Cortisol, the chemical that is released when humans perceive a threat and “are under stress”, holds a valuable part in the body’s chemical makeup; stress can help people get things done. However, whether it is mental, physical, or emotional, too much stress can have big implications for wellbeing. Often times that stress is never actually released because humans are no longer running from prey or searching for their next meal. Because of this, stress compounds in the body.
Too much or chronic stress can make it more difficult to get along with others, interfere with concentration, create difficulty learning new things, make it hard to retain information, and cause difficulty with digestion.
Here are 5 reasons why Shavasana mitigates and eliminates stress in children and adolescents:
It cultivates stillness.
Children and adolescents are constantly on the go. They have sports practice, music lessons, play dates, and other extracurricular activities. This pose allows them the chance to be still for 10-15 minutes of their day. Stillness is valuable in repairing the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for signaling the body to rest and restore.
2. It gives children and adolescents a chance to feel their body in space and gain body awareness.
Children and adolescents are growing and developing humans and as a result they are not always aware of how their body moves in space. Body awareness is empowering and can give children the tools they need to build self-confidence.
Children and adolescents often experience swirling thoughts about homework, sports practice, tutors or expectations placed upon them. Sometimes there are more serious things happening as well, such as, a parental separation, death in the family, or friends who are suffering from depression or anxiety. Shavasana gives space for the mind to quiet and to soak in the benefits of the yoga practice. A quiet mind can help children and adolescents feel more capable of handling stress in the future, as well.
- It creates openness in the heart, which allows children to accept themselves and accept the present moment—as is.
This posture enhances the body’s innate ability to heal itself and it teaches children and adolescents that they have the ability to self-soothe. In Shavasana there is not a “should” or “could.” Self-acceptance is a powerful tool for dealing with emotions and stressful situations.
- There are no perceived or actual expectations in the pose
Shavasana gives children and adolescents the freedom to be wherever it is they are at. There is not an expectation for how the pose should be done or what it should look like. They are not looking around the room at other students or trying to make sure their foot is in the right position. The pose is allowing the body and mind to rejuvenate itself by giving it the freedom to do so.
Join a yoga class today and enjoy the benefits of Shavasana!
Written by Morgan Osborne, LGSW
Morgan is a new associate with our practice and is a yoga instructor, as well!