By: AJ Crowell, Publisher, Dallas Yoga Magazine
Yoga is everywhere today and all ages are participating including children. A national survey reported that 3% of kids in the United States (1.7 million) did yoga in 2012 (that is an increase of 400,000 since 2007) and the percentage in 2016 has nearly doubled. Why is yoga becoming so popular with kids? Because there are so many benefits mentally, physically and emotionally.
Here are 11 reasons why kids should do yoga:
- Gain Confidence
It is such a wonderful feeling to accomplish a pose. It takes concentration, flexibility and balance. When a child practices and finally is able to do the pose correctly their confidence explodes. They start believing they can succeed both on and off their mat and this gives them a more positive self image. It’s wonderful seeing a child’s face light up after nailing a pose they have been working on.
- Stress Free State of Mind
By teaching children to focus on their breath and empty their minds they can learn to let go of the everyday stress they face. Schools today test their students incessantly while they are told they must pass this test or that test. It has completely changed from 30 years ago. Not to mention their non-stop attachment to technology and social media. All of these issues are mind boggling to kids. Yoga classes end with shavasana and they love laying on their mat with their eyes closed. Guided meditation or soft music is always an added plus for relaxing their busy little minds and letting go of their worries. Once children learn how to focus on their breath and clear their minds they can use this beneficial tool while in the class room, testing, at home, competitive sports or any extra curricular activity.
- Makes Kids Stronger
Practicing yoga regularly builds muscle and makes children stronger. The longer they hold their poses the more difficult it becomes and the more strength they gain. Have you ever held the Warrior or a Bridge pose so long you thought the teacher had forgotten about the class? The next day your muscles were sore…we have all been there. This is how kids develop stronger and healthier bodies by using muscles that they don’t use sitting at their computer.
- Makes Kids Bendy
Have you ever watched how babies seem to move around in every direction without a problem? They bend this way and that way so easily. (The Happy Baby Pose.) As the years go on, kids become less flexible. Yoga maintains their flexibility. Kids are always getting hurt one way or another but the more flexible and bendy bthey are the less injuries they obtain.
- Better Focus
Kids never seem to finish anything. They start one thing and get bored and more on to the next thing that catches their attention. Yoga teaches kids to think about one thing and to concentrate. Moving from one pose to another takes a lot of focus. They are training their minds to stay centered and fixed on the task at hand.
- Live in the Moment
Along the same lines as being focused, living in the moment is difficult for kids. Their minds are wondering and they are often thinking about the past or wondering about the future. They are anywhere but the present moment. During yoga class kids are taught living in the present makes our worries of yesterday disappear and the concerns for the future evaporate. A good yoga teacher brings their minds back to the room continuously and shows them how to be present in their body.
- Be Accepting and Loving to Everyone
Yoga embraces everyone and teaches children we are all unique but the same on the inside. It teaches them loving kindness and concern for all people. It opens their hearts and minds to new ideas and concepts. Kids are taught to encourage each other and praise one another in yoga while being patient and kind. They not only learn acceptance and love for others but maybe most importantly…to love themselves.
- Enhances Imaginations
During yoga, when a child is having fun, making progress while forming a positive self-image they can clear their minds better. When a child’s mind is clear and open then their imagination can run wild. They open up freely and let their creative juices flow in all areas of their lives. In other words, yoga allows a kid to be a kid.
Yoga is not easy and takes patience, practice and discipline. When a child attends yoga regularly they develop their own practice that expands and deepens as they get older. They are taught the more someone practices the better they get and eventually they reach their goals. This logic is beneficial for a life of success and self-improvement. Yoga’s discipline practice includes individual responsibility and kids learn they have to be proactive in their own lives.
Kids who practice yoga are often more in touch with their own bodies. They are more aware from practicing poses and having to listen to how their bodies are feeling. They can tune into where their muscles are tight or feeling strained and learn to adjust the posture. They also are learning to listen to their intuition and their inner self. This is an invaluable asset for children being able to listen and react positively to their bodies.
- Do Yoga with Your Kids
Don’t forget that having time with your kids is special and doing something that you both like is precious. Put it on your weekly calendar to do yoga with your kids. Practice your poses together and let them be the teacher. Maybe have a new poses up your sleeve to show them. Yoga is bonding and that lasts forever.
Many schools are now integrating yoga into their curriculum. Research is showing that yoga is beneficial for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Yoga is improving their attention spans, calming them and lowering their impulsiveness. Yoga has also been shown to improve school performance not only with children with ADHD but with all children.
There are so many benefits to kids doing yoga. So, what are you waiting for? Get your kids enrolled today and make it one of their regular activities.
You may contact AJ Crowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-624-9896 X700.