Yoga For Kids
Many children today are distracted and overstimulated. Their days are filled with school, homework and extracurricular activities — it’s no surprise that busy schedules can have such a negative impact on their physical and mental health. As parents look for helpful ways to nurture their child’s physical and emotional well-being, regular yoga practice can be an invaluable skill that kids can use through adolescence and later in life.
Practicing yoga is important for kids for many of the same reasons it is important for adults. Yoga can be a great way for kids to relax, manage stress and improve their self-esteem. Here are some reasons to consider introducing yoga into your child’s life, and how to incorporate the practice into your family time.
Yoga Improves Physical Health
Yoga improves physical health as kids learn to stretch and strengthen their muscles in different ways. Whether a child is in a standing, sitting or lying down pose, practicing yoga challenges the muscles in the body, allowing kids them to become physically stronger.
Practicing yoga is also a great compliment to any sport, since it can help improve your child’s flexibility, coordination and balance. As a result, kids who practice yoga regularly are less likely to experience sports-related injuries.
Yoga Encourages Concentration and Focus
Yoga requires focus and attention. When children practice yoga poses, they learn how to pay attention to their breath and their bodies throughout every movement. While many school-aged children today are becoming increasingly restless and distracted, yoga can help increase attention span, improve performance in school and enhance emotional regulation. In fact, studies show that children with ADHD notice a boost in attentiveness and performance following regular yoga sessions.
Yoga Helps Manage Stress
Endorphins released during yoga can relieve stress, boost your mood and make you feel good.
Breathing is an important part of yoga practice. It is deep and intentional, and done properly, it can help relax the body and mind. As children learn to focus their breath in yoga, they are also building healthy, practical skills that they can use later in life to release stress and anxiety.
Yoga Increases Confidence
Practicing yoga teaches kids to be patient, persevere and work toward their goals. Over time, children who practice yoga on a regular basis will notice an improvement in their posture, strength, flexibility and balance. This sense of accomplishment can lead to greater self-confidence as kids master new poses and build strength in their bodies.
Practicing Yoga as a Family
As families look for enjoyable and beneficial ways to spend time together, yoga is an excellent way to bond and foster an overall healthier lifestyle in the home. As with everything, it takes time to start something new with kids, and flexibility is key.
For starters, incorporate yoga into your already existing routine. Pick a time of day when your family is typically already coming together. For example, right before bed may be an ideal time for younger kids to try some calming poses as a way to relax and unwind.
Keep the yoga session simple, including as many kid-friendly yoga poses as possible. Great poses for kids include mountain pose, child’s pose, cobra pose, tree pose, warrior pose, cat/cow and seated forward fold.
Finally, be patient and keep yoga with children light-hearted and fun. Practicing yoga poses with kids may involve creative play, physical interaction and laughter. Let go of any expectations, keep the yoga practice positive and embrace the meaningful time together with your children.
Please see the accompanying resource to learn more about how to incorporate yoga into your kid’s routine.
Author bio: Kids Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations to better the lives of children. The organization partners with a number of well-known nonprofits serving children and teens who are confronted with physical, mental and emotional challenges to provide the care they need.
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