Promoting healthy body image and wellness with YogaBugs!


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In recent news there has been a lot of talk about promoting a healthy body image and wellness of the mind in children. There are many influences in social media as children have more access to images of unhealthy body types that may pressure them into thinking that they need to look a certain way to be accepted as ‘normal’ in society. Girls who are in transition into teenage years seem to be particularly affected by such pressures, so it is important that we support these children during these difficult times. There is also the added pressure of the looming SATS, which means rising levels of stress and anxiety for these girls.

There are ways that YogaBugs classes can help alleviate tensions and worries of the modern world. The activities that we have created reduces stress, creates ‘mindfulness’, promotes relaxation and boosts self-confidence.

Our Yoga’d up classes for 8 – 12 year olds are structured to appeal to an age group who want to be physically challenged, mentally stimulated and entertained. Classes include a variety of postures, partner poses and fun Yoga’d Up games. Children end the class with relaxation and visualisation techniques. The combination of all these ingredients help and support them through a time of pre-teen change and beyond to adolescence.

This concern follows a BBC article ‘Under-18 models may be banned from catwalk.’ This article strongly highlights how young girls are pushed by top modelling agencies to lose weight so they are “down to the bone”. We recognise how unhealthy this is and how damaging it can be for a young girl’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

Here at http://yogabugs.com/index.php?page_name=home YogaBugs we are committed to ensuring children and young people achieve their full potential and enjoy a healthy, safe, and happy life. YogaBugs allows children of all abilities excel and children can work towards improving their personal best without the pressure of competition.

As well as being a great form of physical exercise, YogaBugs promotes a wide range of emotional benefits such as

  • Improved self-confidence
  • Release of day to day anxieties
  • Improved concentration & memory retention
  • Increased ability for children to learn more easily
  • Developed creativity
  • Improves healthy sleep patterns
  • Allows children to express their emotions physically

Not to mention a wealth of Physical benefits such as

  • Strengthened muscles
  • Balanced energy levels
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved respiratory and circulation
  • Improved digestive systems
  • Supported joint mobility
  • Developed posture
  • Improved flexibility

YogaBugs run classes in local schools and nurseries as well throughout the community.

CLICK HERE to find out more about how your child can develop a sense of well-being through our YogaBugs classes.

Alternatively contact us at 0121 777 7792 / info@thebugsgroup.com

 

Eating healthy over the six weeks holidays.

During the six weeks of summer holidays, children will tuck into 126 meals before they go back to school.

Fast food is a big part of modern life these days, making it incredibly hard to teach a child how they should eat healthy. The cheapest and easiest foods are those that are normally the least healthy for us.  If you give your child the choice between healthy food and junk food, you are more than likely not like the results.

Even though it isn’t possible to get a child to like all healthy foods, there are some ways to get your child/children to try and hopefully like at least a few of them during the holidays. You can be as creative as you like, getting kids to eat healthy foods can be a little harder than people think.

Here are some great ideas to make eating healthy fun for your child/children.

  • Sneak the healthy food in.  Even though it would be great if your child to understood the importance of fruits and vegetables, this isn’t always the case. If you can’t get them to eat good food willingly, there are ways to sneak them in, such as making
    muffins out of bananas or apples, or pizza with spinach on it, or blending vegetables into mash potato.
  • Call fruits and vegetables by funny names.  You can refer to broccoli as “trees”, making them more fun to eat. There are many different names you can call fruits and vegetables, even making up your own if you prefer. Majority of children prefer to eat foods that sound fun.
  • Try to make the foods taste better. Ranch dressing is great for broccoli, while peanut butter is a great topping for celery. There are several combinations for vegetables that can make them taste much better for children. You can let your child pick a topping for a vegetable; even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally like yourself, they will think this is fun and will make them want to taste it as they have chosen what to out onto it.
  • Dress the vegetables and fruit up.  Just as much as calling them names help children eat healthy foods, making them look funny also helps. You can do this by making funny designs on the plate, or setting them up to look like people.

