Riverland Professionals Series – Jade Malinovski

I am asked on a daily basis for referrals to other professionals in the area. Here is the next in a series of blog posts dedicated to professionals around the Riverland, whose skills and qualifications complement services received at Santosha.

Jade Malinovski is the amazing soul behind Balanced Kids Yoga. She beautifully combines her kindergarten teaching experience with yoga, allowing children to learn mindfulness, self-love, gratitude and much more. She provides a space for peace and quiet, openness and acceptance, which are much needed for children in this crazy and busy world.

What is your profession? What areas do you have qualifications and training in? 

I am a yoga teacher! I am currently teaching yoga classes to children of all ages (3- teenagers) through weekly classes in Renmark and Loxton. I also visit schools and kindergartens all around the Riverland to teach yoga within their settings.

I have a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and was a kindergarten teacher before having my own children. I am certified to teach yoga through various childrens and family teacher trainings, have completed my level one yoga teacher training and most recently, restorative yoga teacher training.

What does your job involve on a daily basis?

Every day is completely different for me depending on what schools and classrooms I am teaching at on that particular day. My ‘job’ is generally to provide children with a safe, nurturing, playful space. A space to explore yoga, themselves and their own inner world. I love to inspire and motivate these kids and do that through the wonderful world of yoga.

How did you become interested in yoga?

I have always loved teaching and found that by combining my two passions; teaching children and my love for yoga – everything else just evolved.

What is your biggest life achievement?

Finding love. My husband, my girls, my family, my ‘work’. I love what I do, I feel this is truly my path.

What is one thing you can help clients with (that the general population may not realise)?

Yoga is so much more than just ‘poses’ or relaxation. It is a holistic wellness approach. Through yoga I have been able to teach and explore so many facets of life with children. It enables us to look within, and help kids with things like self discovery, confidence, self love and acceptance. We explore mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques. It really is a life journey! Of course it has physical benefits as well, but yoga is a beautiful tool in which kids can wholeheartedly be themselves and learn tools for a healthy and happy life.

Where are you located?

I teach weekly classes at Rachel McLeods Dance Studio, Renmark and the CWA Hall, Loxton. I also travel to schools all over the Riverland.

What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I love to seek stillness. Find the calm and the quiet. I feel life is very busy, very loud and at times very overwhelming. I like to slow down and read, have a bath, cook, sit on the grass with my children and just be at home as a family.

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Importance of Movement in Kids

In 1999 a teacher named Phil Lawler in Naperville, Illinois read an article that stated the health of US children was declining due to inactivity. Looking inside the school gym he saw a lot of kids that were in fact inactive. He decided to shift the focus of the ph

ysical Education class to cardiovascular fitness. Once a week students had to run a mile. Assessments were based on effort and reaching personal bests rather than skill. Non-athletes were allowed to train on bikes. He also brought in heart rate monitors to ensure the students were pushing themselves. “Your goal is to run your fastest mile…your average heart rate should be above 185.”

While this improved their performance within the school (lessons were re-shuffled to ensure those that required the most concentration were at the beginning of the day), since 1999 it has also made a huge impact on their results internationally. Academically this school performs way above any others in the area. In 1999 the 8th graders scored 1st in the world in science and 6th in the world in Maths. US schools as a whole ranked 18th in science and 19th in maths, with some areas scoring last in the world.

 

How does exercise improve learning and brain function?

Exercise encourages our brain to work at its optimum level, it causes nerve cells to multiply, connections between nerves are strengthened and they are also protected from damage. We get more oxygen and blood flow to the brain and a release of endorphins which are happy hormones that reduce stress and improve our mood.

In children, exercise has been shown to reduce restlessness and hyperactivity, decrease symptoms of ADHD, improve moods and immunity, and it also improves sleep which further enhances all the other benefits listed. It has also been shown to increase energy levels. Imagine if your child began the day with more energy, a better mood and was more settled. Imagine how much better their ability to learning would be.

Movement particularly from birth to 3.5 years is essential for laying down appropriate pathways for learning and development. It is how the brain learns to relate to the world around it. Movement develops optimal posture, eye movement and control through balance and co-ordination, better reading and better fine motor control which is crucial for handwriting.

 

How to get kids moving

  • Walking or riding a bike to school. Even if you live too far away to walk/ride the whole way, park a little distance from school and walk/ride the remainder
  • If there is time to watch TV in the morning, there is time to send the kids outside in the backyard. Bike riding, jumping on the trampoline, running around, kicking the footy, whatever it may be
  • Get to school early and play on the playground before going into class
  • Give them goals
    • “See how long it will take you to run around the backyard” and time them while you’re getting yourself ready. Then do it a second time and see if they can beat their time
    • “Go outside and see if you can get 10 goals” or “See how many goals you can get in a row” (Basketball, soccer, football)
  • Organise friends to walk/ride with before or to school
  • Ask them what activities they like and incorporate these into the daily or weekly routine
  • Get the family up 20 minutes earlier to ensure there is a little more time before school

While exercise in the morning is the best time for learning, any time is better than not at all. Even after school limiting screen time is so important for many reasons besides getting the body moving more.

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