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. (Illustration adapted from The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, written by Teresa Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.)
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.