When given free time in the aerial yoga hammock there are two movements children will seek out – spinning and swinging. Both movements have therapeutic value and children should be allowed to explore the movements their bodies are craving to an extent.
Traditional playgrounds use to house at least one merry-go-round, but modern playgrounds limit spinning equipment due to safety concerns. Which is sad, as there is a reason merry-go-rounds were one of the most loved pieces of equipment on the playground. Kids. Love. To. Spin!
The pros and cons…
Spinning is a swift whirling motion or rotating rapidly. Like most intense movements, it has pros and cons. Most children will be able to find the right amount of movement, but some may not be that in tune with their bodies and will go beyond what their brain can handle. Think about the carnival rides that involve spinning, if you spin too long and too fast, the brain will react with dizziness and nausea. This reaction is the brain protecting itself from too much input. Spinning delivers potent sensory input to the vestibular system that the brain takes in and processes. Thus, children need to be to spin in both directions and to practice other poses in the hammock when you see them spinning too much.
While too much spinning is not good for the brain, some spinning is beneficial. Spinning positively enhances the vestibular system. It allows children to learn to shift their weight, which is an important component of aerial yoga. Additionally, children learn the cause and effects of motion.
Here are a few of the benefits of spinning in the aerial yoga hammock:
- Sensory stimulation: It provides sensory integration in the areas of balance, touch, and feel.
- Focus and concentration: Focus is improved as both sides of the brain are being used. Vestibular input can also prepare the brain for learning.
- Muscle strength: Spinning improves postural control and grip strength. Children have to hang on tight and sit or stand tall or they will fall off the hammock.
- Kinesthetic awareness: Knowing where they are in space is improved as children must judge how far they are from peers and the ground.
- Decision-making skills: Children must think while they are in motion and decide how much is the right amount of spinning and figure out how to stop the hammock.
While too much can be detrimental, some spinning is important for development. The tricky part is every child is different, so there is not a set amount to allow. Some children can hang upside down and spin in circles rapidly with their eyes closed and not feel any adverse effects, while others can do one rotation and feel nauseous. Paying careful attention will help you decide how much spinning to allow. When in doubt, limit how much children spin and make sure they spin in both directions.
Mindful Child offers the therapeutic movement your child craves.
If you’d like your child to experience the benefits of therapeutic movements, sign-up for one of our classes. If you live out of town and live classes are not an option, buy a Mindful Child aerial hammock for your home and register for our Online Mindful Child classes. We have lots of aerial yoga options to choose from!