It is absolutely inspiring to see the joy and focus on the faces of the children when they work with the yoga poses and exercises in a playful way. In the training program I teach, Radiant Child Yoga, I always say that the very best discipline comes from within the child, and that happens easiest when the child is engaged—in other words—when you create something magical with children, there is a natural discipline, therefore none needs to be enforced from the outside.
I find the same thing when they do Yoga In Motion songs and movements, like “I am brave, I am bold, my own spirit I can hold.” When I see how they really get the idea of yoga–that yoga is a tool to apply when needed in their lives–it makes me know I am in the right business!
One boy I worked with who had sensory processing challenges took the songs to his classroom. When he felt overwhelmed by school and all its sensory input, he would cuddle up under his desk and do the Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation, which helps to release mental stress. In this meditation the pads of each finger are pressed as the “yoga sounds” are chanted. The sound of one’s own voice is affirming, the repetition brings security and order, and the pressing of the fingertips stimulates pressure points that activate brain centers for focus and relief of stress. The child who emerged from under the desk was a whole-brain, whole-body, centered and happy child who obviously understood how to self-regulate in a most effective way!