Tag Archives: self-regulation

Settle Your Glitter

Mindfulness Bottles at Mindful Child

Feeling a little unsettled, stressed, or upset? Grab your mindfulness bottle, give it a shake, and take deep breaths until the glitter settles. Mindfulness bottles are a wonderful addition to any mindfulness space.

Settle Your Glitter is a mindfulness activity that uses a bottle filled with glitter to help children center and relax. Children love to make their own bottle and choose their own colors of glitter.

Materials

How To Make a Mindfulness Bottle

Fill a clear plastic bottle with hot water, a tablespoon of glycerin, and a drop of liquid dish soap. Have your child choose three different colors of glitter. Pick one color to represent feelings, one to represent thoughts, and one to represent behavior. Sprinkle each color into the plastic bottle using a funnel.

Benefits of a Mindfulness Bottle

A mindfulness bottle is a fun visual prop to teach children how deep breathing can calm the body and the mind. The mindfulness bottle gives children a tool to calm down and focus their minds (settle their glitter) before they make a decision.

What to Say

  • We’re going to make mindfulness bottles. The glitter represents our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When we are upset, nervous, or mad, our glitter is unsettled. What can you do to settle your glitter?
  • Start by finding a comfortable position.
  • Let’s go one by one, sharing an event that was difficult for some reason (such as giving a speech in front of your class, losing a sports game, watching a scary movie).
  • Shake the glitter bottle. When you are upset, your thoughts are chaotic, which means your feelings and urges are out of control, just like the glitter.
  • Set the bottle in front of you. Take ten deep breaths in and out through the nose. Feel the belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale.
  • Do your best to focus your attention on your breath. While you breathe, watch the glitter float down and settle on the bottom of the jar, just like our thoughts. Take a moment each day to practice settling your glitter.

Come Hang Out with Us!

If your child enjoys art, hanging upside, climbing and mindfulness. Join us for a kid’s aerial yoga class or camp! We practice settling our glitter and other evidence-backed ways to feel calm in every session.

More Ways to Settle Your Glitter

Growth Mindset Game

Teaching kids to have a growth mindset can be tricky.  After all just telling kids to have a growth mindset usually doesn’t work. Instead, teach them that the brain is a muscle that can get stronger and change with challenging tasks.   Emphasize the importance of hard work and problem-solving.

Games are a great way to teach tricky concepts to kids.  Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset adds yoga and a mindset twist on a classic game, Red Light, Green Light.  Before you begin the game, provide an explanation of a fixed and growth mindset.  A fixed mindset avoids challenges and assumes that abilities are fixed, frozen or unchanging.  A growth mindset enjoys a challenge and sees failures as a way to learn and grow. 

How to Play the Growth Mindset Game

Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset is best played with four or more players, ages six and older. The leader stands at the front of the room.  When she says, “Growth Mindset” players slowly move and grow toward the leader. When she says, “Fixed Mindset” players freeze in place in a yoga pose. The yoga pose can be predetermined by the leader or freestyle where players choose their own. The player who makes it to the leader first is the winner.

What are the Benefits?

Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset builds executive function through play. Executive function plays a fundamental role in emotion regulation and impulse control. It helps kids reflect before they react. The growth mindset game also provides yoga pose review and enhances focus.

In summary, games are a great way to build self-regulation skills. For more movement ideas to support your child’s social and emotional development sign up for an aerial yoga class or our Mindful Child Teacher Training.

Turn Your World Upside Down: Benefits to Hanging Upside Down

The UP side of being Upside Down in  Aerial Yoga.

Children love to hang upside down!  If you go to a playground you will see  children hanging precariously from the monkey bars.  But did you know that being upside down is actually good for your child’s brain? In aerial yoga, going upside down is called an inversion.  Inversions, which get your feet above your head have healing and mood benefits. These happy faces definitely show Mindful Child Aerial Yoga inversions are a mood changer!

Here are a few of the recognized benefits that aerial yoga inversions can provide for your child’s health:

  • Going upside down, gives your heart and mind a break, which keeps your child in the present moment.  This allows them to see life from a new perspective.  Perspective taking is an important social emotional skill that we teach in our kid’s yoga classes.
  • Inversions such as inverted lotus pose (pictured here) promote calm and relaxation.  At Mindful Child Aerial Yoga we encourage kids to calm their breath and relax their minds to reap the rewards of being upside down.
  • Handstands and headstands even when supported by a yoga hammock or wall require core strength, focus, and resilience.  All of which are needed to successfully navigate life.
  • Children as young as two-years-old naturally go into Down Dog Pose.  This innate desire to be upside down is your child learning to regulate their central nervous system.  Being upside down provides the sensory integration children need to help regulate their behavior and bodies.
  • Being upside down increases blood flow to the brain.  More blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Healthy brains are important for learning and self-regulation.

The UP side of  purposefully hanging upside in aerial yoga is that it is beneficial to your child’s overall health.  Inversions improve posture, circulation, strength and flexibility.  Being upside down can enhance mood, teach perspective taking, and build self-regulation skills.

