How old were you when you started practicing yoga?
If you began as an adult, you know how transformational yoga can be in all aspects of your life. Maybe you stepped onto the mat when you were a child, and if you did––lucky you! Yoga offers a myriad of benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, and for many of us is what helps keep us balanced in our lives. During 2020, many children are home instead of in school and need all the gifts yoga has to offer more than ever.
Just as yoga helps develop strength, flexibility, balance, and equanimity for adults, it also offers vital tools for children to live healthier happier lives. One of the primary ways yoga helps children is by encouraging self-love and self-acceptance. Yoga teaches kids more about their own bodies and minds.
One of yoga’s messages is to remind us we are all different, yet perfect as we are. If children understand that whatever shape or size they are is acceptable, they may avoid body image pressures that inundate us. If children can learn to love themselves from a young age, they are better equipped to handle all the negative messages society can present to them.
Yoga helps promote calmness, mindfulness, and focus. These days, children have packed schedules with activities and less time to simply relax and do nothing. With the busy world we live in, it is vital to have tools to learn to be present. When children learn to focus on mindful breathing and physical alignment in a yoga posture, they are quieting their mind and soothing their nervous systems. If a kid is accustomed to crying or acting out when events don’t progress their way, yoga offers them a way to react differently. Breathing and relaxation techniques can offer alternative ways to react and tools to focus on the present moment. Yoga teaches us to create space in our reaction time and you’re never too young to learn that coping mechanism.
Many kid’s yoga programs emphasize nature and animals. Frog pose and Tree pose are fun ways for children to embody elements of nature and learn to respect the power of both. Yoga is creative and fun and playful. The physical exercise is a definite benefit, but the mental health aspect can truly transform a child’s ability to cope with the stresses of the world. By providing an outlet for emotions and thoughts that aren’t easy to express (even for adults), kids can develop a more positive, resilient attitude for the rest of their lives.
Check out this week’s varied offerings!
1. Christen Bakken - 5 Mindful Breaths: Yoga for Kids
2. Christen Bakken - Yoga for Kids: Jungle Animals
3. Qi Fitness - Qi Kids Yoga
4. Casey Feicht - Parent & Toddler Yoga
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