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BULLYING – Can Yoga Help Children?

Bullying has been around for centuries, in some or other form, but it would appear to be an increasing problem. It is not something we can glibly explain away or resolve overnight. We cannot always remove our child from the environment or situation and as parents, we can feel extremely helpless. Bullying is painful for the victims and self defeating for the bully with the parents of both suffering along with their children.

With this in mind, the power of yoga and the accompanying techniques and exercises has been proven to be an invaluable aid to bullies and their victims.

Relaxation strategies and anger management techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, positive self talk and visualisations have been shown to be extremely effective treatment components for reducing stress and tension in children and young people.

It is used to help bring peace and calm to children as well as provide anger management techniques tools for future outbreaks. Kids yoga can also help promote empathetic skills and a positive expression of feelings. It helps children feel their own power and helps give them the power to improve their behaviour. These strategies aim to develop peace and calm as children are introduced to relaxation exercises and techniques.

Helping a child who continues to bully, deal with their emotions, anger and aggression is vital. Encouraging children to develop empathy skills is also important as is it helps a child recognize that they are a good person, deep down inside. Relaxation can play an important part in this process as children spend time thinking about their behaviour and connecting with their goodness and strengths.

We as adults must say NO to bullying and lead by example in both not being bullies ourselves and not allowing bullies to intimidate us. Your child will follow your lead, either way.

Try reading the following relaxation exercise aloud to your child…

Close your eyes and become as still as possible. Become aware of your breathing.

Feel the softness of your breath going in and coming out again.

Spend a few moments watching your breathing. Listen to the sound of your breathing.

With each breath, feel yourself becoming more and more relaxed.

Breathe in, breathe out breathe in breathe out. Feel yourself becoming peaceful and relaxed.

Imagine there is a light going up from the base of your spine to the top of your head.

As you become aware of this light, you feel yourself growing taller and taller.

As you feel yourself growing taller, you start to feel more confident and self assured.

You feel strong and brave. Repeat to yourself, I am strong and brave and in control.

I am strong and brave and in control. I am strong and brave and in control.

Imagine that you are wearing an invisible cloak. This cloak is surrounding you and protecting you from any harm. If ever anyone says something unkind, then any negative or hurtful word just bounces off the cloak.

Imagine for a moment, some unkind bullies saying some nasty words . Watch and feel as the words bounce off the cloak. Spend a moment watching as the words just bounce off the cloak.

Notice how strong you feel as you are left unhurt and unharmed by their nastiness.

You might even like to imagine there is a glass wall between you and the bullies and they can not touch you.

Imagine you feeling so confident that you can stand up for yourself and say NO to the bullies. Imagine the feeling you get when you show that you are not hurt by their taunts and their words.

Imagine how great you feel when you know that you are in control.

Spend a few moments seeing yourself standing tall, surrounded in a cloak

and saying NO to the bullies.

Repeat to yourself in your mind.
“I am strong, I am brave and I am in control.

I am strong, I am brave and I am in control.

I am strong I am brave and I am in control.”