Yoga can be very beneficial for children. Childhood is a time of many emotional, physical, behavioral and social challenges. Kids who use yoga as a way to cope with these issues are able to lead happier and more engaging lives. Yoga teaches children to breathe, think, stretch and move naturally in a manner that enhances their ability to react in a positive manner to situations. It also puts them on the path to self-discovery and increased awareness. Kids who do yoga are better able to deal with many of the challenges they may encounter in life.
Benefits of yoga for kids include
- Strengthens the mind and body connection.
- Improves self-esteem and confidence.
- Develops focus and concentration.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Enhances physical flexibility.
- Fosters self-control and discipline.
These benefits not only enhance their physical health, they also improve their mental and emotional well-being so they can cope more efficiently with stress and anxiety.
How to Incorporate Yoga Into Your Child’s Routine
Yoga is one activity that can be practiced anywhere. It doesn’t require much equipment or space unless you plan to get on the floor and do some wide movement poses. The most equipment you’ll need include mats and to wear clothing that allows you to stretch and move freely. Dedicating as little as 15-30 minutes per day or every other day to yoga can do wonders for you and your kids. Here are some ways you can add yoga into your daily activities.
- Make it a fun game. Clear some space and invite your kids to mimic your movements. Don’t forget to focus on breathing techniques.
- Sign up for a parent and child yoga class. You and your children can play and bond with each other while participating.
- Take a trip to the park and do yoga poses together before play.
- Set aside at least 15-20 minutes in the morning after everyone is out of bed or right before bedtime for yoga. It is an excellent activity to help center the mind and relax the body before the start and end of each day.
- Incorporate other movements that children enjoy, such as jumping jacks and spinning around to keep them interested.
- Implement a reward system to motivate kids to do yoga regularly.
Good yoga poses for parents and children to try together include the sitting seesaw, sunbathing rock and the L-dog.
Parent and Child Yoga
Parents looking to reconnect with their kids or to strengthen their bond should consider practicing yoga with them regularly. It’s an excellent activity in which both parties can get active, stay in shape and gain peace of mind. Parents will learn positive parenting mechanisms and relaxation techniques and their children learn how to focus and meditate.
Parents looking to start or establish a yoga routine with their kids should consider enrolling in a class or participating in yoga parent support group. There are also DVDs, online videos and resources available that can provide instruction for parents and kids who have busy schedules.