Yoga is such an amazing practice. It is calming, strengthening, and centering all at once. Many adults practice yoga but did you know yoga is also safe for children to practice? Though yoga started off in India as a religious practice, many Americans now practice yoga – and it does not have to be centered around religion. Many types of yoga don’t incorporate religious chants or practices so parents need not be concerned about this. Yoga connects mind and body in a system of physical exercises that builds strength, flexibility, and confidence without putting strain on the body. It’s a great strength-building exercise that also calms the mind. Perfect for children with their never-ending energy!
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Teaches Body Awareness – Yoga is not about getting somewhere or having the “perfect” pose. It’s about being in tune with one’s body and only moving into each pose as it feels comfortable and right for each body. It is not encouraged to compete with others and instead teaches each student to stop when the pose becomes painful or hurts – Yoga does not believe in the saying, “No Pain, No Gain.” Instead, it’s ok to only move so deep into the movement that feels right for each person – no forcing allowed.
Teaches Everyone to Love Their Bodies as Created – No one’s body is perfect. Children are learning at a young age about body image and this is unfortunately due to the media and our society. Yoga teaches each person to love their body as created and to not to try to be someone you’re not.
Teaches Better Breathing Techniques – Breathing deeply and fully not only fills our lungs with needed oxygen, but it helps to calm the body and re-center one’s self. In yoga, much emphasis is placed on breathing properly and deeply to always stay centered and calm. It’s amazing how this technique then will eventually benefit everyday life. When your child feels stressed, scared, nervous, etc. he or she will find calmness and peace in the breathing techniques they’ve learned in yoga. It’s a beautiful thing.
Strengthening – Anyone who practices yoga, adult or child, will notice over time how much strength is built in the body with this amazing practice. What is so great about yoga is that it is a gentle strengthening that occurs. No pressure or strain is placed on any part of the body as the movements and poses flow with ease from one movement to another and if done properly, help the body become strong without any hard pressure or pain. The core including the back and abdomen, legs and arms are all strengthened and work together to build overall strength.
Relaxing Stillness – Yoga helps the body and mind relax while being aware to one’s own body and what it needs. Every person needs to find time daily to take them for themselves and to just be still and aware of what his or her body is saying. Yoga is perfect for this “quiet time.”
Teaching your child at a young age about setting quiet time aside for fitness and stillness will stay with him or her forever. It is never too young to start incorporating health and wellness into your little one’s life.