Back 2 School season is upon us, and with this comes heavy back packs, books galore, sitting hunched over desks for hours, intermitted periods of activity, and usually random intervals of eating (hopefully healthy). The health of our kids is crucial, so that they can grow to their fullest potential and become the next leaders of tomorrow.
One of the governing concerns these days is backpacks. Kids walk to and from, and around school all day long! This allows any person to carry more items than would be possible by the arms and hands alone. The risk, however, is overload, which can strain the back, neck or shoulders. The back will compensate for any load applied to it for an extended period of time. A heavy weight carried in backpacks can cause a person to lean forward inducing in proper balance and stressing spinal integrity, as well as distort the middle and lower curves of the back, which can cause strain and irritation to the joints of the spine and rib cage. And let’s not forget rounding of the shoulders! An ergonomic back pack is key to back to school health.
Studies have shown that Yoga may be one of the most effective exercises for back pain relief, but we rarely ever think about applying these principles to our kid’s health!
Corrective re patterning of biomechanics actually stems from pediatric development; therefore, as our children grow it makes sense to be pro active and take preventative measures to ensure they grow to their full potential without restriction and premature structural breakdow.
However, as effective as a Yoga style may be to reduce and prevent pain in the body, knowing exactly what poses to perform, the style of yoga, what corrective poses and in what sequence to execute them should be taken into consideration before using it as a therapeutic relief from discomfort or pain. It sounds complicated, but it is actually very simple, PLUS for kids you want to keep it FUN!
I find that for younger kiddies, it’s all in the fun and imagination – naming the pose and sometimes combining that with drawing and coloring the pose can be creative and improves the fun factor.
For the older, more mature youth, relate it to a sport or an activity they are already engaged in. This will help them relate the benefits to their chosen after school activities.
Yoga Poses to prevent back pain and keep it fun for the kids:
- Cat Flow Series (meow)
- Downward Facing Dog to Pike and Plank Variation Sequence (woof)
- Bridge Pose (ummm… what sound does a bridge make)?
- Supine Fish Pose (gurgle, gurgle)
- Sun Salutations with Cobra: (hisssss)
- Warrior Sequence with Ninja Triangle Variation: (wax on, wax off)
Yoga has many benefits beyond keeping the body in balance; it will help generate a good mental balance of discipline and attention to detail for your child’s ample learning potential. Have fun and roll out that mat!