Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Practising yoga is a fantastic way for anyone to find balance emotionally, mentally and physically. Just imagine how beneficial it can be in the life of your kids. Practising yoga can be particularly helpful for kids who have lots of extra energy or intense emotional fluctuations. This year my little one started going for yoga classes that run in my building and it was wonderful to see that he learnt the five principles of yoga at a tender age of five. Even if he may be still grasping the difficult Sanskrit words like Ahimsa( non-violence), Asteya(non-stealing), Satya(honesty), Brahmacharya (moderating the senses) and Aparigraha(non-possessiveness), the fact of the matter is that he knows that at this age and that has laid the foundation for him. Have you ever wondered how as a kid you could do certain poses like Padmasanaana and could do cartwheels and splits without stress? Yogis believe our body was designed for yoga and over the years we hold emotions, fears and anxiety which transforms into us not being able to do these poses with ease.
So imagine if your child starts from a young age and continues practising yoga through life he or she could learn to combat all the stress wth ease, in fact, may not even give into stress. Consider these 5 ways that practising yoga can be beneficial to your child.
Yoga helps children connect to themselves and the outside world. This might sound simple, but in our over-stimulated world full of schedules and screen time, learning how to be more mindful is even more important. Being present in the moment helps children become better learners, builds an awareness of feelings and can improve social skills. How many times has a friend told you something important, and you realised you were thinking of something else? This happens to children, as well, and yoga can help!
Yoga helps children learn to breathe. Breathing is the easiest way that we can communicate with our nervous system. If we’re feeling tired, our breath can work to energise us, and if we’re feeling tense, our breath can help calm us down. Helping children build an awareness of their breath is an invaluable tool. Has anyone dealt with a wound up child before bedtime? Try a calming breath exercise!
Yoga helps children connect to their body. Not only is yoga helpful in providing children with physical activity, but more specific movements within yoga practice can improve attention, self-esteem, anxiety and depression. How often are children able to participate in the non-competitive physical activity? So much of our world today is outcome driven- did you win or lose? Did you pass or fail? Yoga provides a unique opportunity for kids to enjoy the process, not the product.
Yoga helps children focus. Much like improving our ability to connect, learning to become more aware of our wandering mind has an incredible impact on children. How many of us notice our thoughts at night before bed? Or maybe we’ve laid in resting pose and tried are hardest to keep our mind blank. That’s where we’re wrong- the goal is not to have no thoughts but to learn how to better control them. Focusing activities within yoga help children learn beneficial skills that will improve their ability to manage their thoughts and feelings.
Yoga helps teach children how to relax. It would be nice if this were something that did not have to be taught, but I think many of us have forgotten how to just be. Sometimes we need some of the other elements to help us achieve the final reward of relaxation. When children learn to relax their mind and body, they learn the essential skill of taking a break. This is a tool they can use at school before an exam, on the soccer field or even at home. Being able to calm the mind and body is an essential tool for all of us, and here’s a clue—if we don’t know how to relax, our children may not either.
Yoga for kids is all about developing habits of body and mind working together to create a more balanced lifestyle and develop great study habits. When these habits are instilled early, they tend to grow as more evolved human beings. I have two tasks at hand now, to keep my younger one inspired and to get my elder one to start imbibing yoga and you?