Since our Yoga learning adventure shipped this month, we're exploring why yoga can be a wonderful activity for kids. Kids are naturals at yoga. As infants and toddlers, they are masters at happy baby, plank, cobra and so many other poses. And what kid doesn’t love twisting and contorting their body? While yoga is lots of fun for kids, there are also some awesome mind and body benefits.
1. Concentration–For a wriggly kid, trying to hold a pose can be challenging. With the practice of yoga though, focus improves and so does the ability to hold poses.
2. Body Awareness–Yoga requires a spatial awareness of the body. For most kids, spatial awareness is a work in progress. Yoga is a great way to encourage awareness of all body parts—both separately and as a whole. Take bridge pose. Lie down on your back. Knees bent. Feet flat. Arms straight. Hands by your side. Head on the floor. Now lift your bottom. That is a lot of body awareness. And, bonus, if kids can follow all of those instructions, then yoga has already worked its magic.
3. Coordination and Strength–Coordination follows body awareness. Warrior pose is a great one to improve both coordination and strength. For a little kid to point one foot forward and one foot to the side requires a huge amount of coordination. Now add in the arms and one bent knee, and you’ll see why warrior pose is so wonderful.
4. Self-confidence–Balance poses, like tree pose, are not the easiest for adults or kids. But when kids learn how to balance well enough to hold tree pose, wow do they get excited! Kids can feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride when they learn how to hold different yoga poses.
5. Calm–Is anyone else in a constant rush? Do your kids pick up on that and then dawdle even more? Yoga provides a respite from the rush of our often too busy lives. It’s a time when kids and parents can take as long as they want in a completely hurry-free zone.