What is spirituality and what role does it play in the whole child development? What is the scientific basis for the importance of spiritual development? Does spirituality belong in schools? Our article was first published in the Elephant Journal.
These important and timely questions, and a more instrumental one, “How can the practice of yoga and mindfulness be utilized to enhance spiritual development for school-aged children?”, are addressed in our recently published Elephant Journal article, Yoga in Schools Promotes Spiritual Development & it Has Nothing to do With Religion.
Below is a portion of the article highlighting the benefits of spirituality for holistic development.
“The following quote, excerpted from the Exercise for Spirit section of Lisa Flynn’s book, Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children, illustrates this connection between yoga and spirituality for kids:
“Your child’s spirit connects him with others and is essential to a healthy, well-adjusted child. Yoga and mindfulness practices will help foster your child’s spiritual growth by helping him see the beauty and light within himself, boosting confidence, and allowing him to feel more comfortable in his body. Yoga will help your child get in touch with who he is inside, and in turn, will help him connect with himself, others, and the world in a richer, more positive, and peaceful way”.
An integral part of psychological well-being, spirituality can be enhanced through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. The following are some important spiritual benefits of yoga for children:
- Builds confidence and self-esteem
- Supports character development
- Enhances team skills and social interaction
- Develops discipline and self-control
- Supports creativity, individuality and self-expression
- Encourages social and environmental awareness and responsibility
- Supports a sense of universal connectedness
- Inspires respect, empathy and compassion for self and others”