Yoga For Kids: Can The Little Ones Practice Yoga?
Yoga, as a low-impact, slow, and meditative practice, may not be our first option when we're looking for an activity for our kids. When we think of children, sometimes we feel the need for more active forms of recreation and sports. But this shouldn't always be the case. It's normal to think of yoga as an adult's discipline, but the values taught in the practice are universal, which is why even kids can relate. If you've ever heard the phrase, 'start them young,' yoga is an excellent example.
The Benefits Of Teaching Yoga To Kids
Yoga is beneficial for children in many ways. Adults are not the only ones who need concentration or muscle endurance. Children live in the same world we do and are exposed to the same distractions and tension. They may have more energy for it, but they need to slow down once in a while. Here are some of the ways little ones can benefit from yoga:
Yoga boosts self-esteem, and confidence.
Yoga uses beginner, intermediate and advanced poses, making it a goal-sensitive endeavor. You may notice strains during the first week, but you will see fast developments as you go along. This sense of achievement is an excellent way to boost self-esteem and confidence in a child.
Yoga helps children focus.
Different asanas in yoga need to be done with a level of concentration. You have to move and breathe with intent, so you don't strain yourself. This kind of focus will eventually translate into other aspects of their lives, especially if they struggle with distraction.
Yoga manages anxiety in children.
We are not the only ones who suffer from anxiety. Kids go through a range of issues, and some are not good at verbalizing it. Yoga regulates and reduces anxiety through meditation and breathing exercises.
Yoga builds strength and flexibility in children.
Children are already very flexible, but there are not many situations that engage their flexibility in today's gadget-controlled world. Yoga poses enhance flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance, which helps them study and play with ease.
Yoga teaches discipline in children.
Because of yoga's goal-centered poses and intentional breathing exercises, children learn to achieve and focus, enhancing a sense of discipline. This trait spills over to school work, making them more open to challenges.
6 Tips To Start Yoga With Your Kids
Yoga can be a good form of bonding with your children, and now that you know they can benefit from the practice as much as you can, it's time to slowly introduce them to yoga.
Tip # 1 - Get them comfortable with the idea of yoga.
Allow kids to join you as you do your stretches and asanas, so they already know what yoga is. They can use your body as a playground as you get into a pose or run underneath you as you pause for a downward dog.
Tip # 2 - Enroll in a yoga class for kids.
If your time permits it, you can enroll in a yoga class for kids that offers better guidance and engagement.
Tip # 3 - Start with a simple mantra.
Mantras have a soothing effect on people, and children respond to this as well. You can bond with your children while they concentrate and relax over a simple mantra.
Tip # 4 - Tell them stories about the origins of yoga.
You can tell them the significance of yoga by using a story-telling method of the Ramayana. This epic is an epic full of interesting characters and exciting battle scenes that keep them captivated.
Tip # 5 - Turn asanas into games.
Introducing your children to yoga can be challenging now, especially since you're competing with the internet and gadgets. Since most asanas are patterned after animals and objects, you can make it into a game, so little ones know there is fun in the practice.
Tip # 6 - Practice breathing exercises with your children.
Take time to teach deep diaphragmatic breathing to your children after school so they can release stress before jumping onto the next activity for the day. You can also encourage them to take breaks in between homework so they can focus and relax.
We may not always see eye to eye with the little ones, but they encounter the same stressors we do in a fast-paced, information-overloaded world. Yoga allows them to unwind and equips them for more challenging days.
Want your kids to have fun while learning Yoga? Check out our friends from Yoyoga.ca and let your little ones experience Yoga even at home!