09 Sep This Is Why Your Kids Need Yoga In Their Life
These were the days, playing all day outside, riding bikes, running around barefoot, careless and free. How good was it as a kid? So, why do kids need yoga, you wonder? It’s not all fun and games, once we dig deep into our childhood days.
Fast forward to the pressure of school, participating in all different sports and over-stimulation of social media, mobile phones or TV. It can be stressful as a kid. We, adults, can always retreat to our yoga mat and practice for some calm and reset. Just imagine how yoga can enrich and awaken your child already early on? We list some of the enormous benefits of yoga for kids.
Benefits of yoga for kids.
Yoga can help counter the pressures of school, and over stimulus, kids are unfortunately facing early on already. Through yoga, kids learn techniques for relaxation, and inner fulfilment, they can also navigate life’s challenges with a little bit more ease. Yoga encourages self-esteem and body awareness. Children that have healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, breathe better and have a sense of quiet strength. Plus, yoga is a non-competitive physical activity, which is a great gift to give our kids living in such a competitive world.
Physically, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Besides, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improve. Through different breathing exercises, kids will feel how their bodies feel. They will learn and understand how they can tune into their breath when they are stressed and need to calm down. Their focus increases as does their lung and breathing capacity.
Balancing poses, like tree pose, will develop inner strength, promote stillness and quiet their busy mind. These poses will support kids to find stillness in a world of already constant overstimulation and chaos. Kids will discover that balancing poses will increase their focus and attention.
Doing yoga, kids play, connect and move more deeply with the inner self and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvellous inner light that all children have to the surface.
Kids roar like lions.
You might have guessed it, kids yoga classes are a bit different than yoga classes for grown-ups. Kids are always active, either playing, running around or exploring; hence, they would most likely get bored in a grown-up yoga class. They can be as captured by yoga as much as we are. Maybe even more. Yoga to them needs to be fun, challenging and winning their playful attitude towards everything. What can kids expect from a yoga class tailored to them?
Most kids love to talk, sing, imagine and create their own stories, and they love to move — everything of which happens in yoga as well. Thousands of years ago, the yogis developing the asana poses, lived close to the natural world and used animals and plants for inspiration of the poses. Kids will embrace the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, warriors in their yoga class. Who wouldn’t!
When kids imitate the movements and sounds of nature, they will be that animal with all its features. Who didn’t pretended to be a tiger or a lion, when you played as a kid? How much fun was that! In yoga, kids can bark in Downwardfacing Dog, hiss like a cobra or roar like a lion. When kids come into lion pose, for example, they experience not only the power and behaviour of that fierce lion but also their sense of power. They will learn when to be aggressive and when to retreat. The physical movements introduce kids to yoga’s true meaning: union, expression, and honour for oneself and one’s part in the delicate web of life.
Giving children the gift of yoga supports them tremendously in growing up to be confident, connected to themselves and every being and loving young adults. Kids yoga classes are not only an enjoyable and wild practice; most importantly, they are very creative and one of a kind. Have a look at our events page for any upcoming kid’s yoga classes in a studio near you.
In need of a playful introduction to yoga for your children? Have a look at these two beautifully illustrated children’s books, Susan Verde‘s I Am Yoga and Zoo Zen – A Yoga Story for Kids by Kisten Fischer.
Let’s bring the magic of yoga into our children’s lives!
Written by Marsha Wenig for Yoga Journal