 

For example you could draw a funny face onto a banana skin and call the banana ‘Barry the banana’. Although some parents don’t like their children playing with their food, sometimes it helps to get them to eat healthier.

There are several ways to make your kids eat healthier, but in order for them to enjoy it also has to be fun as well, this means the parents interacting with them and making it fun.

Getting children to eat healthily isn’t always an easy task, because children usually don’t like foods that are good for them. It can however, be done with a bit of creativity and fun. Hopefully, doing this will help your child develop a love of healthy foods for the rest of their lives.

Coming up with delicious dishes every day is hard, especially when kids can be such fussy eaters.

 

Please click here to download our Fun and Healthy recipes to try with your child at home.

To find your local YogaBugs class or to enquire about joining our team of talented franchises please visit: www.yogabugs.com / www.yogafranchises.co.uk 

New Statistics from the BBC reported that half of the UKs young children are not getting enough exercise!

The University of London monitored 6,500 children in order to find out how active children in this country really are and shockingly 51% of children are still not getting the recommend one hour of physical exercise each day.

These statistics suggested that 38% of these were girls compared to 63% for boys.

Here at YogaBugs our aim is to introduce and encourage children from the moment they can start walking to get active through our unique yoga inspired classes.

YogaBugs – Stretching the imagination.

We pride ourselves on helping to educate children along with their parents/carers into the importance of living a healthy lifestyle – eating right and getting enough exercise, no matter how old they are. We offer diet and nutritional information to our parents along with classes that can be done together at home click here to view a sample. Researchers from UCL suggested in their study that it is vital to make sport and other activities more attractive to children, in particular girls.

And that is the beauty of YogaBugs; our classes bring stories to life through specially developed moves inspired by yoga. Combining fun with exercise, children from a young age go on wild adventures where they may roar like a lion, fly like a bird or blast into outer space!

Our unique yoga programmes are suitable for children from walking age – 12 years, encouraging both girls and boys to participate together. Our classes help increase children’s confidence and concentration by encouraging them to be vocal during classes, by expressing their emotions physically and through specially developed yoga-inspired moves that help children to focus.

All children can do YogaBugs to their own ability, they don’t need to be fast, have good hand to eye co-ordination or to be physically fit, all they need is bags full of energy and imagination.

Dr John Middleton Faculty of Public Health said;“We need our children to grow up to be fit and healthy adults, not just because it’s what any civilised society would want for its children, but it’s also best for our economy too”.

Prof Carol Dezateux, one of the lead authors of the research then went on to say;“There is a big yawning gap between girls and boys. We need to really think about how we are reaching out to girls. Our findings are particularly worrying as seven-year-olds are likely to become less active as they get older, not more, no matter what gender.”

The research then went on to explain in order for children to achieve the one hour a day that is recommended, children need to take part in moderate or vigorous activities, which could include anything from brisk walking and cycling to playing football or rugby and running.

This is where YogaBugs is making a difference!

Our yoga programmes have been developed with the help of yoga professionals and individuals experienced with working with children, to help instil a love of exercise from a young age with a big emphasis on the children having fun in a YogaBugs class, as well as getting them active at the same time.

The UCL research is not the first to suggest that children of this generation are not active enough. Previous studies have relied on self-reporting by children or parents/carers estimating the levels of exercise which is not precise. Whereas this research by UCL involved real-time monitoring of the children as they wore and accelerometer to measure the exercise levels, this was attached to an elastic belt around their waist.

Dr Ann Hoskins, of the Public Health England added; “This study highlights that there is still much to do to keep children and young adults active as they grow older.”

At YogaBugs we couldn’t agree more and as a company we are actively seeking individuals who are passionate about yoga and want to help us get kids active, to join our network of talented franchises.

For information about our franchising opportunities and to see if your area is available visit our website www.yogafranchises.co.uk

Sources from: www.bbc.co.uk/news

When was the last time you went to work and laughed all day?

For franchisers in the child based sector all over the UK a day at work is never a dull day!

