Brain Gym is an organization that promotes a series of exercises that can improve academic performance. The 26 Brain Gym activities help to improve eye teaming, spatial and listening skills, hand-eye coordination, and whole-body flexibility. Many have said that by doing these exercises we are able to manipulate the brain which in turn improves learning and recall of information. Several books have been written describing research, case studies and its affects on learning. Brain Gym activities have been incorporated into many educational, sports, business, and seniors programs throughout the world.
Here are some of the Brain Gym exercises we use at HILS.
1) Cross Crawl
Benefits: Helps with spelling, writing, listening, reading and comprehension.
Instructions: Stand in an upright position. Place your right elbow across the body to the left knee as you raise it, and then do the same for the left elbow on the right knee. Do this for two to three minutes.
2) Lazy 8s
Benefits: Improves visual attention and eye mobility needed for reading.
Instructions: Align the body with a point at eye level. This will be the midpoint of the 8. Start and the midpoint and move counter-clockwise up, over, around and back to the midpoint. As the eyes follow the Lazy 8, the head moves slightly and the neck remains relaxed. Do three repetitions with each hand separately and then both hands together.
3) Hook Ups
Benefits: Helps to lessen anxiety and improves mood.
Instructions: Cross the right leg over the left ankle. Take your right wrist and cross it over the left wrist and link up the fingers so that the right wrist is on top. Bend the elbows out and gently turn the fingers in towards the body until they rest on the sternum in the center of the chest. Stay in this position. Keep the ankles crossed and the wrists crossed and then breathe in this position for a few minutes. You should feel calmer after this.
4) The Elephant
Benefits: Activates all areas of the mind-body system.
Instructions: Place the left ear on the left shoulder then extending the left arm like the trunk of an elephant with knees relaxed, draw the infinity sign in front of you. Switch arms after three to five complete signs.
5) Energy Yawn
Benefits: Helps to relieve stress.
Instructions: Massage the muscles around the temporal-mandibular joint of the jaw.
6) Positive Points
Benefits: Helps to relieve stress and improve memory.
Instructions: Lightly touch the point above each eye halfway between the hairline and the eyebrow with fingertips of each hand. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for a few seconds. Release and repeat 3 times.
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