Kids need yoga. Our world is changing, and our kids face different challenges and commitments then they have in the past. There are many demands on kids’ time and pressure to do well and be successful at what they are involved in. This includes school, family, friends, sports, quickly changing technology and other interests. That leaves us with kids who have a lot going on as they try to figure out a way to balance it all. This brings us to the benefits of yoga for children.
Kids need to learn how to be able to work through these demands in healthy and responsible ways. Yoga is a skill that can benefit all kids no matter what activities they are involved in or what their interests and abilities are. Yoga meets everyone at any stage and provides incredible extrinsic and intrinsic benefits.
The Super 7 Benefits of Yoga for Children
Yoga Increases Flexibility and Strength
Yoga also builds strength as muscles are worked in new ways. One of the many things I love about yoga is that it gives both adults and children the ability to create strength in their own bodies and minds without the use of other equipment. The act of holding a variety of poses and breathing can make anyone feel strong and powerful. Whether a pose is done standing, sitting, or lying down, it has its own benefits and can challenge various muscle groups. Being flexible can also result in fewer and less severe injuries. That is good news for kids involved in sport-related activities and other commitments outside of school.
Yoga 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 works to maintain your balance.
Balance can be improved with practice and many yoga poses and postures incorporate different elements of balance. Often, your body’s balance naturally improves while practicing yoga without you realizing it. This is also true with children. In my experience, as kids balance in yoga poses their self-confidence increases as they feel their bodies grow stronger.
Yoga Enhances Concentration and Focus
Kids are part of a rapidly changing world. Their young minds are often over stimulated with technology and electronics. This means they are often used to getting immediate feedback from video games, tablets, or phones. This can make it very difficult for them to then actually sit, focus, and complete a task in school or at home. Yoga helps children practice concentration and self-control, which then enhances their focus and awareness.
Yoga Helps Kids Practice Being Present and Mindful
Today, as many parents and kids rush from activity to another, it can be difficult to be still and appreciate the moment. It doesn’t start out like that for kids. Picture preschoolers noticing the shape of a leaf or the color of the sky as they dawdle home from the park. Sadly, many kids become accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle until they do not know any other way.
There is much benefit to slowing down, unplugging, and being away from it all for a bit. A good kids yoga class can provide that. It begins with settling into the moment and focusing on breathing and the body.
Children can then 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 bodies hard, and this is a time to give back, be still, and reap the benefits of strengthening their bodies and increasing mindfulness. Being involved in a yoga class keeps the kids present, aware, and in the moment, which is a valuable skill to practice throughout life.
Yoga Boosts Confidence
Yoga makes you feel good, which increases confidence. I see this all the time in my kids yoga classes when children are able to master a pose they have been working on or see their flexibility and balance You can literally see them step out of the yoga class standing straighter with more self-assurance. They are also calmer, more poised, and confident in their abilities—not only in the next class, but throughout their daily activities.
Yoga Relieves Stress and Promotes Health
Yoga is a physical activity that releases happy endorphins. When you do yoga, you feel good inside and out and you want to maintain that feeling. Breathing exercises in yoga help calm and center kids. This gives kids the tools to use when they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious in life. The twisting, moving, inverting, and holding poses during yoga also improves the digestive system.
Yoga Helps Kids Develop Awareness of Themselves and Others
Everyone is unique and special in their own way, and we all come from different places and backgrounds. With yoga we celebrate and respect differences as we try new postures and poses. Kids enjoy working with one another in partner and group poses and achieving success together. Yoga is also about encouraging one another and promoting acceptance, trust, kindness, and empathy as they grow and learn together.
Let’s help give children the tools they will have throughout life. Teaching yoga to children helps benefit everyone physically and mentally, plus it is absolutely fun for everyone involved!
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The Top 6 Benefits of Yoga for Kids
The good news is that if you practice with kidsthen you are going to get these benefits as well.
Yoga increases flexibility and strength. Children begin to diminish in flexibility around the ages of 6 or 7. They’re born flexible but as you age your flexibility does decrease. The good news is that by practicing yoga it helps maintain flexibility. Yoga also builds strength as muscles are worked in new ways. This can be the active just holding a few poses and breathing, it makes you feel strong and powerful. Yoga poses can be done standing, sitting, or lying down, but each has its own benefits and can challenge various muscle groups. Being flexible can also result in fewer and less injuries and strained muscles. This is good news for kids that are involved in sport related activities and other commitments outside of school.
Yoga also increases balance. Just like flexibility balance is another skill that decreases as we age. Balance can be improved though with practice and many yoga poses have a lot of balance work. Often your body’s balance naturally improves with yoga without you even realizing it. This is also true with children. In my experience as kids balance in yoga poses their self confidence increases because they feel their bodies growing stronger.