There are more than 13 million children living in the UK alone, so is no surprise that child-based franchises have become the most popular franchise opportunity for people to invest in. Franchisor Mark Goode believes that the child-based sector offers huge opportunities, as parents are always willing to invest in their child’s education and health. Having a franchise in the child base sector goes above and beyond the financial rewards as your business will help children to learn, grow and develop and to also help tackle child obesity in the UK.

You may think that you need to know everything about Yoga in order to become a YogaBugs franchise but this is not the case as you do not need a yoga background to become a YogaBugs franchisee. In fact, when Mark Goode started out as a franchisee he didn’t fully understand what yoga was, if you’d said to me three years ago that Id be involved in child yoga I would have looked at you very strangely, he now jokes. Now CEO, the business model Mark developed in his own franchise was so successful that the entire network adopted his approach. He says: I loved the company so much I bought it myself! Mark then went onto develop the Bugs Group and introduced FootieBugs, which teaches football skills in a fun an innovative way.

These children’s franchises are a perfect fit for people who are commercially minded and want to develop a thriving business. Mark explains that a franchise for any one of these companies will suit entrepreneurial, business-minded people who want to follow a proven successful method. Prospective franchisees should be business minded first, and then the passion for the product comes alongside it with anyone of our franchisees, says Mark.

Child-based franchises such as YogaBugs are seen as mainly a female-dominated industry but are increasingly attracting men. Fenella Lindsell founder of YogaBugs explains YogaBugs used to be seen as a mainly female dominated industry but we are getting more men coming through. Especially the younger ones that have been working in the Yoga industry and are looking for other opportunities.

Mark Goode adds were also getting husband-and-wife teams that are very much interested in investing money into a child-based franchise as they want to be able to pick their own destiny rather than just solely relying on jobs that may not be secure in as little as 5-years time.

YogaBugs and FootieBugs offers classes from an average of just £5-6 a class. This makes it affordable for parents who do not want to compromise their children’s physical activities. Mark adds “We’ve actually seen an increase in the YogaBugs and FootieBugs classes. Parents are no longer going on big holidays, due to this they are looking at smaller opportunities available for their children during term-time and after school”

As a franchisee of a child-based business you will undoubtedly see children progress, develop, learn and stay fit and healthy. Mark continues by saying “You are working with children who may not have a healthy lifestyle at home – you may only have them for an hour a week, but it is that hour that can make all the difference. In that hour you can give something positive back to that child and seeing the benefit from it, is incredibly rewarding as you are helping to make a difference by tackling childhood obesity.”

This sense of reward and achievement is often the very core of why people want to get involved with working with children. For Mark Goode, YogaBugs transformed his outlook on life: It actually changed some of the relationships I had with friends and family  you start to appreciate things more because you see that you are in a world where not everybody has what you have. It grounds you.

A business franchise that helps child development, education, social skills, and helps to keep a child fit, active and healthy often attracts interest and support from the Government, which can help massively to increase interest and demand for a business such as YogaBugs and FootieBugs. Mark explains, “The Government announced new funding for schools with sport and PE premium, for the next academic year. The money will be given directly to primary schools in England, and this can be used in order to pay for extra coaching sessions to improve the quality of sports and PE provision in schools across the UK.” This is great news for YogaBugs and FootieBugs. A position of such high priority on the Governments agenda can only be beneficial for a franchise such as YogaBugs and FootieBugs.

It would be impossible not to feel inspired by child-based franchises, which can provide education, fitness and emotional development for children. So why not listen to your inner-child and return to a child-like happiness by working with children today! Franchise opportunities are available today…why not take the next step?

YogaBugs: www.yogafranchises.co.uk

YogaBugs; Great fun, serious business!

There have been countless studies that prove and demonstrate the health benefits of yoga. It is practised by many superstars who openly promote the benefits. From fibromyalgia to colds and the flu, yoga is great for the body. Pain relief, increased strength, and a stronger immune system are all side effects of a regular yoga practice. Researchers may not be sure why yoga has some of the effects it does, but those who practise yoga are happy to enjoy the benefits. Many people are also inspired by their yoga practice to improve their diets, to get more sleep, and many other healthy lifestyle choices. YogaBugs takes this to the next level by actively supplying its customers with information to support a healthy lifestyle beyond the yoga class.

