Yoga is a great form of exercise for any age, even young children! As with adults, yoga can help children combat stresses and pressures found in everyday life. At an early age it can encourage self-esteem and body awareness and it allows children to learn about their bodies in a healthy, positive way.
It is slowly becoming more popular in schools and can be used as an alternative to competitive, team sports, which some children don’t enjoy being a part of, for fear of failure or being picked last.
Here are just 4 ways in which children can benefit from yoga:
Yoga allows children to learn to explore their bodies and use their muscles in new way. No matter what the pose, whether it be done standing, sitting or lying down, each one challenges different muscle groups and allows children to become more aware of their bodies and how they function.
Balance, coordination and focus
Balancing poses were created to promote mental and physical poise and we gain mental clarity and stability from the effort of trying to hold the poses. As children learn to improve their physical balance, they will be filled with a sense of accomplishment. The coordination needed to hold poses also promotes overall dexterity.
The act of practicing yoga helps children to clear their mind and focus on the effort. Several studies have found that as a result of this single focus, children who do yoga are able to focus and concentrate more in school.
Self – esteem and confidence
Yoga helps to instil confidence and brings a sense of wonder to children. It teaches children to be patient, to persevere and work towards a goal.
Meditation and relaxation
Whether they’re holding a posture, moving through a series of poses or sitting in meditation children can feel a calm, soothing quality come over them as they practice. Quick tip: For younger children it can be a bit harder so you can suggest they focus their time thinking of their favourite colour or toy!