Consider Yoga as Part of Back-to-School Routine for Stress & Anxiety | Part 2
A two-part interview with Karey Lynn Krampota, RYT-200
(by Bernice Thill)
Karey Lynn Krampota teaches Viniyoga, a style of yoga linking your breath with your movement that is adapted to support your physical and emotional needs. She offers classes for students throughout various stages of life: sunrise (children) mid-day and sunset (senior). In this second part, Karey Lynn shares specific ideas and techniques for children and parents alike to help alleviate stress and anxiety throughout the school year.
What kinds of advice or practices can you share for parents of kids dealing with higher levels of stress and/or anxiety related to the start of a new school year?
First, it’s okay not to be okay! There will be hard days, but taking a breath makes it easier. When we feel frustrated or overwhelmed what happens? Our breath becomes shorter just like our temper. Use your breath as a guide for ease and support.
When we become aware of our breath, we become more mindful of our feelings. Within this awareness and mindfulness, we can set an example for our children.
Having a set routine each day for your child helps them know what to expect and reduces anxiety. Depending on age or developmentally where your child is, you can have a calendar with different stickers for certain activities. Utilizing a clock with stickers by certain times for daily routine tasks, such as (for younger children) 4 PM has a book sticker for homework and 7 PM has a bed sticker for bedtime. You can also color code the clock for different tasks and have a chart with coordinating colors as a key (for older children).
Getting their backpack ready, lunch made, homework completed and clothes picked out the night before limits morning rushing and stress kids and parents alike.
What are some of the techniques you teach in your classes that can help alleviate stress or anxiety for children?
Here’s an example of something you would learn in my classes, called Tense & Release.
The idea for this Mindful Activity is for families to come together to learn and notice the difference between feeling stress/tension vs. relaxation/calm in our minds and bodies. Recognizing the difference between the two helps promote a healthy coping skill to begin the process of releasing the tension we may be experiencing and potentially creating that sense of calm.
Invite your Little Yogi to either lay on their back, belly or sit in a comfortable seated position next to you or on your lap. Take a few breaths here. In through your nose and out through your nose.
Inhale creating a fist with your hands, exhale unclenching your hands. Do 3 Times.
After Inhale Ask: Do you feel your hand feeling tight?
After Exhale Ask: Do you feel your hand feeling relaxed?
Inhale bringing your toes towards your nose, exhale drawing your toes away from your body. Do 3 Times.
After Inhale Ask: Do you feel your legs feeling tight?
After Exhale Ask: Do you feel your legs feeling relaxed?
Inhale extending your belly out. Exhale drawing your belly in. Do 3 Times.
After Inhale: Do you feel your belly growing big?
After Exhale: Do you feel your belly growing small?
Take a few breaths together. Give each other a hug.
How can parents incorporate more play at home to help alleviate stress or anxiety?
I like to use everyday activities to help parents and children become more connected with their breath and to practice being more mindful. A few examples include:
Before, during and after baking, engage all of your senses. Take time to notice one thing you can see, hear, touch and feel, smell, and finally, taste! This exercise can help kids slow down and be present.
Wiggle & Giggle:
Turn on your favorite music and dance-wiggle around. After moving through a song or two, sit in a comfortable position. Share a joke or many and laugh-giggle. Movement + Laughter = Stress Reduction
Walk & Talk:
Take a walk each day with your child to talk. Talk about anything and everything. Talk about your day: What was the best part of your day? Was there a part of your day that wasn’t easy? Is there anything that you need help with? What was your favorite moment today? Walk + Talk = Conscious Connection
Rest & Digest:
After school when your children come home, give them time to transition. During this time, offer them a quiet space, creating the opportunity to rest from their day and digest the reminder. Rest + Digest = Calm Transitions
Learn more about classes Karey Lynn offers on the 5 Koshas website.