What are the Benefits of Yoga for Kids?

Yoga is all about mindful movement and breathing in order to achieve inner peace, focus, body awareness, and so much more. Practicing yoga can be valuable for children as much as it is for adults, because this improves their physical and mental health starting from a young age. Teacher Karrots who has been practicing yoga for eight years and teaching for two years says, “Happier kids will grow into happier adults. Kids go through a lot of pressure already. Yoga is movement and breath in a non-competitive setting, so if kids are able to tune in to themselves, hopefully they can carry this on until adulthood.”

Keep on reading to learn more about how yoga can benefit your kids.

What are the Benefits of Yoga for Kids?

Yoga Improves Mind and Body Awareness
Yoga helps exercise a sound mind and body. All the poses and movement in yoga encourage kids to be present in the moment and to bring awareness to how their bodies are moving and aligning. Kids will also get a better sense of what their bodies are capable of doing as they go through the stretches and different levels of poses. This mind and body awareness also promotes relaxation and a more peaceful state of mind.

“Body awareness, coordination, strength and even self-esteem--all these make happy components for a child’s wellness and development” - Teacher Karrots

 

Yoga Increases Strength and Flexibility
Yoga is a great way to increase physical strength and flexibility because all the poses address different sets of muscle groups. Downward Dog, for example, uses the strength of your arms, and legs while stretching the hamstrings and calves. Another example is the Warrior pose which stretches the hips and strengthens the upper arms and legs. Practicing regularly can help achieve increased flexibility, upper body strength, and core strength.

 

Yoga Promotes Balance and Coordination
There are a lot of balancing poses in yoga and these require more concentration. The key to maintaining balance is being able to have a clear mind, free from distractions. Clarity of mind and calmness are some things which kids can gradually learn as they achieve the balancing poses. Even if they stumble or fall, kids can learn how to stay calm, get back up and try again.

 

Yoga Improves Focus and Concentration
Practicing poses in yoga allows kids to maintain a single focus and concentrate on achieving the pose. Kids must also pay attention to how their breathing coordinates with the movement of their bodies. Studies show that the focus required in yoga translates to better focus and concentration in school and other day-to-day tasks.

 

Yoga Reduces Stress
The breathing techniques kids learn in yoga are also helpful in managing stress, and this is a good life skill to have as they get older. As mentioned, yoga emphasizes focusing on the present moment, coordinating breath with movement, and staying calm. These are great building blocks for kids to grow happier and healthier.

 

Yoga Boosts Self-Esteem
There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to perfect a pose. Though teachers are there to guide, it’s up to the kids to do their best to achieve the poses. Yoga helps give them some self-empowerment as they gradually improve on their focus, balance, strength, and flexibility.

“As soon as they can follow simple instructions or play simple games, yoga can be introduced as a form of play. Entice them with a cheerful invitation. We do it with love, and an open heart. If they are not receptive, we try another day.” - Teacher Karrots 

Make yoga a fun activity for you and your kids! You can start by following this quick yoga session for kids with Teacher Karrots on the Baby and Breakfast Facebook page.


Sources:
Nazareno, Karrots. Personal Interview. 14 July 2020

Wenig, Marsha. “Discover Why Kids Need Yoga as Much as We Do.” Yoga Journal, August 28, 2007

Tilak, Visi, and Anonymous. “The Benefits of Yoga for Kids.” Parents, February 24, 2020

Johnson, Maegan. “Here Are 9 Important Benefits of Yoga For Kids.” YogiApproved, May 21, 2018

7 Benefits of Yoga for Young Kids.” Arizona Early Childhood, October 13, 2017

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