Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Benefits of Yoga for KidsIt’s no secret that yoga benefits adults in a myriad of ways. According to Yoga Journal magazine, the top 3 benefits of yoga for adults is increased flexibility and muscle strength, improved posture and bone health in addition to boosted immunity. With all these positive benefits, one might wonder about what yoga can do for young kids.
According to research, Yoga has many positive effects on kids. Yoga can help develop body awareness by teaching kids to work with their breathing and to use their bodies in a healthful way such as stretching and building strength. As kids are just learning how to express themselves, Yoga is a great way for kids to learn about managing stress through breathing, awareness and meditation.
As with learning anything new, Yoga helps to build concentration and increases confidence and adds to a positive self-image. Many kids participate in team sports where the focus is on winning. The great thing about Yoga is that in promotes community and practice in a non-competitive environment.
There are lots of tools you can use to teach yoga to children. Young ones will like games, doing poses and singing songs with big, expressive movements. Older children can be challenged by balancing and learn about the muscles and other aspects of anatomy.
So, what might a yoga class for kids look like? Start with a grounding moment of stillness. For several minutes, be still and quiet in a way that works for your students. Child’s pose, laying down on the belly, or sitting in an easy cross-legged pose are some good options.
Next, begin with some playful movement and breathing. Have the kids shake out their bodies to release pent up energy while playing some music.
Choose about 5-8 easy yoga poses to practice. Ask the kids to focus on their breath as they flow through the poses. Ask them questions on how the poses feel and what their bodies are telling them. Towards the end of class, prepare the class for final relaxation by having the kids lay down on their mats. Either chose to play soothing music or have them relax in silence.
During class, make sure to engage the kids and cater to their energy levels and learning styles. The lesson plan you go in with might not be the class you end up teaching. Encourage the kids to share their ideas and feelings about poses and ideas.
With all the research on the positive benefits of yoga for kids, recently we added the class to our Studio Cloud 9. Not only is this a great way for kids to get exercise in a healthy environment, it also shows them how to become more aware of their bodies and connect to community. It’s very rewarding to see young kids begin to learn about yoga and take the practice into their everyday lives!