Yoga increases your concentration and focus. We are part of a rapidly changing world and kids are no exception. Their young minds are often over stimulated with technology and electronics. This means they’re used to getting that immediate feedback from video games, tablets, phones, and this can then make it very difficult for kids to actually sit still and focus and complete a task in school or at home. But yoga helps kids practice concentration and self control which then enhances their focus and awareness.
Today as many parents rush from activity to activity it can be difficult to be still and just be in the moment. It doesn’t always start out like that with kids. You picture toddlers and preschoolers who dawdle. They notice the clouds in the sky or things on the sidewalk. They’re taking their time and they’re being in the moment. Many kids become accustomed to this fast paced lifestyle until they know of no other way.
There is a lot of benefit to just slowing down, unplugging, and being away from it all. A good kids yoga class can help provide that. It begins a settling into the moment, focusing on breathing, and the body. Children can then practice engaging poses with games and they can end with relaxation or shavasana where they lie still and doing nothing. Kids actually really enjoy that. They know they’ve worked their bodies hard and it’s time to rest their bodies.
Yoga also makes you feel good which then increases your confidence. I see this all the time in my kids yoga classes when children are finally able to master a pose that they’ve been working on and they see their flexibility and balance improve. They are calmer, more poised, and they’re confident in their abilities not only during yoga but also outside in their day to day activities.
Finally yoga definitely promotes health and mindfulness. It is a physical activity so you get those happy endorphins pumping. When you leave the yoga class you feel good inside and out and you want to maintain that good feeling. All that twisting and moving, inverting, and holding poses during yoga also helps with your digestive system. The breathing exercises which we’re going to talk about a little bit later in this course definitely help calm and center kids. This gives kids the tools they need to use when their feeling overwhelmed and stressed and anxious in life. Instead of logging more hours in front of a screen, yoga promotes good health, calmness, and positive active movement.
4 Benefits of Laughter Yoga for Your Family
It will known that yoga is the sort of activity that can yield numerous health benefits. It is also important to keep in mind the fact that in most cases, yoga is going to provide you with a variety of options to go through as well since there are so many different types of the activity now available for you to enjoy. Laughter yoga is one of the most popular innovations in the world of yoga. Here are some benefits of funny poses for the whole family:
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit you are going to get. Laughter yoga is an excellent way to boost your immune system and prevent yourself from falling ill. If you have children, taking them for laughter yoga can help them to get a much stronger immune system in the long term. This can allow them to enjoy a much healthier and more enjoyable life, something that definitely makes laughter yoga worthwhile. If your child tends to fall sick a lot as some children often do, doing funny poses can help them overcome their weak immune systems without medication.
Provides Bonding Time
The thing about laughter is that you tend to develop a deep connection with people that you share it with frequently. Hence, if you want your family to become a tight knit unit where everyone cares about each other, sign up for a laughter yoga class. Once you and your family laugh together for the duration of the lesson, all of you will feel a great deal more affection and attachment to each other once the lesson is over.
Helps Provide Healthy Leisure Options
One of the biggest concern with kids today is that a lot of their sources of entertainment are so sedentary. They are playing video games, on their phones and watching TV, but most parents are unsure of how to stop this behavior because it is often the only way that these children know how to have fun. Laughter Yoga provides a healthy alternative. It can allow your kids to have fun in an environment that would boost their health as well through funny poses. You could say that you would be killing two birds with one stone with Laughter Yoga!
When you attend a laughter yoga class, the people that you are taking your class with would all be sharing this wonderful, hilarious experience with you. This can allow you to boost your social life. Your kids would be able to form a bond with other children as well. School can be a tough environment for some kids to make friends in, but in a laughter yoga class, everyone is relaxed, open and there to have a good time. This can give your kids a low-pressure option to boost their social skills and make some true friends.
This guest post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com.
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It is harder than ever to be a kid in today’s world. Many kids’ schedules become quickly overloaded and as they are involved in multiple sports, music and other interests outside of school. Not only are there such demands on their time, but the pressure (not always on purpose) is put on them to be successful with what they are spending their time on. Now toss in the quickly changing technology, social engagements and family time and you have kids that are constantly being bombarded from all directions.
Kids need an outlet. They need to get away from it all, be mindful, intentional and develop skills that will benefit them throughout their life. Yoga provides just that!
Yoga is a skill that can help benefit all kids, no matter what they are involved in and regardless of age or ability. The benefits of kids yoga are incredibly numerous. Not only does it promotes physical strength because kids learn to use their muscles in new ways and balance their bodies but it also helps kids become aware of not only their own body but the world around them. Yoga is a great skill to consider introducing kids to.
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