Thinking about introducing yoga to your students or children? Here are some benefits of yoga for kids that can’t be ignored!
Yoga for Kids
How many times have we said this to our kids?
But have you ever stopped to think how meaningless these words are to children?
Even as adults we find calming down difficult and many of us have had to learn and practise relaxation skills over time in order for them to become useful.
So, how can we expect our children to ‘calm down’ when they have never been taught the skills to do so?
Cue yoga for kids!
The benefits of yoga for kids are plentiful! The ancient practice of yoga helps to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. It also has a calming effect on the central nervous system and can help to improve concentration. Not to mention the physical benefits too!
Tips on INTRODUCING THE BENEFITS OF YOGA TO KIDS
Our top tips are to keep it fun and relatable. Telling yoga stories or incorporating yoga poses that are linked to something familiar is a great way to introduce yoga to kids
Yoga stories are an excellent idea to get children involved with yoga. Listening to stories alone is an excellent mindfulness activity for kids. It transports them away from their busy surroundings and, when combined with yoga poses, they will also reap the added physical and relaxation benefits.
A super online resource for yoga stories is Cosmic Kids Yoga. It can be found on YouTube and the Yoga instructor Jaime tells great stories to accompany her yoga moves.
Although watching a screen can sometimes be a distraction from the actual practice of yoga her videos are a great place to start as they introduce the basic yoga moves and positions. The videos are also a good learning tool for teachers and parents when it comes to storytelling through yoga.
Create Manageable and Relatable Poses
Using poses that are developmentally appropriate for children is very important.
For example, younger children might find balance or strength difficult. While it is important for children to practice these through yoga, it is also essential that these skills are built gradually. This will avoid injury and also prevent kids from becoming discouraged by something they find too difficult.
As with any yoga class providing your little yogis examples of a basic position and then some options for more challenging versions is good teaching practice.
Another consideration in terms of poses, relates to how children connect with the poses. If poses are named after something children know and have knowledge of, they will have a better understanding of the shapes they should be making with their bodies.
Relating poses to animals is a popular and effective way of helping kids connect and understand.
Join a Kids Yoga Class
Whether it be in person or online, a live yoga class for kids is a great way to get your children interacting and having fun. While videos are great, there’s just something about a live class that makes it easier for kids to connect with and participate in a yoga session.
Live classes are also great for homeschool physical education credits!
These live, online kids yoga classes provide all of the benefits of yoga for kids while also giving them that personal interaction that can make learning so much fun!
Final Thoughts About Kids’ Yoga
Yoga is, without a doubt, very beneficial for kids – both in terms of their physical and mental wellbeing.
When introducing yoga for kids our best piece of advice is to start small and build up. This applies to difficulty but also to the length of time yoga sessions last.
Learning any new skill takes time. Yoga is a practice and that means it needs to be worked on gradually. Jumping straight into the deep end with something too challenging will distract from the relaxation aspects and discourage kids.
Finally, don’t forget that teaching your kids how to relax through yoga is also a clever way of you stealing a few extra minutes of calm and relaxation, so make the most of it and enjoy!