The Benefits of Yoga for Children
Yoga truly is a beautiful gift to the world that can be practiced across multiple age groups and demographics. Yoga for kids is an excellent way to engage them in a non-competitive and safe physical activity. The nourishing power of yoga provides a secure space for kids to learn important life skills that they can cultivate further into adolescence and adulthood. There are many benefits of yoga for kids that include:
Improves Sensory Integration
Yoga creates a relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system often stimulated by stress. Specifically, breathing exercises, chanting, mudra, and meditation all have a soothing and regulatory effect on the nervous system. Yoga also enables body spatial awareness providing children with excellent proprioceptive and vestibular input through partner poses, animal poses, and in twisting poses that compress the muscles.
Promotes Self Awareness and Improves Behavior
Frustration can be manifested in many ways either through tantrums, aggression, or the inability to express oneself. Yoga inherently aims to develop better awareness of the body, mind, and breath. It helps children to better understand their minds and behaviors. Through mindful techniques, practitioners are able to develop a greater sense of self and purpose in the world. When taught proper coping skills, children can learn to positively express their emotions and react appropriately to any situation thereby supporting positive and emotional wellbeing. This also impacts their attitudes and approaches to life as well as how they understand the attitudes of others. The awareness and coordination of the body, mind, and spirit helps children develop into more confident, kind, responsible adults.
Acceptance of the Self and Others
Yoga teaches acceptance and tolerance of others. Teaching about the interconnectedness of all things early in life helps to create a more positive outlook on life thereby enabling a more peaceful future.
Encourages Healthy Habits
An exercise program starting in childhood encouraging healthy choices has a long lasting effect into adulthood. It enables us to be more thoughtful about our behavior, nutrition, the ability to calm oneself, and focus the mind. In turn, we are able to make better decisions that align with our lifestyle goals.
Improves Focus and Concentration
We live in a world full of distractions, noise, and short attention spans. Yogic exercises can help children in improving their focus by learning to become more present in the moment. Moreover, growing research suggests that yoga helps clarify the mind from distracting thoughts, improves brain function, enhance task execution, and overall connection of thought.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John F. Kennedy
I think we can all agree that nothing makes a parent happier than seeing their children happy, expressive, and comfortable. Yoga is a beautiful tool to let that happen. Give your children the gift of yoga today!