Adults often do yoga to build muscle strength, find their centers, develop inner calm and reduce stress. Many experts suggest that yoga positions can also have similar benefits for children. In today's world, parents and schools often put a lot of pressure on children to succeed at younger ages, and with instant access to technology and the rapid spread of using laptops and other devices in classrooms, it seems that children's minds are always active and their bodies are always on the go.
If you have kids, you should know that most experts agree that modified yoga positions – excluding hot yoga – can be good for their minds and bodies. Here are some recognized benefits of yoga as well some starting positions for children:
Benefits of yoga for kids
- Yoga is great for family time. Your young children might see you doing yoga and want to join in, or maybe you'd like to make yoga part of your morning or before-bed routine. This calm, meditative practice can be a good way for you to spend quality time with your kids during the busy weekdays.
- Yoga can calm children who are hyperactive are anxious, allowing them to appreciate relaxing breathing techniques and quiet movement.
- Some researchers believe that yoga helps children manage stress by learning to quiet their minds.
- It teaches children about their bodies and how to be the "boss of their bodies." This encourages self-control and self-awareness.
- Telling children that yoga is fun and good for them is a way to successfully encourage them to care for themselves.
- Yoga is good for children physically, as it involves a warm-up and postures that help them develop balance.
- Partner poses can make yoga more fun and encourage working together.
Yoga for kids
- To begin, let your child pick out his or her own yoga mat and a pillow or stuffed animal that is used only during yoga.
- Make yoga more fun by choosing animal-named poses or renaming ones to make them more exciting for kids.
- Some regular poses that are generally easy for children include tree, cat, cow and downward dog poses.
- If you do a regular yoga routine that has more difficult poses, you can look online to find ways to easily modify them for kids.
- Other yoga positions that children will enjoy include airplane pose, which begins easily with mountain and encourages balance. Frog, star, upward-facing dog, happy baby, child's pose and others, can all be found on the Namaste Kids website.
- Keep in mind that children are very flexible but don't often have much strength, so choose appropriate poses.
- Don't be serious the entire time – make sure to laugh!