Between schoolwork, after-school activities and sports- it’s hard for today’s kids to catch a breath, let alone have the mental capacity to meditate!
Do kids really need Yoga in their lives? The answer is YES, and the reasons why they need it are many! There are so many positives of yoga for kids:
Why Kids Should Practice Yoga
Recent studies have proven that when kids practice yoga, their anxiety and stress is lessened exponentially- and it can even help improve their performance at school and in their personal lives. Who among us doesn’t want to give their kids a leg-up when it comes to their future?
It is also suggested that kids with ADHD can benefit from practicing yoga because of yoga’s calming nature.
In our hurry-up culture, it’s vital that our young people learn to slow the chaos around them, and learn how to tune into what really matters: their inner peace.
Yoga is a fantastic choice of exercise for kids of all ages because it has many benefits, and can be practiced from virtually anywhere.
If consistently practiced, kids can learn some valuable lessons, such as:
How to breathe deeply and intentionally.
This helps to not only calm and destress, but it also helps their brains to receive the oxygen they need for the development they’re constantly undergoing.
How to be more confident with their bodies.
They’ll learn how to sit and how to stand, how to move gracefully and how to control their balance. This comes in handy especially when kids hit puberty, and have the tendency to feel out of control and awkward in their own skin.
The value of integrating self-care into their daily rituals.
Yoga teaches kids to be respectful of their body’s as temples that should be treated with respect. If you’re exercising and stretching, it’s easier for kids to also have the desire to eat healthier and sleep more as well.
The value of their health and mental wellness.
Physically, yoga enhances children’s flexibility, strength, coordination, body awareness, and mental health.
How to improve their memory and attention span.
When kids practice yoga, they are practicing the ability to focus on one task. In their day-to-day lives, this translates to better focus and cognitive functioning at school, leading to improved academic achievement.
Yoga Poses for Kids
Find a clear space, lay out your yoga mats together, and try out some of these fun yoga poses for kids [ https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/healthcare-management/secret-positives-of-yoga-for-children ]:
While on your hands and knees, stretch your arms and bring your forehead to the floor. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. This is a very centering and grounding pose. This pose is also perfect when you or your child gets overstimulated, anxious or overwhelmed. It is important to remember the deep breaths. Child’s Pose is also a wonderful calming posture before bedtime.
DOWN DOG POSE
Begin on all fours in a table-top position. Spread your fingers and press your palms flat onto the ground. Straighten your legs, and make an upside-down V shape. Relax your head and neck and look between your legs.
This is one of my favorite yoga poses for kids because it builds strength within their entire body. Their arms, legs, shoulders, and stomach are all working. I like to tell children that they are getting taller as this pose lengthens their hamstrings. Kids love hearing this!
Stand up straight and tall. Look on the ground or find a spot that is not moving to focus on. It is very important to tell children to look at the ground as that will help them keep their balance.
Sometimes I will place a stuffed animal, sticker, or another object on the ground to help children find their focus.
Next, place your hands at heart center. Slowly bend your knee and place your foot on the inside of your other leg. Then you can raise your branches (arms) up in the air.
With strength benefits for your arms and a great stretch for the front of your body, you’d never expect the Bridge Pose to be so simple.
Start on the floor with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. With your hands beneath your shoulders, lift your body off the ground so all your weight is on your hands and feet.
There are tons of variations on the Bridge Pose for little ones, they can try their own pose, climb atop your bridge or pretend to be a boat floating beneath you.
Balance can be tricky for children (and even adults), but with practice it can be improved and maintained.
Have fun practicing these poses with your child!
Children who learn yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness.