I haven’t met the author of this article from Huffington Post about teaching yoga to kids, but I would love to meet her and give her a copy of Go Go Yoga Kids: A Complete Guide to Yoga with Kids.
Olga sounds like a great mom. She remembers doing yoga as a young adult and how it did wonders for her self-esteem. Now as a mom, she is looking for a way to connect with her kids and get in shape.
After a few tries, she realized that yoga with kids is different than with adults. The benefits are equally substantial, but she realized how teaching yoga to kids is busy, active and so much fun!
Here is Olga’s story…
…I decided to let go of my expectations. And this is where we start having fun.
We even make up our own yoga poses and sequences: The Head-Bump Pose (stand opposite of each other and then try to bend down and bump your heads in the process), followed by Rolling on the Floor Laughing. We lie on the floor, all three of us together (and sometimes there is a baby lying on my belly), and we hold hands and laugh some more. There are plenty of Cuddle Poses, I’m sure. I stop caring whether the yoga pose is perfect or whether it lasts as long as it should.
Instead, I focus on the fun stuff.
Like roaring like a lion, and making “ssss”-sounds like a snake, and stretching our necks like a giraffe. Now this is something the children can actually relate to, and they want to join me!
We’re finally having fun and connecting.
I love that! That is what it is all about! Having fun, being healthy and connecting with your kids. All at the same time! Read more of Olga’s story here.
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Adults aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Yoga can also be used to help anxious kids and achieve many healthy benefits in the process . Learn simple poses and ideas to introduce and practice yoga at home with your kids.
Yoga for kids is becoming increasingly popular. It is showing up in school classrooms, daycares, sports, in addition to yoga studios and other health clubs. The physical benefits of yoga are lifelong and include flexibility, strength, and coordination. Yoga is also recognized as a relaxation technique and used to help combat anxiety in kids as well as adults.
Here is what Today’s Parent had to say on helping to calm little minds while practicing yoga.
Why should children practice kids yoga? There are so many reasons to introduce kids to yoga and the benefits keep rolling in! Be sure to check out our previous Fab Four Benefits of Yoga for Kids. Here are even more that you don’t want to miss.
1. Yoga Boosts Confidence
Yoga makes you feel good which increases confidence. I see this all the time in my kid yoga classes when a child is able to master a pose they have been working on or see their flexibility and balance improve, it is amazing what it does to their confidence. You can literally see them step out of the kids yoga class, standing up straighter and more self-assured. They are also more calm, poised, and self-assured in their abilities for not only in the next class but throughout their daily activities. The more you practice yoga, the better you feel.
2. Promotes Health and Stress Management
Yoga is a physical activity that releases happy endorphins. When you leave a yoga class you feel good inside and out, and you want to maintain that feeling. Yoga also improves your digestive system with the twisting, moving, inverting, and holding poses. Breathing exercises also help calm kids which gives them the tools to use when they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Instead of kids logging more hours in front of a screen yoga promotes health and positive activity.
3. Builds Positive Peer and Social Interactions
Everyone is unique and special in their own way, and we all come from different places and backgrounds. No yoga pose looks the same from person to person, child or adult. With yoga, we celebrate and respect the differences as we try new postures and poses. Kids enjoy working with each other in partner and group poses and achieving success together. Yoga is also about encouraging one another and promoting acceptance, trust, kindness and empathy.
4. Sparks Creativity and Expression
Yoga Kids classes are fun and engaging as we move in and out of games, stories, and songs while learning new poses and practicing as a group. Often yoga kids classes are centered on a theme to help them learn about new places and concepts. Yoga also helps kids be free, creative, and express themselves. Not only is this fun, but yoga also encourages kids to use their imaginations to try new things in a safe environment and to not take themselves too seriously.
If you are already teaching kids yoga or even if you are just beginning to learn some yoga poses, you have probably already experienced, read or heard about the benefits of yoga for all ages. Why wouldn’t you want to introduce it those you care about most? Your family and loved ones need to know about this!
I love how yoga actually lets you connect with your child and is something you can actually do with them as opposed to being a spectator to such as soccer games, dance recitals, piano recitals, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheering my kids on at any of their sporting events or competitions, but the memories are made when you actually do something with them.
