Yoga for chilren carries all the benefits that it has for adults. But when children learn this discipline at an early age the benefits go so much deeper. The benefits to body, mind, emotions, and spirit are valuable for building character and and overall sense of wellbeing. Postures (Asanas), Breathing Techniques (Pranayama), Meditation, Relaxation, as well as yogic philosophy (Yamas and Niyamas carry invaluable lessons for living a happy and fulfilling life. The core values drawn from yogic philosophies include: non-harming, truthfulness, moderation, cleanliness, thankfulness, acceptance, and self-discipline. Yoga supports the development of the whole child.
Potential Benefits for the Body:
- Enhances mind/body awareness
- Enhances neuromuscular-development
- Supports calcium retention for strong bones through weight-bearing postures.
- Increases gross and fine motor skills
- Maintains flexibility
- Strengthens growing bodies and builds stamina
- Increases balance, body awareness and coordination
- Develops core strength, essential for good posture, alignment, and balance
- Preventative maintenance of health issues and injuries, enhances performance
- Improves digestion, circulation and elimination
- Strengthens the immune system
- Teaches discipline and responsibility
- Encourages healthy lifestyle and self care
- Teaches breath awareness and breathing fully
- Relaxes the body and promotes a good night’s sleep
Potential Benefits for the Mind and Emotions:
- Balances energy
- Teaches how to calm and clear the mind
- Brings us into the present moment (mindfulness)
- Sparks creativity and imagination
- Relieves tension, stress and anxiety
- Enhances concentration and attention span
- Enhances memory connection
- Supports processing and responsiveness (quick thinking)
- Provides tools for stress management
- Improves ability to be less reactive; more mindful of thoughts, words and actions
Potential Benefits for the Spirit/Character/Relationships:
- Increases confidence, comfort with one’s own body, and self-esteem
- Builds character development and emotional strength
- Encourages balance and self care in all areas of life
- Inspires kindness, patience and acceptance, towards ourselves
- Encourages kindness patience and acceptance, towards others
- Develops discipline and self-control
- Supports creativity, individuality and self-expression
- Encourages environmental awareness and responsibility
- Encourages social respect and compassion
- Teaches thoughtful response rather than extreme reactions to life’s situations
- Cultivates a peacefulness and happiness that extends to daily life
- Cultivates a sense of universal connectedness
- Accommodates all shapes and sizes. It is not competitive and good for non-sporty kids too.
Yoga for Children is a great book to help your child learn about yoga with an attentive, at-home instructor–you! Even if you are new to the practice, this will guide you and your child through more than 200 yoga poses, meditations, and activities that are suitable for children between the ages of two and twelve. With full-color photographs, instructional scripts, and pose modifications, this book will help build your child’s confidence, self-awareness, and focus while strengthening your connection–one yoga session at a time.
Can you think of an activity that promotes concentration, motor skill development and self-confidence for kids? It’s Yoga! With The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga with Kids, you can learn how to get kids interested and started in yoga, teach them how to stretch, concentrate and express creativity using their mind and body. This book is full of various stretching exercises, poses and activities for adults and kids to enjoy together or individually.
Below is a great video of kids explaining yoga and how they benefit from yoga practice. Enjoy!