Promoting healthy body image and wellness with YogaBugs!


YUP - Down Dog
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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

 

Concentration develops over time

My child won’t do as they are told…how many times have you said that being a parent?

At YogaBugs we work with children aged 3-12 years old. However we not only work with the children but also the parents. Our regular contact with parents means that our instructors often feedback and we notice some interesting trends in the children that regularly attend our classes..

One of the most common trends is that “my child struggles to concentrate.” Sometimes parents are so worried by this perceived problem that they are almost reluctant to let their child participate in a class. They are concerned their child is ‘not ready’ “Sean doesn’t always follow instructions’, or ‘Faye will often just do what she wants and that will ruin the class.’

The concern these parents have for how their child may have a negative impact on the class for others is commendable but at YogaBugs we have great news for them. All children struggle to concentrate. We are able to tell parents ‘Your concerns are totally normal and we have done the research to make sure our classes develop this part of the brain and keeps children engaged.’

Toddlers and young children’s brains work differently to those of fully grown adults. Amazingly adults can find this a very difficult concept to grasp. The truth is toddlers and young children are so interested and excited in their surroundings that their innate desire to explore the world around them means that sitting in one place for an extended period of time is of little interest to them. Young children are notoriously self-directed, quite simply they have not yet developed their brains to fully understand social norms. A young child is still developing their emotional intelligence and as such they lose the urge to stay involved once their interest has faded.

We love this about young children. At YogaBugs we work with children to help them retain this fascination with the world and we believe it is our job to be entertaining and inspire the child to engage throughout the whole session. Yes young children may struggle to sit and listen for extended periods of time, but YogaBugs engages their imagination and keeps them busy physically.

Developing the ability to concentrate

Young children are constantly on the move and with boundless energy move quickly from one activity to the next. They have so much energy they are actually hit with an overwhelming urge to move onto something else. Again this is almost incomprehensible to adults.

As a child matures their attention span develops and matures over time.

Passive to active. – When your child was a baby they could only look at and interact with objects directly in their line of sight. As a toddler they then develop the ability to look around and choose objects. As they continue to grow they will begin to make choices. It is then up to the adult to help the child make the right decisions.

Unsystematic to systematic searching. –  A baby will just gaze at objects in a haphazard way and then put the other end in their mouth. As a baby becomes a toddler it will begin to investigate the object systematically and methodically. As they continue to grow, they will begin to make choices on what they search for, becoming more able to discern what is and what is not of interest to them.

Broad to selective. – A baby struggles with filtering out other sources of information. Toddlers however are able to concentrate more selectively. Eventually children are able to multi-task, after all even young children can play a DS and watch television at the same time.

What can parents do to help improve concentration?

  • Minimise distractions
  • Avoid games and television that foster short attention spans
  • Actively encourage children to look for things
  • Create a quiet area
  • Keep the house tidy
  • Develop with the child, as a child progresses so must the parent
  • Encourage use of eye contact
  • Bring your child to your local YogaBugs class

 

YogaBugs and Concentration

The ability to concentrate is a key life skill. All YogaBugs classes are specially designed to improve concentration for young children by combining fun with exercise; children go on wild adventures where they may roar like a lion or blast into outer space. Through our creative visualisation techniques in our classes we help all children believe they are unique and special.

To find your local YogaBugs class or to enquire about joining our team of talented franchises and to give something back to the children in your area please visit: www.yogabugs.com / www.yogafranchises.co.uk 

Yoga is now a secular practice

YUP - Down DogVarious traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and it is practised as a spiritual and ascetic discipline. It is of course for many still an integral part of their religion. Yet, yoga has been embraced across the Western world and by people of all races, cultures and most religions. Across the West, yoga with its breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

There are many hidden benefits with yoga such as improved concentration, posture and improved strength and flexibility. With YogaBugs unique use of storytelling and adventures told through the medium of yoga there are other benefits to children from when they can walk until the age of 12. These include concentration, core skill development and improved social development.

In the West for the vast majority yoga is totally secular. It is not a medium for teaching religious beliefs. But across the globe yoga instructors have come up against vocal and determined opposition. This was recently highlighted in the United States. The issue of yoga in schools reached a boiling point in California this summer when a family filed a suit against the Encinitas Unified School District after the start of a pilot yoga program in an elementary school. As Reuters notes, a judge refused to block the teaching in July, ruling that ‘yoga at it’s roots is religious.’ but its modern practice is secular and “a distinctly American cultural phenomenon.”

