Around three in four British people feel overwhelmed by stress, and encounter a host of symptoms including impaired sleep quality, a racing heart rate, low energy, aching, and insomnia. Sources of stress for adults include the state of the nation, money, work, the political climate, and violence, but statistics show that children, too, are succumbing to pressure. According to a survey carried out by the charity Barnardo’s, two thirds of children in the UK are stressed out about life at secondary school, while a third worry about social media. It is important for families to learn to deal with stress in powerful yet natural ways. In this post, we provide just a few reasons why a yoga retreat is ideal for parents and kids alike.
Yoga Getaways Take Families to the Heart of Nature
A survey carried out by Edelman Berland on over 12,000 parents of kids aged five to 12 found that one third of kids in the UK spend less than 30 minutes outside each day. As a result, child obesity has reached unprecedented levels. Moreover, children are losing the natural bond their ancestors built with nature, thus giving them less reason than ever to fight for the future of their Planet. Yoga holidays take place in natural settings, which keep kids active and ensure they are engaged with the environment. Moreover, studies have shown that time spent in nature has a powerful effect on stress, dramatically lowering levels of stress hormone, cortisol. In the same way that camping opens kids’ eyes to nature’s beauty, it also helps instil the perfect sense of calm required to begin the intricate yet beautiful practise of yoga.
Yoga Teaches Parents and Kids Mindfulness
Yoga is one of a small group of mindfulness-based activities which includes Tai Chi and meditation. What all three activities have incommon is the emphasis on mind-body control through the practise of pranayamic (or controlled breathing). Not only does mindfulness promote a state of calm and vitality all at once, but it also has positive effects on the brain. One study carried out by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that taking part in an eight-week mindfulness meditation programme appears to make measurable changes in areas of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
Exercise in the Great Outdoors should be backed by healthy meals, and most yoga holiday retreats for families lay major importance on nutrition. Some retreats offer exclusively plant-based foods. Others offer meat sources of protein but rely on organic produce and meat as a way to help the body rid itself of the toxins found in many conventionally grown and raised foods.
The next time you are planning a holiday, why not give big cities a miss and head straight into a green, lush oasis, where your entire family can learn techniques that can help them battle stress? Because long-term stress has serious effects on one’s physical and mental health, it is important to learn how to combat it from an early age. Through breathing, visualisation, and relaxation techniques, kids will learn powerful tools that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.