Kids Struggling with Concentration? Here's How Yoga Can Help
Let’s face it, overstimulation, endless distractions, higher expectations, and overall increased stress is a childhood reality. The world is a busy, busy place with so much vying for your kid’s attention. Between school, homework, and extracurricular activities, it’s near impossible to find a time to unwind and to recharge.
Introducing kids to yoga early on is a great way to teach them the value of stretching and breathing as well as a great method to improve concentration, manage stress, and relax. And because some yoga poses have really cool names like Airplane Pose, Three Legged Dog Pose, Frog Pose, or Snake Pose, it’s pretty easy to get the little ones interested in participating.
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Yoga is the practice of integrating mind, body, and spirit. It’s beneficial for adults, but just as valuable for our children because it enhances their physical flexibility and teaches them to explore their muscles in new and different ways.
Yoga also promotes overall dexterity by teaching them about balance and coordination, which supports mental and physical poise. Yoga develops focus and concentration in our little ones and instills a sense of accomplishment when they are successful in achieving and holding a specific pose. Studies show that this is particularly helpful in enhancing concentration and focus in school.
Practicing yoga is also a great way to boost confidence and self-worth in our kids. When they patiently work toward a goal, they learn what it is to set goals for themselves and then to successfully reach those goals through perseverance and hard work. Yoga for our children teaches them the power of the mind-body connection; challenging the physical body as well as calming the mind. It helps to calm them, showing them how to ground themselves in a world that is often moving way too fast. Yoga truly is meditation in action.
Overall, yoga helps kids to:
- Develop body awareness and use their bodies in healthy, low impact ways
- Improve flexibility, strength, and body coordination
- Develop deep breathing techniques to better manage stress
- Improve concentration ability
- Enjoy the benefits of exercise without competition
- Build self-confidence and self-acceptance
- Discover a no-cost way to destress and unwind
Getting Them Interested
Okay, so now that you know just how great yoga is for your kids, how do you get them interested?
- Action speaks louder than words: Well, let’s face it parents, we can talk to our kids until we’re blue in the face (that definitely would get their attention), but action speaks louder than words, so if you want to get them jazzed about yoga, then roll out your mat and strike a pose. Children are curious by nature and with cool yoga poses like Reverse Warrior, how can we not pique their interest?
- Keep it playful: Start your little ones with some easy poses like Happy Baby to get their feet wet, and don’t worry so much about whether they do the pose correctly or not. Let them have fun and interpret the poses in a way that resonates best with them. Have them make animal noises or other sounds when they are doing some of the animal poses. Just don’t take things so seriously at the start. Over time with practice, they will get more proficient in mastering poses—for now, let them move along at their own pace and just have some fun with it.
- Make it a party: A great way to get our kids to practice the ancient art of yoga is by turning it into a modern-day party. Have your child invite some friends over (with parental consent, of course) and make it a fun and healthy playdate with some yoga-inspired snacks like Dragon Juice or Happy Baby bites. Have a challenge to see who can hold the pose the longest, or a contest to see who can come up with the coolest original pose. By making yoga a positive and fun experience, your child is more likely to want to continue doing it in the future.
- Salute the day: A great way to introduce our children to yoga is by beginning each day practicing a Sun Salutation together. Take turns making it into a story and be silly and creative with it. It not only stretches the body and gets the blood circulating but it creates a ritual that is shared exclusively between you and your little one.
- The shopping pose: Get your child excited about doing yoga by going on a fun shopping trip and buying matching yoga clothes, and accessories like towels and mats. Another fun thing to do is let them put their own special stamp on their new mat by decorating it with markers or stickers.
- Buddy system: One of the best ways to get your child started in yoga is to do it together with some simple partner poses. Working together as a team to reach the same goal not only gets your little one moving, but it creates a bond between you both. It also teaches your child the importance of working with others and builds their sense of trust and accomplishment.
Regardless of how you introduce your little one to the power of yoga, remember to do it with joy in your heart and a smile on your face. Have fun!
How are you planning on getting your kiddo interested in yoga? Share your tips with us!Tags : health exercise fitness yoga