16 Dec Let’s Spread Our Love Of Yoga To The Kids
Remember the days when playing all day outside, riding bikes, running around barefoot was your ultimate dream day. How good was it as a kid? No stress, no work. Everything was so careless and free. So, why do you think our kids do even need yoga?
You think adulting is hard. And it is. But being a kid isn’t exactly a breeze either. The pressure of school, participating in all different sports and events, and over-stimulation of social media, mobile phones or TV can be stressful for children these days. We grown-ups, have learnt we can always retreat to our yoga mat for some calm and reset. Just imagine how yoga can enrich and support your child already. Here are some of the fantastic benefits of yoga for kids. (And yes, you can get in on the fun, too.) YAY!
Benefits of yoga for kids.
Yoga can help counter things like the pressures of school. Kids are also facing an overload of stimuli right from the get-go. Some of us haven’t grown up with the 24/7 oversharing and comparison on social media. Lucky us! Kids now have it coming from all sides sometimes.
However, through yoga, kids learn techniques for relaxation and inner fulfilment. They can also navigate life’s challenges with a little bit more ease. Yoga encourages self-esteem and body awareness. Children with healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, breathe better, and have a sense of quiet strength. Plus, yoga is a non-competitive physical activity, which is a great gift to give our kids living in such a competitive world.
Physically, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Besides, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improve. Through different breathing exercises, kids will feel how their bodies feel. They will learn and understand how they can tune into their breath when they are stressed and need to calm down. Their focus increases as does their lung and breathing capacity.
Balancing poses, like tree pose, will develop inner strength, promote stillness and quiet their sometimes busy minds. These poses support kids in finding stillness in a hectic world full of chaos. And as they discover balancing poses increase their focus and attention, they may even start to feel empowered and strong – who doesn’t want that?!
When kids are doing yoga, they play. Now how does this look like in a yoga class? Let’s just say, it’s a whole lot of fun.
It’s all child’s play.
Kids are always active, either playing, running around or exploring; hence, they would most likely get bored in a grown-up yoga class. But that doesn’t mean the little ones can’t be as captured by yoga as much as we are. Yoga to them needs to be fun, challenging and winning their playful attitude towards everything. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But what is actually happens in a kid’s class?
Kids love to talk, sing, imagine and create their own stories, and they love to move — everything of which happens in yoga as well. Thousands of years ago, the yogis developing the asana poses, lived close to the natural world and used animals and plants for inspiration of the poses. Kids will take on the role of animals, trees, flowers, warriors in their yoga class. FUN!
When kids imitate the movements and sounds of nature, they get to be that animal in all its glory. Let’s be honest, didn’t you pretend to be a tiger or a lion when you played as a kid? How much fun was that? In yoga, kids can bark in Downwardfacing Dog, hiss like a cobra or roar like a lion. Hence, when kids come into lion pose, for example, they experience not only the power and behaviour of that fierce lion but also their sense of power. They will learn when to hold strong and when to soften. Just imagine that lions roar in a room full of little yogis. These physical movements introduce kids to yoga’s true meaning: union, expression, and honour for oneself and one’s part in the delicate web of life.
Giving children the gift of yoga supports them tremendously in growing up to be confident, connected to themselves and every being, and loving human beings. Kids yoga classes are not only an enjoyable and wild practice; most importantly, they are very creative and one of a kind. Yoga brings that marvellous inner light that all children have to the surface. Hands up who wants to join one of the kids’ classes now?
Let’s introduce yoga to your kids
Want to give it go with your kids? We have something really special for you and your little ones. Join Marty Coles in his Introduction to yoga class, created especially for the little ones that are newbies to yoga. So many kids spend hours in front of a screen; watching shows, playing games with friends. This time, it’ll have them stretching, moving and getting active on their mats. Who doesn’t want to moo like a cow, walk on the walls, or play in a down dog tunnel?
We think it will be even more fun if you roll out your mat with them. Sharing the practice of yoga with your kids is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Let’s bring the magic of yoga into our children’s lives!
Written by Marsha Wenig for Yoga Journal