Yoga for Kids: 6 Ways Yoga Can Keep Your Kids Fit and Healthy
You probably already know that yoga is a healthy activity for adults, but have you ever considered introducing it to your kids?
Many adults tend to shy away from yoga as an appropriate activity for children, mistakenly believing that it requires too much discipline, strength, and coordination for them to do it properly.
The truth is, however, that a regular yoga practice—imperfect as it may be, especially at the beginning—has plenty of benefits for your kids. Here are six benefits that we think will have you convinced.
Six Ways Yoga Can Benefit Kids
Yoga Helps With Your Child’s Physical Development. Kids are constantly growing and, especially during periods of rapid growth, their balance and coordination can suffer. Practicing yoga can help your child develop a better sense of their body, and help improve both balance and coordination. Yoga can also strengthen many of their muscles—including their core muscles—which will result in improved posture. Building good posture habits early can help them avoid serious discomfort as they grow older.
Yoga Helps Improve Your Child’s Physical Health. Yoga has lots of proven health benefits, including decreased blood pressure, improved respiration and better circulation. While children rarely suffer from cardiovascular diseases, developing good health habits early can help them to stave off these diseases when they get older. In addition, the very habit of incorporating a regular fitness activity, even though it’s not high-impact, helps kids develop lifelong habits that can serve them well throughout both childhood and adulthood.
Yoga Helps Kids Develop Positive Coping Mechanisms. Even though most of us adults think that childhood is worry-free, the truth is that kids have loads of pressures. From friendships to family stresses to competitive sports to academic expectations, childhood feels heavier than ever, and children are unfortunately less resilient than ever as well. The focus required to practice yoga can help them take their minds off their stressors and cope better with the pressures they face. This can also help guard their mental health, making them less susceptible to common conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Yoga Helps Improve Sleep. Sleep is so important to children. It not only helps keep them well rested, but poor sleep affects mood, concentration, immunity and mental health. Unfortunately, a lot of kids struggle with sleep. This affects many areas of their lives. More kids than ever are even taking supplements to help them sleep. The many benefits from participating in yoga, including getting regular physical activity along with learning coping mechanisms to combat stress, can help your child not only fall asleep easier, but sleep more soundly once they do.
Yoga Can Help Combat Hyperactivity. Kids are subjected to a lot of routines and expected to behave accordingly. Many kids have trouble with the low level of unstructured time they’re allowed these days. This presents itself as trouble concentrating in the classroom. Yoga has actually been shown to help some people who struggle with ADHD, teaching kids to decompress and tune out the overstimulation of everyday life. It can also help them to develop the skills to tune out distractions outside of the yoga studio, helping to increase their ability to operate with less hyperactivity in regular, everyday settings.
Yoga Helps Instill Discipline. Yoga can be complicated when you first begin. This is true for both children and adults. However, as time goes on your child will begin to notice an improvement in their skills, reinforcing the idea that regular practice and discipline pay off over the long term. These lessons about the payoff of hard, consistent work can spill over into other areas of their life including academics, their future career, and any other goals they may have.
Wrapping It Up
Yoga tends to be more intimidating for adults than children, which is all the more reason to get them started early. Kids have a propensity to dive in with both feet and are willing to try new things even if they aren’t perfect.
If you’re ready to introduce your child to yoga, make sure it’s fun and check your expectations at the door. Let them make mistakes and don’t stifle their laughs when they fall out of poses. Pick an instructor that relates well to kids and encourage them to try poses that aren’t overly complicated to build their confidence slowly.
Learn all about the benefits of yoga for kids. Study with YogaUOnline and Mira Binzen-Yoga for Stable and Calm Kids: Yoga for Greater Balance and Integration.
Reprinted with permission from Mom Loves Best.
About the Author
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two and a blogger for Mom Loves Best, where she documents her journey through parenthood and writes about her passions for yoga, prenatal fitness, and everything related to keeping her family healthy and spiritually grounded.