by Teresa Anne Power
February is International Self-Esteem Month, and one way to enhance the self-worth of children is through the practice of yoga. Yoga can not only help build a child's esteem and motivation but also their over-all health and well-being.
The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE) defines self-esteem as "the experience of being capable of meeting life's challenges and being worthy of happiness." Self-esteem is not about looks or clothing but instead what you think about yourself internally.
Children today are faced with challenges not only from our fast-paced technological society but also from peer pressure, bullying, competition, and demands from school and extra-curricular activities. How children view themselves personally can have a huge impact on their confidence, and in turn how they handle situations such as the above where their self-esteem is tested.
We need to develop in our youth a healthy self-esteem characterized by
- Respect for others
- Responsibility for their own actions
- Self-motivation and
- Feeling worthy of happiness
Children who have healthy self-esteem trust their own being to be life affirming, constructive, and responsible. Yoga can build self-worth by promoting a positive outlook, reducing anxiety, and focusing the mind to bring clarity and perspective.
One great posture for kids to try is the Flamingo Pose. This yoga posture helps with focus and concentration, while at the same time building confidence and self-esteem in children as they learn to balance on one leg.
When a child has the foundation of healthy self-esteem, he or she can be better prepared to face the trials and challenges of life with a sense of capability to overcome and work through them.
Teresa Anne Power, avid yoga practitioner for over 30 years, is a leading authority on children's yoga, and the best-selling author of The ABCs of Yoga for Kids. Also available in Spanish, and soon in French and Italian, her book has won multiple awards including, but not limited to, The Mom's Choice Award, Family Choice Award, Living Now Book Award, Moonbeam Children's Book Award, and National Best Books Award. Since, Power has recently released The ABCs of Yoga for Kids 2015 Calendar, and a new interactive yoga DVD, Yoga Adventures with Down Dog.
Power has appeared on both local and national television, and has had articles published in USA Today Magazine, Yogi Times, Violet magazine, and The Palisadian-Post. She currently writes articles about children's health and fitness on Examiner.com.
For the past 10 years, Power has taught young children yoga in schools, yoga studios, and local organizations, helping thousands of kids develop a healthy attitude towards their body. Power has also spoken at numerous libraries, schools, yogastudio, and school conferences. In addition, she volunteers her yoga expertise, and works with Children's Bureau, Pathways, Connections with Children and the Neighborhood Youth Association. Additionally, Power is a keynote speaker and teaches children's yoga training workshops. A graduate of University of Southern California, she earned her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and has a California Real Estate Broker's License. In 2002, she completed a yoga training program with Indigo Yoga.
She resides in Pacific Palisades, California.
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Chopra Center, and many other bookstores and yoga studios.