In today’s climates our children are subjected to a great deal of stress, extra workloads at school, various after school activities and the high expectations that we as parents have for them. They are pushed to succeed in every single point of their lives and this can be harrowing and have negative effects. Failure and not succeeding at something is a part of growing up and the experiences of life. Children can sometimes, however, take it to heart and may even become depressed always wanting to be the high achiever and it is here that yoga brings balance into their lives.
Children and teenagers derive great benefits from yoga just like grown-ups do. It feels great to give your body a good stretch, you feel better, you also slow down your breathing and relax your mind, and this soothes out the nervous system and helps to strengthen the immune system. Physically, it enhances their flexibility and strength and improves their co-ordination. Body awareness increases as children become aware of the various muscles and joints and how they move within their bodies. They become more poised and start to believe in their abilities. In addition it improves their concentration, sense of calmness and teaches them relaxation techniques which will benefit them during challenging times in later life. Doing yoga children engage in physical exercise which is non-competitive and which promotes a sense of equality, co-operation and compassion.
Many of yoga’s postures are based on nature, as thousands of years ago when the Asana’s were being developed by Yogi’s, they lived close to nature and the natural world around them. They drew their inspiration from animals and plants. Poses like eagle teaches balance and focus and the tree pose helps children feel grounded. Children get an opportunity to become and move like an animal and imitate the movements and sounds of nature. They get to let their imagination run wild whilst taking on the qualities of another being and in doing so they become more aware.
A typical yoga class incorporates postures, controlled and conscious breathing, and some form of meditation but you’ll also find young children barking like dogs, meowing like cats or roaring like lions. The lion pose lets them experience not only the proud and powerful behavior of the lion, but also their own sense of power, when it is ok to be aggressive, when to retreat. Woodcutter teaches them how to vent anger in a controlled and safe fun way. Children learn to become aware of what it is they are feeling, realize its ok to experience these emotions and release them in a safe manner. Yoga helps them to relax and de-stress in a playful way when they feel upset or depressed.
Benefits of Kids Yoga:
- Teaches proper breathing
- Builds self-esteem
- Enhances concentration
- Increases flexibility and balance
- Improve general well-being
- Boosts confidence
- Relaxes their minds
- Aids a peaceful nights sleep
- Creates an inner sense of calm