Good to Your Guf: Children & Yoga: 7 Benefits
It’s hard to be a kid today. Children deal with many distractions, temptations, overstimulation, and peer pressure. Schools are challenged to do more with less and be creative in how they reach even the most isolated child. Yoga is a low-cost, helpful tool that can have a positive impact on children.
Yoga helps kids:
- Develop body awareness
- Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
- Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation, and healthy movement
- Build concentration
- Increase their confidence and positive self-image
- Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
- Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices
- Awareness of the breath: Breathing exercises can energize kids and/or encourage relaxation. Different games and techniques help kids connect to how their bodies feel as a result of deep breathing. Focus increases, as does their breathing and lung capacity. Stress is naturally reduced and healthy hormones are released.
- Strengthening and energizing: It’s important for a teacher to include conversations, as well as exercises, around how helpful yoga is for building strength. Talking about the different muscles used in poses and incorporating games and sequences will help build strength as well as body awareness and coordination.
- Balancing: Balancing poses teach children that with increased focus, you can increase attention naturally, even in kids who struggle with attention challenges. Poses and games focused on balancing skills develop an intrinsic strength, evoke a meditative feeling, and promote stillness and quieting of the mind. This can help kids cope with stress.
- Stretching and lengthening: Strong muscles without flexibility can’t move quickly, pulling on bones and joints. Yoga poses stretch muscles, and through integrating breathing and movement, muscles become warm and more flexible. They can yield when they need to and support tender joints in a more functional way.
- Awareness and focus: Yoga helps create awareness in the body through deep breathing and movement. It gives kids a way to express themselves, build a strong connection between what they hear and what they do. Children that have healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, and breathe better.
- Flowing, connecting, and integrating: When we string poses together, kids get a taste of what it means to move with ease. They build awareness that all our movements are a series of coordinated efforts between muscles, bones, joints and nerves.
- Meditation and relaxation: Whether a child is holding a balancing posture, sitting in meditation or moving through a series of poses, there’s going to be a calming, soothing quality, as yoga is meditative by nature.
Excerpted from “Stretched: Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Technique”.
The JCC offers three different Children’s Yoga classes:
View your March Center Peace for more information!