Have you ever thought about having your kid try a children’s yoga class? I totally encourage you to give it a try! Yoga helps children in a variety of ways, and the specific benefits that each child will take from yoga will be unique to that child. Yoga is a great tool for young kids and there are so many ways that even preschool and elementary age children can benefit from yoga. For young children it is a great activity to involve when starting to introduce friendships, group sports, and activities. Here are five of my favorite ways that yoga benefits a young child!
1. Learn to use their bodies in a healthy way
In yoga everything is about honoring your body and allowing yourself time to learn and progress. Yoga teachers often stress not comparing yourself to others in the class and allowing yourself to have your personal journey of growth. When children attend yoga class, they are learning to make fitness fun in a non competitive way. They begin to learn about their mighty muscles and how to stretch them without forcing or hurting themselves. They also learn the basics, that stretching is good for your muscles, and breathing is good for your brain. They learn that taking care of your body and mind are both very important.
2. Develop body awareness & control
Yoga is great for helping young kids build balance and coordination. Two things that will be useful for the rest of their lives! For the youngsters just standing on one foot is huge, and it’s so fun to see the joy on their little faces when they can do it for FIVE WHOLE SECONDS! =) In yoga children will also begin to learn about what muscles are used for what, and how to flex those muscles when needed. They also are introduced to using a point of focus to help them balance. Beginning to learn these basics of body control young will help children protect their bodies from injury as they get older.
3. Build concentration
Concentration goes hand in hand with body control, and yoga places a large emphasis on concentration. Building that concentration is what will help them achieve the balance and body control. Children will have to concentrate to keep their body engaged to stay in certain holds, or balances. They also will build concentration through breathe work, and brain building games. Something as simple as balancing a yoga block on a child’s head, can get them to really try to focus and concentrate.
4. Learn to breathe effectively in fun ways
Breathing is one of the main components of yoga. In children’s yoga often a “Hoberman Sphere” is used to help children visualize how breathing works inside the body. When the ball opens they visualize the air going in their body and as the ball closes they push all the air out of themselves. It’s a great way for kids to start learning how breath works. In addition to this children will learn different, fun breaths that all involve deep inhales and exhales. They will also begin to learn when to use their breath to calm down when they are upset, as well as when to use their breath to recover from fitness.
5. Learn the importance of gratitude and self love
I always stress in my children’s yoga classes that the most important part of yoga is “Living Nice”. Yoga really is to be lived, it is not just an activity. Yoga teaches children about kindness, about gratitude, and about helping others in need. It also teaches about protecting our planet and just generally living mindfully. Realizing how your actions affect the earth and trying to make sure you act in a way that will help as many people as possible. Yoga is about spreading joy, and children are EXCELLENT spreaders of joy!
There are so many benefits of yoga, these are just five of my favorites. Yoga truly supports a whole child’s development. I hope that they have made you curious about how yoga can benefit the children in your life. It really is an excellent life tool that kids can continue to refer back to their entire life. Please feel free to comment or contact me with any questions. Thank you for reading!
Much Love & Happy Yoga!
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