Benefits of Yoga for Children

Yoga is an ancient practice involving yoga poses with flow or movement, mindfulness, and breathwork that has been shown to calm the mind, uplift the spirit, and provide the body with an overall sense of positive well-being. While the practice of yoga has been popular with adults in America for decades, the incorporation of yoga practices for children has only just begun to grow in popularity. Kids yoga offers many of the same benefits as adult yoga but is broken down in a way such that kids can play and engage with the practice in a fun and age-appropriate way. 

Parents and teachers have begun integrating children’s yoga and mindfulness practices into classroom and extracurricular activities due to such benefits as:

Refining flexibility and balance

Yoga poses have been shown to build muscle, increase flexibility, and develop balance. Poses are done sitting, standing, or lying down and each pose is designed to focus on strengthening the body in various ways. Variations on yoga poses have been adapted for use in many other physical activities and can be seen anywhere from warm-ups before a sports game to ballet choreography.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Yoga blends physical activity with breathwork and guided mindful activities to help children separate themselves from feeling stressed or anxious. Deep breathing exercises send signals to the brain telling it to relax. Yoga focuses on the present moment and encourages children to leave their thoughts and worries behind. With a relaxed body and mind children are better able to cope with their emotions, i.e. frustration, patience, sad, angry, excited.

Developing concentration and focus

When practicing poses in yoga children must clear their minds and focus on moving their bodies into the pose or through a sequence of poses. Children’s yoga classes often incorporate mindful games which allows them to build on their focus in a fun and entertaining way. A regular yoga practice will help translate focus from the movements in yoga practice to schoolwork and other activities the child is involved in. Sessions scaffold from the first to the last class, building repetition, patterns, and memory.

Creating Mind-Body Connection

In yoga, kids are encouraged to tune in to their bodies and notice how they really feel in each present moment. They build this connection through simple movements like wiggling their toes. They will learn how their body, mind, and breath all work together to make them feel like their best self both on and off the yoga mat.

Encouraging Sense of Self, Community, and Teamwork

Kids yoga activities can be done as individuals or as group exercises. Through yoga they are taught to focus on themselves personally as well as how they contribute the the success of a group or community through partner poses and group poses. Through these activities they build confidence with their practice and who they are as a person. Each child is taught to have an “I can” attitude with poses, and are taught to not give up even if a pose does not come to them easily.

Cate LOVES your classes. She had me do the mermaid and submarine ( I thought I was going to break!).

-Parent

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