Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meditate on this: Brain Gyms

My mom linked me to an article this morning on MSN about a yoga controversy in public schools. Supporters say the "yogic panting" and "meditation" helps to calm students with attention-deficit disorders, and may even help to reduce another fast-approaching problem in schools: childhood obesity. The controversy is that some parents say it violates the separation of church and state.

Not even going touch that one. Especially now, that I can do a headstand after two years studying yoga.

I'd like to offer another possible solution, though: "Brain Gyms."

Neurologist and Kinesiologist Carla Hannaford studies the practice in Hawaii, and in her book, "Why Learning is not all in Your Head," she provides compelling research on the impact of the Brain Gym philosophy, which promotes drinking water, bringing music into the classroom, and doing simple exercises that encourage the crossing of the corpus callosum. Sound familiar?

Try it. The kids in the picture above are doing the "Cross Crawl."
"This exercise helps coordinate the right and left brain by exercising the information flow between the two hemispheres. It is useful for spelling, writing, listening, reading and comprehension.
  • Stand or sit. (Standing's more fun).
  • Put the right hand across the body to the left knee as you raise it, and then do the same thing for the left hand on the right knee just as if you were marching.
  • Do this either sitting or standing for about 2 minutes.
  • When you're done, give it a second, and see if you don't notice a difference in your ability to think a little more on the alert.

1 comment:

Aimee Carter said...

Have you seen the videos on www.youtube.com Brain Gym set to music? Just search Dan the Music Man and the criss cross exercise you mentioned. They would make a great child's exercise video.