It doesn’t need to be a big orchestrated event, just get down on the floor and be engaged. They will love it!
Easy Ways to do Yoga At Home With Your Kids
- Make it a Routine: Doing some yoga poses together does not need to take long. Incorporate some little ways to use yoga at the same time every day. It could be first thing in the morning or by doing some bedtime calming stretches each night. These are good places to start!
- Use Props: Grab some beach towels or yoga mats to lay out and sit on. Kids love having their own space and this will give them boundaries and a sense of ownership. Include your child’s favorite stuffed animal and have it participate along with you.
- Pick a Card: I love these Yoga Pose Cards and they are great for providing a visual. Let them pick 3-5 yoga pose cards at a time to learn, practice and have fun with. Make sure that you participate as well and gain all of the benefits too.
Teaching kids yoga at home doesn’t need to take long. Just have fun with yoga together and make it a part of your life. There is no right or wrong way, but the simple fact that you are together, learning and moving will create lasting memories with your children!
For more ways to teach yoga to your kids visit here.
When kids come to their first yoga class, I often ask them what they know or have heard about yoga. There are always a few who immediately sit on their mat cross legged, place their middle fingers and thumbs together, shut their eyes and let out a deep, “ommmmmm.” This is how many kids (and adults!) view yoga. They see it as a serious meditative process that deeply awakens the inner spirit.
I do believe that perception is changing throughout our society, and people are realizing that yoga is so much more. Yes, yoga is mindful and meditative, but it is also active, involved and encompasses not only the mind, but definitely the whole body.
Thank you for stopping by Go Go Yoga Kids! Visit us again and continue learning how easy it is to get children engaged and involved. Yoga teaches lifelong skills that are beneficial to instill in all growing kids! See you again soon!
Yoga for kids is on the rise! According to a recent study by NBC NEWS, more adults and children are practicing yoga and meditation. That is good news for our future in so many ways. Read about the benefits of yoga for kids.
1. Increases Flexibility and Strength
Picture a toddler and all of the flexibility they have to bend, squat, and move in all sorts of positions that adults suddenly sometimes find themselves unable to do. Children are naturally flexible, but somewhere around ages of 6 or 7, their flexibility begins to diminish. The good news is that practicing yoga will help you maintain flexibility. Yoga also builds strength as muscles are worked in new ways. Whether a pose is done standing, sitting, or lying down each pose has its own benefits and can challenge various muscle groups. Being flexible also allows fewer and less severe injuries. That is good news for kids involved in many activities outside of school.
2. Improves Balance
Similar to flexibility, balance is another skill that decreases as we age. Everything from navigating icy sidewalks in winter to holding a tree pose benefits balance skills. Balance can be improved with practice and many yoga poses and postures incorporate different elements of balance. Your body’s balance naturally improves while practicing yoga without realizing it. As children work to improve their balance in poses, they are filled with self-confidence and can almost feel their bodies getting stronger as they hold these poses.
3. Enhances Concentration and Focus
Kids are part of a rapidly changing world with young minds easily overstimulated with technology and electronics. They are used to getting immediate feedback with their video games, tablets, and phones. This can make it very difficult for children to actually sit, focus, and complete a task in school. Yoga helps children to practice concentration and self-control which then enhances their focus and awareness.
4. Practice Being Present and Mindful
As parents and kids rush from activity to activity, it is difficult to be still and appreciate the moment that we are in. It doesn’t start like this for kids — think of a preschooler noticing the shape of a leaf or color of the sky as they dawdle home from the park.
Sadly many kids become accustomed to a faster pace lifestyle until they suddenly do not know any different way. There is much benefit to slowing down, unplugging, and being away from it all for a bit. Good kids yoga classes can provide that. They begin with settling into the moment and focusing on their breath and body. Kids can practice engaging poses with games and end with a savasana or quiet time. The end of class usually becomes the students’ favorite part while they lie still and “do nothing”. They know they worked their body hard and this is a time to give back, be still, and reap the benefits of strengthening their body. Being involved in a yoga class keeps the kids present, aware, and in the moment. Learn more about the proven benefits of yoga for adults and children.
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