Imagination Vacations with Yoga 4 Classrooms

Imagination makes it possible to perceive a whole world inside the space of the mind. We can travel at the speed of light, visit foreign lands or alien worlds, and transcend the limitations of time and space. We can be anywhere and do anything . . . Imagination is a place of absolute freedom. It’s a true vacation from reality, from the obligation and responsibility of our lives. And the benefits are endless. Problem-solving skills, creative and critical thinking, vocabulary enrichment, cooperative play, sensory release, relaxation, and focus are just a few of the skills imagination improves in children.

Sadly, in this day of electronic stimulation and the fast-paced frenzy of our over-scheduled lives, imagination is taking a back seat. The loss of imagination is so detrimental that a 2001 follow-up to a 1940 study (linking imaginative play to self-regulation skills) showed that an average 7-year-old today (who, in 1940, could stand still as long as he was asked) is unable to stand still for 3 minutes (the length of time achieved by a 5-year-old in 1940). This research (and many others!) has pointed to the importance of teaching self-regulation as a skill. Students who are able to manage their emotions and pay attention are better able to learn. Child Development Researcher Laura Berk has found that “self-regulation predicts effective development in virtually every domain.” According to Berk, imagination is a powerful tool for building self-discipline and self-regulation.

Without imagination, our children are unable to focus on stillness. And without stillness, the brain and body become increasingly unable to relax, focus and learn. Additional studies indicate that connecting to our imaginations can boost the immune system, reduce anxiety, focus attention, slow heart rate, alleviate depression, relieve pain, and treat insomnia, phobias, and obesity. In educational settings, visual imagery has been effectively used to help children with reading and writing, word identification, verbal communication, understanding abstract concepts, memory development, planning and executive functioning skills, problem-solving and social skills.

Yoga 4 Classrooms® “Imagination Vacation” Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Cards represent modified, child-friendly approaches to meditation. Through guided visualization, we invite students to use their imaginations to connect to their own inner wisdom. Students become empowered as their sense of self is improved, and the connection between their mind and body is enhanced.

The “Imagination Vacation” and other Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Cards help students to release while they learn strategies for dealing with life’s emotional challenges.

Ready for a vacation?

We have several videos of the “imagination vacation” activities in action, including:

  1. Gratitude Relaxation (without video, perfect to use in class)
  2. Special Place Meditation
  3. Gratitude Relaxation

Check them out (and so much more!) on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe!