Parents in our early childhood yoga classes have probably noticed that we sing a lot in class . . . a lot.
Some parents (and newer kids yoga teachers, even) are hesitant to sing because we are concerned we won’t sound wonderful. Our modern culture has relegated music to the professionals. This is bad.
Spiritual traditions around the world have included music and chanting from pretty much the beginning of time. Music and singing taps into
- our parasympathetic nervous systems – it calms us down,
- the empathy networks in our brain – we bond with each other through music,
- the language centers of our brain – it’s easier to find words when singing,
- and in young children, the motor cortex – which helps them learn to speak in the first place!
Research is showing more and more benefits from music and singing. One neat thing researchers have discovered is that you don’t even have to actually sing to reap the benefits of music. Just thinking about singing triggers the same parts of the brain that are active when you participate in music and song . . . so your shy toddler who doesn’t actually sing during class is getting all the same benefits of the one who’s belting out the lyrics.
Everyone needs music and the good news is that we all carry potential musical instruments around with them us of the time. Professor Sarah Wilson from the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne explains:
Further reading and resources: