the mind and emotions down quickly.”
Loraine adds: “Children are not going to wait three months for a result, so we need tools and techniques that will work quickly.”
Even if you aren’t a parent or specialise in children’s yoga, Loraine says: “All yoga teachers are going to meet a child or teenager who wants to do yoga. You will have a child or teen in your class at some stage, you will have a parent ask you to help their child with stress and anxiety and it’s important you know how to help.
“The difference between general yoga and meridian based yoga therapy is that one will look at the issue generally but these are specific tools and technqiues that will help in your class.”
Loraine, like all yoga teachers has had to think fast and be adaptable through this pandemic. Since March 2020 she’s switched all her face-to-face classes and trainings online.
She says: “It’s been amazing. Running the yoga therapy training courses virtually in the last year has allowed people to join from as far away as Singapore, Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, India and all across Australia.”
She adds there have been some wonderful moments where she’s witnessed teachers from all over the world connecting across the kilometres.
One of her students, who is originally from Ireland is teaching kids classes online from Brisbane and has become a virtual celebrity back in Ireland as so many Irish kids are joining her for digital classes! Another teacher in India doesn’t have children from India but has kids form the US and all over the world joining her online classes.”
And as for Loraine? She’s missing her usual globe trotting, but thankful for the opportunity to still connect with teachers – and children – from across the world.
on Saturday, July 31, from 1-3pm. Live and online, via Zoom