It is that time of year when backpacks, notebooks and pencil bags line the shelves. New clothes hang with anticipation in the closet and old shoes are handed down to make room for the growing feet of adolescents.

Going back to school after a summer of fun in the sun can be an anxious time for school kids. The unfamiliarity of a new classroom, new friends and harder classes can zap enthusiasm in a heartbeat.

Now, for parents who are looking for a new school for their kids, you might have a lot of questions to ask potential schools. Other than educational specialisations, you should also try to choose an institution that focuses on physical health, like by providing yoga classes. Maintaining a zest for learning can be challenging for kids and adults alike. Thankfully there are things we can do to keep our interest up. The number one most important thing we can do at back to school time is reduce stress, and yoga can help.

The following is a list of suggestions for simple yet effective yoga poses that can be done in the morning before heading off to the school bus. Saving just five or ten minutes during the bustling hours before the bell rings can mean better grades, healthier friendships and happier parents!

For easy poses

Slow Motion Jumping Jacks

These aren’t actually jumping jacks, although the arms and upper body will closely resemble them when done in slow motion.

Stand with feet hip width apart. With a slow inhale, raise arms overhead and bring both palms together. With a slow exhale, lower arms back down to the side. Repeat up to ten times.

BENEFIT: This is a great way to wake up and stimulate the brain by flushing it with fresh oxygen.

Tall Mountain Pose

The traditional pose is called Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, but in Tall Mountain Pose the arms lift high toward the sky.

Stand with feet hip width apart. With an inhale, raise arms over head and stretch as tall as you can. Remain in this position for up to ten breaths.

BENEFIT: This pose not only stretches the entire body, it instills a sense of confidence and self esteem by standing tall like a mountain.

Tree Pose Balance

Trying to balance on one leg requires such concentration that needless worries and anxieties inevitably will take a back seat.

Stand on one foot and raise the other foot to the inside of the standing leg, above or below the knee. Raise both arms overhead like branches of a tree. Hold as long as possible and then switch legs.

BENEFIT: Balance poses sharpen focus and improve mental stamina, two components necessary for doing well in school.

Parents and teachers can also benefit from these poses during their busy back to school mornings. A few minutes a day can really make a difference.

by Jill Lawson has been a fitness professional for 20 years, and has concentrated on yoga for more than 10 years.

Casey’s Comments

As a mother of a new kindergartner, I can relate to the back to school jitters. Yoga has saved our lives on many accounts. My daughter and I breathe freely knowing we have the skills to deal with the new stresses that come with this new adventure. I am proud and honored to teach yoga to kids, to teachers and train others on how to teach kids yoga. Get your kids practicing yoga today!

Please leave a comment and let us know how you and your kids are adjusting to being back at school and how yoga is helping…