Teach The Benefits of Yoga To Your Kids, On This World Yoga Day
“Fostering cooperation and compassion through Yoga—instead of opposition—is a great gift to give our children.”
Most parents these days want their children to be exposed to a lot of new things. Right from being multi-linguistic, and learning robotics and coding, to learning martial arts and gymnastics, there are several classes available.
However, in the pursuit of keeping up with trends, young minds do not get time to enjoy their childhood. Despite being involved in several activities and owning the latest gadgets, they are easily bored, lack patience, feel lonely, and are often depressed. Technology has opened up a lot of ways for adults and children, but unfortunately, it has taken over all the time to reflect and introspect. Result? They live in a world of busy parents, school and peer- pressures, and incessant lessons. Do we think of these influences as stressful for our kids? No right? Well, the bustling pace of our kid’s lives can have a profound effect on their innate joy—and usually not for the better.
“I have found that yoga has become the mainstream for us in recent times. But have we ever considered sharing the same asana practice with our kids? I believe yoga is not just for adults! When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease.”
Physical benefits of Asana include improved flexibility, mental balance, and cardiovascular health. Research also shows mental and emotional well-being to youth from ages 5 to 18, including decreased anxiety, boosted concentration and memory, improved confidence and self-esteem, and better academic performance. Thus, over the past decade, we have seen a massive increase in the number of nurseries, primary and secondary schools in India offering yoga. Not only as an after-school activity but as a crucial part of the school curriculum. Asana at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a non-competitive physical activity. However, why and how is yoga for kids important? Let’s find out in the next half.
Top 7 benefits of yoga for kids
Let’s admit it! Yoga provides loads of benefits, including supporting learning, healing, and stress release for everyday life. The practice of Asana has been explored for thousands of years, and so are the benefits to body and mind. While helping children practice yoga, we parents need to focus not only on the asana/postures but also on bringing other elements of the 8-fold path. Mental and physical well-being is carefully nurtured. This is achieved through noticing and controlling the breath, moving and resting the body, and developing an awareness of the mind’s chatter chatter through meditation and mindful practices.
Yoga improves memory and cognitive settings.
Yoga helps in memory and cognitive development by creating focus within. Practicing Asana undoubtedly requires concentration of both the mind and the body. Some yoga postures, particularly balancing poses, require that you concentrate more than other poses. When kids practice Asana, they are essentially practicing their ability to focus on the task at hand. In their day-to-day lives, this relates to better focus and cognitive functioning at school, leading to improved academic achievement.
Yoga improves your little one’s mood.
Like any other physical workout, practicing yoga helps kids to release their negative thoughts and feelings, bring about mental clarity, and feel much better about themselves. When kids do something physical, such as yoga, they tend to release endorphins, creating feelings of calm and happiness. It is also a fun activity in which kids can be silly, play games, and be with their friends in a non-competitive zone while also learning so much about themselves!
Yoga Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Do you know those endorphins that increase mood also help in reducing stress and anxiety? Yes, that is true. Did you know that we hold negative emotions in our bodies, specifically in our necks and lower backs? And so it’s very important for us to teach our kids to balance between negative and positive emotions. As in when we are ready to let go of all of that negativity around us, practicing yoga helps by relieving tension throughout the body, literally releasing the built-up negativity kids have stored within their bodies.
Yoga Improves Social Relationships
Asana is actually a great activity for any individual. While that is true to its core, there is a social component to it too. For children, the entire yoga practice is a way to help them socialize. It includes songs, games, and other fun activities that get them moving together and learning from one another. This creates a positive and engaging environment for kids to have fun, talk to everyone, and learn to trust one another. Not just that, it also helps to cultivate increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and empathy within kids. This, in turn, translates to more positive relationships with others by reflecting their positive attitude toward themselves onto others.
Asana improves your baby’s safe and sound sleep.
Getting your child’s body moving before bedtime is an excellent technique to improve their sleep. Have you ever felt that sense of “stress” when your body is tense, and your mind is full, reducing your ability to sleep well? Well, it is the same for your kids too. We often think that children “have it easy” and that they don’t feel stressed. But that’s not the case. Ya, indeed, kids aren’t stressed about finances or getting to work on time, but their studies and performance stress them out. Practicing yoga will help little champs relieve stress by using their breathing to calm the mind. It also helps to relieve tension, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
“The light in me sees the light in you”- Yoga teaching.
Asana teaches acceptance and tolerance of others to kids. While practicing yoga, kids learn that all living beings are to be cherished and respected as they are. This way, they can help create more peaceful local communities and a more peaceful world in our future.
Kids learn self-awareness through such yoga practice.
Through the practice of Asana, children learn more about their bodies, minds, what they are capable of and how they can affect their own attitudes and approaches to life. Not just that, they learn to achieve this through their own thoughts and without reacting to any given situation. This awareness of their body, mind, and spirit and of what can be achieved helps them develop into more confident, kind, responsible adults.
Better late than never
Though the list of 7 benefits ends here, the benefits are endless. However, I hope the above benefits make it clear that yoga is an important tool in our children’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Why don’t we do the same for our little ones? So, this world Yoga day, let us just help our kids get into this healthy practice of doing yoga each day by spreading awareness of yoga and its health benefits.
If you want to have a little yogi in your family, start it from today itself!
Wish you a very Healthy and Happy World Yoga Day
Stay fit! Stay Safe!