Children’s Yoga is a wonderful opportunity to offer a fun, safe, learning environment focusing on the body-mind-heart connection which is so often absent from other children’s activities. Many adults begin to practice yoga later in life and are amazed by the profound benefits on their minds, bodies and inner selves. What a wonderful thing it would be to offer yoga to all young children, helping them build the resources to benefit their inner and outer bodies. Where else do you find a program that teaches kids to internalize concepts of self-awareness, compassion, balance, creativity and healthiness on a physical, psychological and spiritual level. These are the tools that all of us rely on to navigate our way in a complicated, often challenging and exciting world.
The Benefits of Yoga for Kids
- Self Esteem. Children are encouraged to honor their individuality and respect their bodies. Positive reinforcement of self-imagery and language are fostered.
- Focus. Yoga’s combination of asana (physical poses), pranayama (breathing) and mediation practice, increase concentration and mental focus, aiding children’s ability to learn and succeed in school.
- Flexibility. Yoga’s physical practice promotes a flexible body, muscle tone and the release of blocked energy and tension.
- Meditation/Breath Awareness. An invaluable tool for life – children will learn they have the ability to change their emotions/feelings/disposition through controlling their breath. They will learn the importance of being able to “self soothe” in difficult situations.
- Strength. Yoga produces a strong physical body through the practice of asana (poses).
- Noncompetitive Activity. A welcome change for children to participate in a noncompetitive physical activity. Yoga is taught in an inclusive, caring, non judgmental environment. It is emphasized that yoga is a “practice” not a “perfect”.
- Balance. Through balancing work, positive and negative energies in the body are buffered and stabilized, calming the nervous system. A balanced, calm and focus child is more likely to succeed in school.
- Body Awareness. Through yoga children develop their kinesthetic sense, or learning through executing physical activities. By cultivating a sense of body extensions and limitations, children are able to better understand their bodies.
Thankfully children’s yoga is becoming more widely available in schools and in yoga studios across the country. How wonderful to offer yoga as an alternative to our reality tv, consumer driven society, our children will greatly benefit. I am so delighted to be offering children’s classes, kids are a joy and it is a gift to start them on their yoga journey. What is your experience with kids and yoga? When did you start practicing, as an adult or a child? I’d love your hear what you have to say:)