When you think of education, what are your first thoughts? English, math, pens and pencils, a chalkboard with a well dressed teacher, lecturing information for you to quickly jot down or cram into your head before the next big test. What about movement? As a child, can you remember learning to ride your first bike, spinning a hula-hoop or playing double-dutch with your friends? For those of you who have children, how did you feel when your child took his/her first steps? Didn’t those moments feel like a learning experience?

According to scientists, it is agreed that movement itself is a process of learning between infancy and toddler years. And yes, it is also agreed that movement continues to aid the learning process throughout puberty, into teens, and even into adulthood and old age.

Over the past 25 plus years, with the rise of brain imaging technology, scientists and doctors have discovered how movement stimulates creativity, focus, intelligence, and even social responsibility.

Then, might I ask, why does the bulk of our education systems regard classes such as PE, art, and music, which encourage movement and creativity, as unnecessary? Of course, I wouldn’t wholly generalize it, as there are several charter elementary schools near me that give importance to after-school programs. But, a majority of these institutions that is part of the fast-moving growth and technology, imply that children need to learn math instead of jump roping. The downfall of our student’s educational goals shows us that we are missing something very important in our schools.

With economic support slowly dwindling, perhaps now is the time for our parents and teachers to make the change and improve the life and education of our students. Simply put, adding movement into the day-to-day routine of school life will benefit children more than one can imagine. Doctors agree, that movement, not only aids physical health, but also reduces stress, increases happiness and confidence, and improves focus and intelligence.
Many of you may be wondering… where do I start? What support is out there as a teacher and/or a parent to begin to create and follow a movement-plan each day?

It is actually very simple, and one of the easiest ways for children to move while having fun is through the practice of yoga. Yoga for kids is more than just flowing through downward dog and cobra. Yoga itself, hits upon not only movement and relaxation, but also ethics such as responsibility, compassion, friendliness, and self esteem. All of which are characteristics that we as parents want to see in our kids.

The above qualities greatly improve our student’s feelings toward their self and the world, which in turn improves their test results in the areas of math, science, and language arts. Subsequently, we as a community will see greater intelligence, greater creativity, and greater progress in our world!

Stay tuned for part 2 on Wednesday!

Namaste & Play