YogaBugs is aimed at children and improving their lifestyle. YogaBugs unique Child Development programmes take children on wild adventures using the medium of yoga. Not only do children get all the usual health benefits associated with yoga, YogaBugs also enhances their literacy, numeracy, self-esteem and social development.

Yoga is a real fun activity and has great benefits both physically and emotionally. Yet more needs to be done to give more children access to this unique and totally inclusive form of exercise. But who can do this?

YogaBugs franchisees are able to take the ground breaking programmes and deliver it to children on mass. This is because YogaBugs is a management business opportunity. One yoga instructor can only teach one class at a time. Six instructors however can teach six classes at a time. A YogaBugs franchisee does not need to be a yoga instructor themselves. Simply just have a passion for yoga and for helping children.

Franchising is not for everyone, but for those who want a short cut to running their own successful business it can be a dream come true. YogaBugs are an internationally recognised franchisor with 10 years experience. With a tried and tested business model, YogaBugs could be the perfect opportunity for you to take control of your own future.

Yes yoga is fun, but for the right person a fun pursuit could also be a serious business opportunity. YogaBugs are committed to finding the right individuals and offering them first rate training and support. 

To learn more about the possibility of becoming a YogaBugs franchisee please visitwww.yogafranchises.co.uk 

4 Ways To Develop Your Childs Creativity

Children have great imaginations, which nurtured in the right way can see them grow to be fantastically creative. Here are 4 top tips to help you develop your child’s creativity.

1. Get them to YogaBugs. Through adapted yoga poses children go on wild adventures. At YogaBugs the children are encouraged to imagine themselves as lions or pirates and are always the hero of the story. By attending YogaBugs classes children will develop their own creativity by being given a mental work out alongside the obvious physical one. Their imagination and creativity grows through play. And best off all… They love it!

2. Make a special creative space. A designated area for your child to be creative can be a great way to help them develop. This will help the child to concentrate and focus. Television can be great for relaxing but it can hamper creativity by becoming a distraction. The designated creative space should put the emphasis on the child to create their own entertainment.

3. Encourage your child to be different. Make it acceptable for your child to be out of step with norms of their peer group. Get them to listen to different genres of music, take them on days out and encourage their interests. This is what shall make your child an individual and really develop their creativity.

4. Boredom can be good. Do not be afraid of your child being bored. This period of downtime is when they get the opportunity to flex and work their creative muscle. If they are bored, the power to change that is in their own hands. Unstructured time challenges children to actively engage with themselves and the outside world. They will use their own creativity to overcome the boredom.

ACROSS-THE-UK

Technology Is A Ticking Time Bomb For Children

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Researchers at Swansea University have discovered that the number of children receiving treatment for back or neck pain has doubled in the last six months. Their research has found that more than two thirds of primary school children are experiencing back or neck pain over the course of one year. Things need to happen to make a difference.

The research highlights the growing unease in the medical community about the excessive use of computers, tablets, consoles and smart phones. Children are becoming less active at home and spending more time on computers at school. It has been well documented that excessive use of these technologies can have a negative impact on posture. The excessive use of computers and consoles has also seen children take part in less physical activity  This has also resulted in high child obesity rates. More needs to be done get children to be physically active.  

Lorna Taylor the physiotherapist involved in the research said “Modern lifestyles and the increase in technology are having detrimental effects on our children’s musculoskeletal health and, if not addressed in school and at home now, will have far reaching effects for our children, the future working generation and society. This is a health care time bomb.” What Lorna Taylors’ predicting is a huge strain on the NHS in the the future, as it is overloaded by people with back and neck injuries caused by to much time spent in front of a screen as young children. It is not a cure that is needed but rather a prevention. 

Adam al-Kashi, the head of research and education at charity BackCare responded to this study by saying, “There are many pluses to modern life and technology, but the darker side is how it divorces us from the need to use our bodies and exert ourselves physically. We are now living dangerously convenient lifestyles, where you don’t even have to move to exist.” The solution is creating an activity that inspires children to leave the laptop and do something to counteract the damage. 

