During a child’s formative years, it is important to build self-esteem, self-awareness and strengthen the mind and body. kids yoga teaches children about how their bodies work, so they can develop a common sense of the body as a foundation for well-being throughout their lives.
The child’s mind, often over-stimulated by television, computer games and the hectic pace of today’s lifestyle, benefits greatly from the focus and gentleness of yoga practice. Most importantly, children practicing yoga develop a respect, appreciation and desire to take time for healing the body, mind and spirit. The result is a stronger body, increased self-confidence, calm mind and uplifted spirit.
Children who practice yoga may not only be better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress and calm themselves, studies now show that they may also choose better foods to eat and engage in more physical activity than children who do not.
It seems simple. Children are suffering from a lack of connection to their own bodies, their environment and the food they eat. Yoga facilitates connection. It’s easy, low cost, accessible and anyone can do it. And now it’s being proven effective.
- Develops body awareness, strength and flexibility
- Builds balance, coordination and agility
- Tones internal organs
- Promotes health
- Stimulates imagination and creativity
- Builds self-esteem and confidence
- Increases focus, attention and concentration
- Develops mental equilibrium
- Cultivates awarenes
- Promotes self awareness as well as compassion
- Develops interconnectedness and oneness with nature
- Teaches us to honor ourselves and others as well as all living things
- Builds discipline and a love of learning
- Is a lot of fun!
- Improves performance in all areas of life, including school work
- Assists with the performance of other sporting activities
- Relieves stress and provides a greater sense of general well-being
- Teaches children to be gentle with themselves and others
Kids yoga is a unique ancient healing art from the East, a non-competitive form of exercise, which can be safely children of any ability. All yoga postures can be modified, recognizing everyone is different. Hatha Yoga (hatha meaning sun-moon) can be thought of as the art of balancing and integrating the opposites that exist within every one, ie: sun-moon; male-female, yin-yang, positive-negative, left-right, inhale-exhale, aggression-submission, push-pull.
It is a system of breathing techniques and postures designed to strengthen bones, stretch muscles, massage internal organs, improve blood circulation, and develop flexibility of the joints, tendons and ligaments. Yoga also has a regulating effect on all the systems of the body, including the nervous system, the endocrine system, the circulatory respiratory system and the lymphatic system, aiming to produce optimum and natural functioning of the whole body.
The stretching and relaxation aspects of yoga are a perfect way for children to begin enjoying exercise. Many yoga postures imitate animals or things found in nature, for example, the tree or flower postures, cat, cobra or lion. These stimulate a child’s sense of creativity and imagination.
Yoga asanas (postures) consists of a series of poses including standing, balance, inverted, backbending, foreward bending, seated, twists and lying down (supine) postures. Each category has particular health and well-being benefits. Balance postures work to enhance concentration and focus, learning how to clear the mind from outside influences for a moment, helping children to learn more easily. All the posture work develops strength, flexibility and coordination skills, which can improve ability in other sports while also reducing the risk of injury. Consistent yoga practice strengthens growing bones and increases joints’ range of motion. Also, yoga helps to regulate the hormone glands naturally, allowing the emotional roller coaster children often experience during adolescence to be more smooth.
The traditions, methods and styles of Hatha Yoga are many and varied, but all seek to strengthen the body, quiet the mind, open the heart and lift the spirit. Hatha Yoga teaches everyone how to be present in each moment, how to bring mindfulness, intention and whole-heartedness to everyday life. Children’s Hatha Yoga add a little little exercise, adventure, creativity, imagination and fun!