10 Reasons Why Yoga is Great for Kids (Get Your Plank On)
The next time you reach for that yoga mat, consider taking the kids along too. One of the latest yoga trends is getting kids in the loop (or a downward facing dog, to be more exact). Check out the top ten benefits of yoga for your kids and get them stretching, strengthening, and building up those little muscles!
Concentration and Focus
Regular yoga practice gets kids focused on their breathing and their thoughts, which means it’s great for concentration. In fact, teachers have noticed that kids stay on topic more easily after a yoga session. If you have kids who are hyperactive or seem to have a real struggle concentrating, yoga just might be the solution.
We live in a fast-paced society, and your little kids aren’t exempt from the stress. Many children – even the youngest ones – are often left feeling frazzled. Yoga helps with stress relief and teaches kids how to cope with stress in a healthy way. Stress isn’t going to go away – but yoga can give them the tools they need to meet it head-on.
If you’ve done yoga yourself in the past, you’ll know its benefits are not just mental and emotional – this form of exercise is great for the body, too! Kids who practice yoga can develop amazing flexibility, and this will set them up for a lifetime of healthy joints! Flexibility is a plus in school sports, so it helps to encourage and promote athletic bent.
Distractions are ongoing and endless. Kids have homework to deal with, friends and play dates, a busy pace of life, and lots of passive entertainment. So how can they fit in time for self-awareness? The ability to focus and to “go inward” is helpful at any age and yoga gives kids the chance to become aware of what they are thinking and feeling — and this in turn, can help them process these emotions in a healthy way. As your kids turn into tweens and begin the changes that will happen during adolescence, this self-awareness makes transitioning easier.
Let’s face it – kids can be pretty klutzy when they’re growing up, especially if they are in one of those awkward stages! Regular yoga practice however, can help with better balance and coordination. Again, if your kids are little athletes, balance and coordination can make them a better player as well, no matter the sport.
Most kids (and let’s be honest, most adults!) struggle with the concept of patience. On top of it, we’re living in a society based on instant gratification. Yoga is a great way to teach this important life skill. As children get into a position and hold it for several minutes, time slows down. They’re calm, collected, and capable of patience.
With the physical activity that yoga requires, comes a feeling of mental clarity – which ultimately leads to better learning in the classroom. Kids themselves have reported that the learning process seems easier after a yoga session. The breathing, focus, and meditation involved all work together to improve metal clarity.
Good for Asthmatic Kids
Yoga, with all its breathing exercises, contributes to lung health in children. It can expand lung capacity and also help develop the muscles that the body uses to inhale and exhale. This can help to reduce the number of asthmatic attacks and their severity, and even reduce the need for rescue inhalers.
Good Bonding Time
Between work and school, you probably struggle with trying to find time to spend with your kids. If you and are your kids both get into yoga, you can practice at home together or even find a local gym which offers parent-child yoga classes (many do!). Either way, practicing together is a great way to bond with your kids and makes for meaningful and healthy family time.
Yoga won’t bulk you up like weightlifting of course, but it is a great way to get lean, strong muscles! Some yoga poses do require some strength to get into and then to hold. Kids develop their muscles as they grow and once again, this strength can translate into better sports performance, and a healthier body.
Now you know the benefits. So drag out an extra mat and get those yoga poses going together!
Ever tried doing yoga with your kids? Share your stories (and favorite poses!) with us in the comments below!