Always use props such as a wall and spot your child if he is attempting headstand and handstand on the ground. Simple poses such as Down Dog Pose also invert the head. Down Dog Pose is fun and can be done almost anywhere! What are you waiting for? Have your child take a deep breath, plant their hands, lift their feet, and gain a new perspective! Ah…

Sensory and Cognitive Benefits of Aerial Yoga

AERIAL YOGA BENEFITS ALL CHILDREN

Aerial yoga has the same benefits of typical yoga, but there are also additional sensory, cognitive, and health benefits. Aerial yoga gives the body more room to stretch. Since gravity isn’t an issue the spine is decompressed, muscle tension is released and blood circulation is enhanced.

WHAT IS AERIAL YOGA?

Aerial yoga uses a yoga hammock that is suspended from the ceiling.  The material is super stretchy and strong.  The instructor helps the student move into different poses much like a typical yoga session only the student is suspended in the air.

HOW IS IT THERAPEUTIC?

Aerial yoga provides a calming sensory experience for children. The therapeutic poses are designed with an emphasis on the central nervous system, which promotes sensory integration and self-regulation.

WHAT ARE THE SENSORY BENEFITS?

  • Self-Regulation. Inversion is a great tool for self-regulation.
  • Deep Pressure. The suspended yoga hammock provides deep pressure, which is instantly calming to the central nervous system.
  • Body Awareness. The hammock promotes motor planning and working memory while engaging in the poses.
  • Sensory Integration. The hammock provides sensory input in a tranquil, fun, therapeutic environment.

WHAT ARE THE COGNITIVE BENEFITS?

  • Attention and Focus. Aerial poses require more steps than land-based yoga. Children have to focus, otherwise they fall out of the hammock.
  • Executive Function. The complex poses require working memory, motor planning and awareness, which are higher level cognitive skills needed to self-regulate behavior.
  • Aerial yoga improves the ability to be less reactive and more mindful of thoughts and speech.
  • Reduced academic problems. We are building neuropathways every time we practice a new skill.  Thus, in each class, when we practice social emotional learning, mindfulness, and aerial skills we are literally building networks in the brain!

There are a multitude of benefits associated with our style of aerial yoga, so many in fact it will take several blog posts to list them all.  Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on physical and social emotional benefits.

Sign-up soon. Our classes are so fun and unique they tend to sell out with a wait list.  Go us for making yoga and mindfulness so fun we can’t get kids to leave!

Simple Stuff to Help Children Self-Regulate

Children gym fitness kid girl with small dumbbells vector. Fitness kid small dumbbells and sport girl. Little fitness kid girl and cartoon fitness kid girl. Sport dumbbells healthy lifestyle fitness.

Heavy Work = Self-Regulate

Proprioceptive receptors are located in the muscles, tendons, and joints.  These receptors respond to active movement and gravity.  Proprioceptive exercises involve deep pressure.  These exercises are a powerful tool to help children self-regulate.  Here are five simple exercises that can be incorporated into their school day.

  1. Wall Push-Ups. Place palms on the wall, bend elbows, and plant feet firmly on the floor.  Push against the wall for ten second.  Wall push-ups provide proprioceptive input into the arms, hands, and legs.
  2. Seated Push-Ups. Sit on the floor (with legs crossed) or chair (with feet flat). Push on the floor or chair with flat palms trying to slightly lift up the bottom.  Hold for ten seconds.
  3. Palm Push. Press palms together and hold for ten seconds.  Palm push provides proprioceptive input to the hands and helps balance the brain.
  4. Squeezes. Cross wrists and squeeze up from the wrists to your shoulders then squeeze down the arms again from the shoulders to the wrists.  Go up and down the arms ten times.  Squeezes improve attention, develop the brain, and provide proprioceptive input.
  5. Down Dog. Begin on hand and knees.  Spread the fingers wide and press the hands firmly into the mat.  Tuck the toes and bring the hips high while trying to push the heels toward the floor. Keep a slight bend in the knees and relax the head. Make it fun by wagging your tail.  Down Dog requires heavy work, which is movement that provides resistance to the muscles and joints. Heavy work develops the brain and helps children self-regulate.

Yoga Dog. Let’s Make It Happen!

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So what is Yoga Dog? Yoga Dog is going to be an amazing television show that incorporates yoga along with life lessons. Shakta Khalsa, world-renowned yoga instructor and author, is the creative collaborator and special matter expert behind Yoga Dog. Shakta has taught more than 20,000 people yoga. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met and had the privilege to train under. She is donating Yoga Dog to every U.S. military base and school, which is so needed with the current rise in pediatric mental health problems and obesity.

In less than a month $300K is needed to make the pilot. Yoga Dog is for children of all abilities.  Yoga Dog encourages self-awareness, self-regulation, nutrition, and hydration. What more could you want in a children’s television series? Please help Yoga Dog become a reality by donating so that he can help children be healthy and happy.

Donation Link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1015671288/yoga-dog