Learning begins with movement. Before a child is able to verbally communicate, he has an implicit ability to express and understand ideas through movement. We call this body language. Body language begins as a means of communicating his needs; then, as his command of body language develops, he begins to understand what is being communicated to him. Thus, movement lays the groundwork for language.
In the toddler years, children pair language with coordinated movements of the body (such as singing and clapping or playing Ring Around the Rosie), which reinforces the learning of words, sentence formation, and the rhythm of speech, as well as patterning and early math. Furthermore, current educational theory suggests that movement – and specifically, the sequencing of movements – “accesses many learning modes: visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, rhythmic, vocal, mnemonic (long- and short-term), and creative.”
Yoga 4 Classrooms® is based on the idea that children not only learn when moving but that movement establishes the foundation for learning. When children fold over into rag doll pose, they’re increasing blood flow to the brain; when they balance in eagle, they’re improving their concentration skills; when they reach across into twisting star, they’re performing cross-lateral movements that optimize the communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain (which is essential for the development of higher reasoning).
The “Stand Strong” Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Cards include 14 standing activities that provide simple, quick, structured opportunities for students and teachers to stand up and stretch. These activities have the added benefit of promoting good postural alignment, coordination of movement, strength, stability, flexibility, balance, and range of motion in the joints – all of which enhance brain development. Let’s Stand Strong!
We have many videos of the “stand strong” activities in action, including:
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