Below is a portion of the transcript of the
How to Teach Yoga to Kids Online Teacher Training
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.