One of the key benefits of Yoga is how it can improve body posture., it realigns the spine. This can be done easily with a few yoga poses a week. A good session of yoga could be the difference between a life with or without back and neck pain.

Whilst it may be easy to explain the benefits of yoga to a an adult and an adult with a back injury will try most things to alleviate the pain, it may be more difficult to inspire a young child, and they almost certainly will have no interest or perhaps understanding of the benefits of preventing back pain. Therefore they have be inspired in a different way.

YogaBugs is for children from when they are first are able to walk until the age of twelve. YogaBugs however is so much more than just a yoga. YogaBugs uses yoga postures to take children on wild adventures, the postures are the medium through which a story is told and acted out by the children. The children love it but they do not realise they are doing yoga. They are getting all the benefits and having fun. The way YogaBugs has been designed means that for children there is also hidden benefits for numeracy, literacy, self-esteem and social interaction. YogaBugs is the answer to diffusing the ticking time bomb of back and neck pain.

Whilst across the UK there are already thousands of children benefiting from YogaBugs, many more still need to be offered the chance. YogaBugs are looking for the right people to join their franchise network. With 10 years franchising experience YogaBugs know what they are doing so much so, they are able guarantee their franchisees an income of at least £30,000 per year. 

An international franchisor represented in Australia, China and Singapore, YogaBugs is the leading children’s activity franchise. Franchisees do not need a background in yoga just a passion for making  a  positive difference to the lives of as many children as possible. Could you do it?

 

 

Yoga For Children With Additional Needs

We are often asked about the benefits that yoga can bring to children with additional needs, so we asked one of our Area Managers, Denyse Whillier, to tell us more. Denyse is running monthly Sunday morning YogaBugs classes for children with additional needs in North East London. (The clip above from Fox News shows the benefits of yoga for children with autism).

I started to offer these classes following requests from the parents of a local disability forum, the majority of who have children on the autistic spectrum. There’s a shortage of suitable activities for children with additional needs in my area, and little for parents to do with their child. I wasn’t sure how our YogaBugs story-style adventures would work so I piloted a couple of classes over the Easter holidays to find out. If you watched Louis Theroux recent programme ‘Extreme Love’ for the BBC, you’ll have gained an insight into the rewards, stresses and challenges this condition brings.

Story selection was important. Because the classes attracted children of different ages, I chose stories that had broad appeal. We started with ‘Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone.’ For our second adventure, we took a trip around London and the kids chipped in during the class to tell us what sights they’d seen themselves and the best way of getting to each. Teacher, Sarah, was reminded that Charing Cross tube station is not on the Piccadilly line!

For some of the children, simply staying in the room with us and experiencing the class was an achievement. Others were delighted to show us postures they’d learnt beforehand at home. A number of children needed help to balance in Tree pose but gave it a go nevertheless. With consistent encouragement from parents and carers, by the end of the class all of the children were able to lie down in Savasana and enjoy a few minutes of relaxation.”

So here are some reasons why yoga is particularly beneficial for children with special needs:

Relaxation: Yoga soothes the sensory system, and the relaxation response (parasympathetic system) is engaged through forward bending. Encouraging deep, even breathing leads to greater relaxation.

Body/ spatial awareness: Better body awareness is one of the greatest benefits of the yoga practice. Standing and balancing poses help develop stability, strength, and coordination. Poses such as tree, eagle, and dancer provide joint compression. Moving from backbends to forward bends to twists gives the vestibular system (which controls balance) rich input, which helps a child feel calm and grounded.

Self-awareness: All yoga practices are aimed at developing better awareness – of the body, the mind and the breath. Yoga also inherently helps develop a greater sense of self, a feeling of more ease in the world, and a sense that “everything is okay just as it is.”

