Yoga does wonders for the body and mind. Starting yoga practice at an early age can kickstart the benefits tremendously and can pave the road for a healthy lifestyle to come. I have compiled a few of the many advantages of starting as a kid.
While we know that physical activity is great for kids, yoga is not often the first activity that comes to mind when we think exercise. But yoga allows children to move in a new way, exploring, stretching, and bringing awareness to different muscle groups. It also keeps the innate flexibility children have so that it is not lost as they grow.
Additionally, yoga helps children work toward goals. Moving further into their practice and positions than before leads to a feeling of accomplishment. This helps build confidence when they are able to practice more poses. Because yoga helps people feel at peace with themselves and their bodies, it often increases confidence in kids which has lasting effects.
As well, it allows children to learn self-discipline and to work through the journey. It teaches them that every day will be different, but that this is okay. Some days, yoga practice will be tougher than others, but so will some days with school, relationships, and everything in between. With some guidance, yoga can help children accept this and be mindful of taking life one day at a time.
By giving kids a chance to slow down and find inner peace, yoga is an excellent escape and way to unwind. A child’s life is so fast paced with school, friends and activities. Yoga gives children a chance to get away from their busy schedules and technology for a bit. In turn, they learn to better manage stress through concentration and breathing. This is important since stress levels typically increase as children grow into their teens.
Yoga is an excellent way to move without the competition that comes along with many sports. Some children deal with competition in team sports better than others, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a break from it. Taking some time away from competitiveness is important for kids to regroup and refresh.
The peacefulness and relaxation that come along with being a yogi are often underappreciated. Savasana (the pose where you lay on your back with your eyes closed, aware of your body but not moving) teaches kids the importance of taking time to unwind and relax, especially when life gets busy. Learning peacefulness is important because it can bleed into different aspects of a child’s life. Whether they learn to stay calm in stressful situations, how to diffuse arguments, managing stress, or concentration, feeling internally peaceful will help children maintain healthy relationships throughout life.
Often, children are able to use their own creativity in yoga classes or their own practice. Themed yoga classes for kids are popular because they allow children to create poses and feel as though they are somewhere neat. Whether you decide to go to a class that is beach themed or try out a themed yoga day at home, creating poses to fit the theme is a great way to spark imagination while incorporating yoga poses you’ve already learned.
Whether you’re a novice yogi yourself or are wanting to motivate your family to try it out together, keep stretching! Do you have any favourite yoga poses or more benefits that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!