How Yoga & Mindfulness Can Help the Current Mental Health Crisis

Though the pandemic may be close to over, the effects of long periods of isolation are still effecting our children in more ways than one. It is reported that an estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness—yet, less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. [ymhc.ngo]

Regular yoga in schools can build help build strength, improve self confidence, and promote peacefulness in kids. Mindfulness for kids results in a genuine appreciation of their environment and helps them feel grateful in life. Here's an in-depth review of why to introduce Yoga and Mindfulness programs at the school level:

Students practicing mindfulness in the classroom

Yoga And Mental Health

Being happy, healthy, and fit depends largely on maintaining good mental health. It combines the body's physiological, psychological, spiritual, and emotional states. Today, yoga can be identified by specific physical postures and other healthy, mindful activities in the form of playful games.

It has been proven that yoga in schools can improve mental health and enable them to develop a positive mental state through mindfulness. A research study claims the usefulness of yoga in recovering children from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It increases their chances of avoiding certain forms of depression and anxiety. It frees the mind from excessive thinking, removing negative thoughts and encouraging mental health.

Students’ health and wellbeing contribute to their ability to learn in all disciplines, including health and physical education, and that learning in turn contributes to their overall well-being. A well-rounded educational experience prioritizes social-emotional learning, physical and mental health, and inclusion together with academic success for all students. Parents, community partners, and educators all have critical roles in achieving this. The health and physical education curriculum engages students in learning about the factors that contribute to health and well-being and in building skills to live healthy, active lives.

Consistency in terms of mental and physical well-being across all members of the school community can contribute to creating a collective that is well-equipped with strategies to help deal with stress, anxiety and confrontation, while helping to build confidence, communication and a positive growth mindset for all members of the school community.

Students practicing yoga at school

Mindfulness and Yoga Brings Calm

Due to the modern way of life, many kids and teachers are experiencing anxiety, panic, and depression in schools. The reasons may vary from excess screen time to the various social pressures.

The best way to relieve this stress is to practice yoga-based programs that provide mindfulness exercises, yoga sessions, and meditation. These programs have the following benefits:

1.     Yoga for kids positively impacts how they deal with stress and anxiety in the form of increased self-esteem and academic performance.

2.     Mindfulness training for students and teachers relaxes the mind so they are better equipped to deal with life's stresses.

3.     It helps develop the brain areas necessary for memory, focus, consciousness, thought, and language.

4.     Simple and fun yoga is necessary since it has been shown to promote students' mental development and well-being, while keeping them engaged.

5.     Mindfulness in school focuses on the breath to calm anxiety.

Young child practices meditation

Conclusion

Yoga and mindfulness bring great strength both physically and mentally. Practicing both frequently can create a sense of calmness and peace. Supporting mental health and healthy emotional development brings more confidence to the school community.

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