Children and Yoga
The Benefits of Introducing Yoga at an Early Age
If you’ve enjoyed yoga as an adult, and even if you haven’t, it can be a good idea for many reasons to introduce young children to yoga. There are so many ways that yoga can improve the lives of children that more kids should be engaging in the practice regularly. Yoga is a practice that helps you seek inner harmony, and that idea isn’t just for adults. More and more schools are now having children do yoga as a part of their physical education classes as well as in after-school programs. Kids from infants through teenagers can get a lot of benefits from it.
The mind, body, and spirit being integrated together is at the core of yoga. This pursuit can be calming as well as helping children with body awareness and stretching. It also helps them to build more of a mind-body connection. If you think about the many benefits that adults get from it, you can see how children will also benefit from learning the poses and getting more in touch with their bodies.
Doing yoga with children is especially convenient because there’s no equipment that you need, and it can be done virtually anywhere. People like to have a mat or yoga block, but they aren’t really necessary for engaging in yoga. It’s also a great activity for kids because you can do it at home for free. You might get lessons outside the house, but you can engage in yoga with your child anytime at home for no money and with no special outfits or equipment.
Breathing and Stress-Relief
Kids at every age experience stress, and this can be harder to deal with for kids because they haven’t learned a lot of coping techniques as adults have. When you introduce yoga to young kids, it gives them several ways to manage their stress through physical activity. Kids have all of the physical, social, and emotional conflicts that adults do, and often more. When they can perform yoga, they have a great introduction to breathing techniques that can help with that stress. The attention paid to breathing can help them to center themselves and to be better able to concentrate.
Learning the poses also helps them do a physical activity which can also help with stress. It can help them with goal setting and perseverance by getting them to try to do the poses that are a little harder. Kids who have a lot of frustration in their daily lives can learn to better handle it as they see that their efforts allow them to make progress. As they are able to do more poses, they can make more goals and keep making progress. It also gives them a high degree of self-discovery.
Self-Esteem and Yoga
Many kids struggle with their self-esteem just like adults do. They often need activities that can help them to build that self-esteem and to have more self-respect as well. Yoga is something that kids can practice without having to worry about losing or being wrong. Too many kids don’t get much exercise because they don’t want to be compared to other kids, to lose a game, or to be chosen last or let down a team. These aspects of many children’s activities can really have an effect on self-esteem. Yoga is a great antidote to all of these problems in kids’ sports and activities.
For kids who are already athletic and good at sports, yoga adds to the number of physical skills they have. It also teaches them the importance of good stretches and puts them in better tune with their bodies. It can also be just as stress-relieving and esteem-building for these kids as with kids who don’t excel at sports. Yoga gives kids a better sense of self and more confidence in their bodies. As it lengthens and strengthens the muscles, it can allow them to be more confident in their strength and abilities.
Flexibility and Coordination
Practicing yoga is well-known for its ability to make people more flexible, and it can do this for kids. Kids are still learning how to be coordinated and are building their strength, and yoga helps them do both of these things better. With standing, lying down, and sitting poses, kids can engage muscles that they normally wouldn’t in order to be better conditioned. They also learn how far they can stretch and learn how to keep from injuring themselves through better, more controlled movement.
Every kid wants to be stronger and more coordinated. These are factors that can mean a lot to a child, and yoga can help with both. When they have a high degree of flexibility, they learn more about how their body works and how it can move. It’s a discovery process as well as a physical activity.
Concentration and Focus
One of the biggest challenges that kids face is learning how to focus better and concentrate on what they’re doing. These basic skills take some kids longer than others, and they can make a big difference in how successful they are at school. When they practice various poses, they learn how to clear their minds of other thoughts and focus on the task they’re doing.
It can take a lot of focus to balance themselves and to get into certain poses, and this builds the much-needed skill of focusing. Studies have shown that yoga can give kids the concentration and focus they need at school to make better grades. This in turn helps their self-esteem in another way. It also gives them a good start to their school career.
When kids engage in yoga, they get all of these benefits and get to have fun at the same time. So many poses are fun to get into, and kids will love to show off the poses they’ve achieved. It’s a type of exercise that can truly teach that physical activity can be fun, and this habit can stay with them into adulthood.