Yoga for Kids

March 13, 2016

Yoga for Kids

Adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from practicing yoga, kids do too. Introducing your children to yoga early in their development will help them acquire healthy lifestyle habits and learn about controlling their body and mind.

Practicing yoga postures or exercises makes the body stronger and more flexible. It helps to control breathing and bring energy into the body. Yoga stimulates attention and focus by teaching you how to be still and quiet your mind. But most importantly, it shows you how to achieve maximum effectiveness with your energy and how to maintain the balance between different things in life. Teaching yoga to children will help them in their future development. When they reach the age where it is time to go to school, the balance and focus acquired from practicing yoga, will serve them well.

In today’s world, it is not as easy to be a kid as it used be. Children have many duties and even more distractions. School, homework, sports, competitions, TV, video games, social networks, and busy parents are only some of the pressures children face. Yoga helps counter these pressures through teaching them balance and relaxation. Unlike competitive sports, which only add to many of the child’s pressures, yoga fosters cooperation, and not competition. 

Yoga lets children approach exercises and postures without the fear of being wrong. The exercises challenge different muscle groups, enhance coordination and balance, develop focus and concentration, boost confidence, give a sense of exploration and adventure, improve the feelings of connection and integration, and strengthen the connection between the body and the mind. Kids who practice yoga notice their increased ability to concentrate on their lessons and homework during the day, pay attention to lectures, and focus on their tasks.  

Children can start practicing yoga at any age, but it is especially beneficial for the kids with special needs. Some studies have shown the positive influence of yoga on the behavior of children with autism and ADHD. After they start practicing yoga, kids become less aggressive and hyperactive. They also become more sociable. Researchers say that yoga helps children to overcome stress, social anxiety and weak self-regulation, while showing them their strongest aspects.         

Yoga for kids has become a popular practice. There are many schools where families with young kids can practice yoga after school or on the weekends. However, parents can easily practice yoga with their kids at home, selecting easier postures and exercises. It will be a bit of a challenge, as parents need to keep the children’s attention while teaching them the basics of balance, flexibility, focus, stillness, peace and health.

However, practicing yoga together strengthens the bond between children and their parents. For kids who like moving around and talking, parents can turn yoga into a play. They can let them take the roles of animals, trees or warriors and make sounds when they approach respective postures. They can stretch and hiss in a snake posture or bark in dog postures. This way they will practice yoga, play and explore the possibilities of their bodies and minds simultaneously.

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