In the USA yoga practitioners simply dismiss such criticisms as a  ’concern of the far right’.  In the UK whilst yoga rarely has to fight such prejudice on religious grounds it is still viewed by some with scepticism. This is despite recommendations from many health organisations including the NHS.

YogaBugs has a crucial role to play going forward. Whilst it uses traditional yoga  postures it inspires children to be physically active and use their imagination. Yoga has simply become a medium of play with many benefits, hidden from the children because they are having great fun. It is learning by stealth. Anyone who ever watches or participates in a YogaBugs class instantly changes their preconceptions and marvels at how the classes work. The children really enjoy them and over time when they attend regularly parents see measurable benefits to their children’s life skills.

The only way for yoga to overcome the negative preconceptions is for companies like YogaBugs to drive the message forward. As a business opportunity YogaBugs has everything you could need to be a success. With 10 years franchising experience YogaBugs are the leading children’s activity franchisor. Whilst YogaBugs have franchisees making a difference across the country we are always looking for the right people to spread the message. If you would like to find out more about the YogaBugs franchise opportunity click here www.yogafranchises.co.uk

Many of our franchise owners are not yoga teachers themselves but were attracted by the nature of the business. YogaBugs has such a distinct offering that there is nothing else quite like it. It inspires children to be both physically and emotionally active. It ticks all the boxes and encourages children to think for themselves, which means ultimately they will one day be able to form their own beliefs. This can only be a good thing.

 

The One Bug You Shouldn’t Get: A YogaBugs Guide To Winter Health (Part 2)

Stress is the immune system’s worst enemy. Whether you’re dealing with a brief bout of craziness like Christmas shopping, or other stressors, your body’s ability to fight germs is compromised by physical and mental tension. This is where meditation can help. Research shows that even 10 minutes of daily meditation reduces the physical symptoms of stress. One study found that people who attended an eight-week mindfulness meditation class (a three-hour class once a week, plus daily meditation for an hour) ended up with stronger immune systems than those people who didn’t. Researchers believe that the meditation-induced relaxation boosted the group’s immunity. Over time, high levels of stress hormones dampen the immune system. By practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction, you will counter-act the effects of stress and your immune system will benefit.

2. Explore Ayurveda

When stocking your natural-medicine kit this season, don’t forget the Ayurvedic herbs, ashwagandha and turmeric. Both are clinically proven to bolster flagging immunity. Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) is a powerful immune-system builder, supporting the nervous system and giving the body the ability to cope with stress. Taking ashwagandha helps to guard against colds and flu. Turmeric is beneficial for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. When cooking with turmeric, you can add a pinch of black pepper to increase its potency, but you need to take supplements to get a truly medicinal dose. If you feel a cold coming on,  you can take a dose every two hours to stop the cold taking hold.

3. Have Fun

Plan a fun night with friends as it may keep you healthy. Earlier this year researchers at Loma Linda University in California discovered that looking forward to an event boosts immunity. They compared the stress levels of two sets of students—one group was anticipating a positive experience; the other group was feeling neutral. Those in the first group had lower levels of stress hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline), which are known to weaken the immune system over time. In 2001 the same researchers discovered that laughter increases immunity.

4. Pick a Natural Kick

Energy wanes in the winter when sunlight is scarce. Jump-starting your engine every day with a triple espresso may undermine your immune system. Caffeine stresses the adrenals, the glands that sit above the kidneys and support the body’s immunity and energy. Instead of lattes, try brewing a cup of nettle tea the next time an afternoon coffee craving strikes. It’s a gentle energizer for those mid-afternoon lows.

Meditation improves the immune system, reduces blood pressure and even sharpens the mind

New research suggests that mindfulness meditation – an essential part of Buddhist and Indian Yoga traditions – is an effective way of helping people to overcome stress and improve their quality of life.  This research indicates that this practice has health and performance benefits, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function.  The research, published in the latest issue of the Journal of the Association of Psychological Science, draws on existing scientific literature to attempt to explain the positive effects.

Effective mindfulness meditation requires training and practice. It has distinct measurable effects on our subjective experiences, our behaviour, and our brain function. For example a study has found that people who meditate in the long-term have significantly larger hippocampi – the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. This study also found those who had meditated also had increased grey matter!

Stress is a major factor in heart disease; meditation experts say the technique can help control it. One study discovered that patients with heart disease who practised Transcendental Meditation cut their chances of a heart attack, stroke and death by half, compared with non-meditating patients.

You can read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8862275/Meditation-improves-the-immune-system-research-shows.html.