With yoga studios popping up every ten blocks, you have to wonder about what benefits people gain by bending their limbs. The practice has become quite mainstream with crazy new inventions coming up every few years, and the best idea to come out of this trend is yoga for kids. More than 3% of kids in the US have started practicing yoga.
If you have a kid, you may actually think that it would take more effort on your behalf to teach your kids a time-consuming exercise such as yoga. But take a second and take a look at your kid. Right now, either his/her eyes are glued to his/her favorite show or s/he’s asleep after today’s dose of gaming. If this rugrat replaced some of this time spent on the phone on to doing some exercises, you could channel a lot of his cranky energy into abstract fantasies such as spiritualism and positive thinking.
You should, however, know that yoga for kids isn’t exactly the same as the one for adults. This article show you how the practice is more approachable and fun for kids, especially since it comes with fun games and poses.
Is Yoga Good For Kids?
A simple yet effective practice for adults, yoga has been seen to work like magic for all kinds of people, ranging from delinquent teenagers, snappy old folks, people with physiological disabilities, recovering athletes, young children, and of course, the average Joe. Yoga generally helps kids in the following ways:
- Increase concentration
- Gain more body control
- Engage senses
- Lower stress
- Improve awareness
- Reduce potential for injuries
Since yoga is a non-competitive practice, kids can try it out on their own, with you, or with the entire family and experience its multifold benefits. The best part about yoga is that this helps kids gain quality movement, which is a decent change from being engrossed in electronic devices Since it is a part of meditation, there aren’t any side effects.
How Do You Introduce Yoga to Your Kids?
Getting kids engaged in anything other than gadgets may be nerve-racking and time-consuming considering your hectic routine. However, a great thing about yoga is that you don’t have to worry about that here. Kids seem to find it quite interesting. However, we have some pointers for those of the more resistant nature. You can begin by saying:
- They don’t need to have flexibility to begin with
- This isn’t some girly thing
- They don’t have to be as still as a rock the entire time
- Most professional athletes practice yoga
- Stretching is only one part
- Yoga makes you as strong as Superman (kids will eat that up)
That being said, there are those stubborn mules who just won’t budge. The best way to get them started is to do it with them. This way, you get to spend quality time with them, and you get all the benefits of yoga for yourself too. Once they get the hang of it, you can add in some meditation and breathing practices so that they can become more involved.
What Yoga Poses Are Good For Kids?
It is true that kids will turn a blind eye if the poses they have tried are hard. It is necessary to keep them engaged and pique their interest with fun poses. We have mentioned some fun yet effective poses that are good for kids. While their goal of levitating in the air is a no-go, these are still exciting.
Cat and Cow:
Ever wondered why many games are named after animals? It’s because kids love animals!
Here’s how you do it:
- Get down and position oneself on all fours like a cow
- Then arch the back like an angry cat
- Integrate breathing in at each cow position
- Exhale at each cat position
Both kids and adults have an instant liveliness when they hear the word “puppies.”
Here are the steps to follow:
- Position oneself on all fours
- Raise the tailbones high above the heels
- As you look at the mat, come downward to settle down
As well as having a cool name, the pose is quite challenging as it involves all of the muscles. Try it with the following steps:
- Balance oneself on one leg
- Then kick the other leg behind
- Extend both arms like the wings of an airplane (Kids’ sense of imagination comes into play as they picture themselves flying above skyscrapers or through space)
This pose is more of an adult pose as it immediately revives one’s strengths and inner spirit.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Stand tall like a tree
- Raise one leg and keep the balance
- Press the sole of that leg into the thigh of the other (good for the development of focus and determination)
Lizard on a Rock (Partner Pose):
This pose has the name of a cool animal. Plus, you can try it out with your kid. Best of all, either of you get to be a rock.
These are the steps involved:
- Partners sit on their knees with their backs facing each other
- A partner does the Child’s pose, their heels below their tailbone, forehead in contact with the mat, and arms extended
- The second person does a high squat, raising themselves and sitting on the other’s tailbone.
- The second person then leans back stretching themselves over the first person.
Even if your child considers these as silly poses, convince them to try it out once, and you’ll see that it’ll actually be fun for him/her.
How Do You Make Yoga Fun For Kids?
Kids typically like doing yoga. They find it cool, mysterious, and something to show off about. If your kid is, however, more on the stubborn side, we just might have a few tips that can help.
- Schedule some time for you and your kids to practice
- Buy them their own yoga mat to make them feel special.
- Let them choose the music
- Once their practice is done, let them dance and wiggle out all the reserved energy
Can Yoga Help Kids With Anxiety?
Yoga consists of exercises that target the overall well being of both adults and kids. Through practices of deep breathing, body awareness, and calming, kids get to synchronize their mind and body. When a child practices yoga daily, they can feel a decrease in anxiety and stress. A study by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center on 113 patients showed that yoga resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety, depression, tension, fatigue, hostility, and anger. So, yes, yoga helps kids with anxiety.
Yoga has been claimed as one of the top three healthy activities for a child. Many schools have added yoga to their programs due to their impact on a chichild’sld health and well-being. With the myths set aside, it is clear that yoga is quite revolutionary. So, encourage your kids to have a go at it!