Adults undoubtedly have busy lives these days, but our kids also do! School all day, after-school activities and homework, friend and family time, and weekend plans! Practicing yoga is good for adults with stressful lives, and it can also benefit kids for all the same reasons. We all know that yoga can help to relieve stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, and mood, as well as keep you fit.
Yoga can also teach your kids to be mindful, which is important to teach at a young age. It’s important to teach our kids ways to handle stress in their lives - which will help them as they grow into adulthood.
Here are a few ways that yoga can help your kids.
Yoga can improve memory
Yoga can help to boost memory and cognitive skills by turning our focus to within ourselves. When we practice yoga, we have to concentrate on both the mind and our body, as well as our breath. We pay close attention to the way our body is moving and how our breath coordinates with what it is doing.
This is an important skill for kids to learn. When they practice yoga, they are training their ability to focus on one thing at a time. This can translate into their day to day lives, improving their memory and cognitive function, especially at school.
Yoga can improve social skills
Yoga can be seen as a personal experience and activity, but there are some social aspects to the practice. Classes with others and a strong community help us to share the experience with others. This is especially true for kids. For the most part, the practice of yoga for kids is more social. It usually consists of fun activities to get kids moving and learning while having fun with one another. This type of positive environment allows kids to have fun and talk to one another.
Yoga can also help to boost self-confidence and empathy in kids, which will help them to develop strong and positive relationships with others, deepening and establishing friendships.
Yoga improves sleep
We all know that exercising can help to improve sleep quality. Bad sleep can be affected by stress and anxiety, making our bodies tense and our minds race when we should be winding down to fall asleep - this is true for kids too! Kids can be stressed by schoolwork, friendships, and other things going on in their day to day lives.
Practicing yoga can alleviate this stress by teaching kids to use their breath to calm their minds, and their nervous system. Physically, the practice can also help to relieve tension in the body, as well as release negative emotions and thoughts that are held in the body - this will help them fall asleep faster.
Yoga improves strength
Yoga poses take strength, and when we practice regularly we notice physical changes and notice our strength improves. This can include increased flexibility and upper body strength. This has a lot to do with the way we breathe in yoga. Breathing too fast can increase tension in our muscles, which has bad effects on our bodies. Proper breathing techniques as taught in yoga can build strength even from a young age.
Yoga increases perseverance
Yoga is a fun thing for kids to do, as it is non-competitive and allows them to learn new things, poses, and techniques. If you have fun doing something, you’ll always want to improve and do more.
Instilling a sense of achievement when kids can master something they find difficult is a great way to get them to persevere with activities. Remember the excitement when you mastered a pose you previously found impossible? Kids will feel it too, and it will teach them that sticking with something will pay off, and improve their perseverance.
Yoga teaches you to manage emotions
Regulating our emotions can be hard, but it's important to learn to recognize and change behaviors and emotions based on different situations. This skill will help kids to problem solve and tackle new challenges, as well as help them achieve their goals. Yoga can help in this by turning our attention inwards to our thoughts and feelings while we move our bodies. Yoga can help kids understand their emotions, and in turn, improve their ability to regulate their emotions.
Yoga improves independence
Yoga can help kids to gain a sense of independence and know that they will be okay doing an individual activity. When adults are making a lot of decisions for them, it can be hard for kids to learn how to do things by themselves. Yoga is a great way to boost their feelings of independence, as their practice is theirs to do.
These feelings of independence can translate into coping skills, which will help as kids grow into adults, when they will have to be more independent.
Yoga boosts mood
Exercise releases endorphins, which help to release negative emotions, and improve mood - and yoga is no different. Yoga releases feelings of calm and happiness. It can be a fun activity for kids where they can be social and be silly while learning something new.
All of these amazing things that yoga can do for kids make it clear it's something that we should be encouraging our children to take part in. It’s an important tool for many adults to maintain their physical and mental well-being, so why wouldn't we want that for our kids?
By Amy Cavill
Practice this yoga for kid class at home!
Parent & Toddler Yoga with Casey Feicht
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