For further information, see:

“Sensory Integration and How Yoga Helps” from Yoga Chicago’s March/April 2010 magazine by Mira Binzen, E-RYT, RCYT, http://www.yogachicago.com/mar10/mira.shtml

“Yoga and Autism: A rewarding (and challenging) assignment” by Hannah Gould, Published in Yoga Therapy Today December 2010, http://www.nesca-newton.com/Yoga_and_Autism_Hannah_Gould.pdf

“Yoga for Children on the Autism Spectrum” by Jennie Ehleringer, Published in the 2010 edition of International Journal of Yoga Therapy, http://www.yogaforallpdx.com/uploads/IJYT-2010__Ehleringer-Final_.pdf

Why Yoga Is So Great For 8 To 12 Year Olds!

 

Last week, we reported the results of a new study, released by Harvard Medical School, proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens. Our own evaluation of our Impact & Change programme (covering children in Key Stage 1 and 2) showed very similar results with children at Key Stage 2 demonstrating a remarkable 38% improvement across the 9 areas we monitored – confidence, self-esteen, ability to listen to and follow instruction, co-ordination etc.In this article we look at why children from the ages of 8 to 12 years benefit so much from yoga.

During these years, children mature very rapidly, with their interests, general knowledge, powers of thinking and reasoning all developing considerably. They want to be interactive, to take responsibility, to have a say in how things are done, to debate, question and argue. They are expected to behave in a more mature way, although their bodies and minds are going through a turbulent time as they get ready for the onset of puberty.

A key consideration when working with this age group is how to present the concept of ‘yoga.’ For some children the terms connected to yoga may be strange and alienating, while others may think it’s airy fairy nonsense.Peer group pressure carries a big influence at this age, and it is easy for this age group to be put off yoga related activities because they’re not regarded as ‘cool.’ Thankfully there are an abundance of well-known and highly successful people who have an established yoga practice, from footballers like Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale, to actors like Jake Gyllenhall and Jennifer Aniston, through to singers like Madonna and Lady Gaga.

What yoga gives children at this age is a series of techniques and exercises that they can use to increase their control, over their bodies and minds, and ultimately their lives. For children interested in sport, yoga will improve their concentration, focus and mind-body co-ordination, so improving their overall performance. It will also provide the foundation for healthy habits that stengthen and protect the body.For academically minded children, yoga will improve their concentration and provide tools to help them manage anxiety around exams. Creative children will be interested in how yoga will enhance their fluency and flexibility of thought.

In practice, all children derive these benefits, with the additional advantage that through the practice of yoga, they develop their social skills. As they learn to relate better to others, so they gain more poise and self-confidence. This helps to provide the foundation for a happy and successful life.

We’ve designed our Yoga’d Up programme specifically to help children to navigate this period of their lives with more ease. Weaving a full range of yoga postures into games and partner activities, children get a great work out as well as learning practical techniques for calming and focusing. So if your school doesn’t have our Yoga’d Up programme, you can now tell them all about the benefits!

New Study Shows Benefits Of Teen Yoga

Readers of this blog will know about the remarkable changes our Impact & Change programme has brought to children in the UK’s primary schools. (For more information, see this story). So we were delighted to learn about a new study proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens.

Harvard Medical School has just released a study about the psychological benefits of yoga on teenagers in 11th and 12th grade. Published in the April issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the study concluded that yoga may “serve a preventative role in adolescent mental health” by providing teens with beneficial ways to deal with stress and trauma, instead of falling into the dangerous and destructive behavioural patterns so common in high schools across the States.

51 high school students took part in the study.  They were randomly assigned to either regular PE classes, or Kripalu-style yoga classes that included asana, pranayama, relaxation exercises, and mediation. The students were given multiple tests and questionnaires, before and after the 10-week program, regarding their levels of anxiety and stress, their anger management abilities, and their mindfulness and resilience in the face of challenges. The results show that students who took yoga were better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs than those in the regular PE classes. Since mental health disorders often form in the teenage years, learning effective healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress is essential during this time.

Although the study was small, its results are nevertheless promising.It’s great to see further evidence of how yoga teaches young adults positive ways to react and deal with life’s challenges.