Team Up for CAW TotsYoga Centre Logo Cropped

The DAI added a new programme to the Children’s Art Workshop (CAW) schedule this season: CAW Tots. CAW Tots are potty-trained 3.5 – 5 year olds, with an interest in learning about art. The programme is divided into two six-week units, one now and one in the spring. The first unit looks at elements of art, like lines, colour and shapes, to help the kids become “Art Smart.” The second unit will focus on the importance of imagination in creating and looking at art.

But art isn’t the only thing these two units have in common.  Thanks to our new partnership with The Yoga Center Kuwait, the children participating in CAW Tots will also be introduced to simple yoga exercises. In fact, the first few minutes of every CAW Tots session will be devoted to learning and practicing age-appropriate yoga movements.

Yoga encourages body awareness and self-esteem in young people, especially when they start practicing at a very young age. The CAW Tots will “derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it will enhance their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation can improve.”

“We are launching the CAW Tots programme to introduce 3.5 – 5 year olds to creativity and the joy of using their imaginations,” said NCCAL Assistant Undersecretary Abdul Kareem al-Ghadban. “We believe, and educators agree, that these are important skills for success in the 21st century. The support of The Yoga Centre Kuwait, in creating and introducing a tailored yoga sequence to the kids participating, adds an additional layer of learning – not just the information disseminated during the programme, but important on-going skills like concentration, focus, relaxation and coordination. These skills will also be critical to success in school and in life, which is what we all want for our children.”

The Yoga Centre Kuwait was created to bring awareness of, and opportunities to experience, the powerful tool that is yoga. Yoga, when incorporated into an individual’s lifestyle, creates balance: physically, mentally and spiritually. The Yoga Centre is special because it provides the perfect environment to achieve this.

“Yoga with children is different and so is the teaching,” noted Senna Al-Naqueeb, founder. “Children are happy to pose like animals. They like “being” a dog, especially if you let them bark. Hissing like a snake comes naturally in the cobra pose. They can even imagine what it would be like to be a big old tree, with roots that are very deep growing from their feet. They have fun practicing techniques that will help them as they mature and they may not even realise what they’re learning.”

Yoga and Children:

As part of the CAW Tots programme, the DAI will be partnering with The Yoga Center Kuwait to introduce children to yoga. According to an article in the Yoga Journal, the following are just some of the recognized benefits of yoga for children:

Body:

  • Assists neuromuscular-development
  • Promotes development of the vestibular systemYoga Kids.002
  • Encourages midline crossing motions; motor development on both sides of the body
  • Develops a strong and flexible body
  • Increases balance, body awareness and coordination
  • Improves posture and alignment
  • Develops core strength, essential for good posture and correct physical alignment
  • Reduces injuries and improves performance
  • Improves digestion, circulation and elimination
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep

Mind:

  • Calms and clears the mind, bringing us into the present moment
  • Relieves tension and stress
  • Increases concentration, focus and attention span
  • Promotes thinking and memory
  • Stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness
  • Expands imagination and creativity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves ability to be less reactive; more mindful of thoughts, words and actions
  • Balances energy (high or low)

Spirit:

  • Builds confidence and self-esteem
  • Supports character development and emotional intelligence
  • Enhances team skills and social interaction
  • Develops discipline and self-control
  • Supports individuality and self-expression
  • Encourages social and environmental awareness and responsibility
  • Supports a sense of universal connectedness
  • Inspires respect for self and others

Overall:

  • Improves mind/body connection
  • Encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle
  • Promotes an overall sense of well-being

Yoga helps children see the beauty and light within themselves, thereby boosting their self-confidence, allowing them to feel more comfortable with their bodies, and helping them get in touch with who they are inside. A child who learns yoga, mindfulness and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness in mind, body and spirit.