Yoga is becoming so widely known, accepted and practiced among all groups and types of people—regardless of age, race, or belief system—because yoga has incredible benefits for everyone.
Kids can also benefit in many ways from practicing yoga just like adults, but kids can benefit more! Because children are learning so much and they’re like sponges, they gain a lot of value from yoga socially and mentally, and of course physically.
Kids who start practicing yoga at an early age have very distinct advantages as they grow and move through life. In the blog below, we’ve highlighted 5 invaluable ways yoga helps kids at a young age.
Yoga is like play time for kids. As kids practice yoga more, they learn that everyone falls and everyone gets up to try again.
And we all know in the case of doing yoga, older does not necessarily mean better. Just like yoga for adults, all kids are encouraged to move forward into and out of poses at their own pace. There can be a six-year-old in class that has been doing yoga for a while and is more familiar than a nine-year-old; so yoga requires kids to be patient with each other, especially those who aren’t as experienced as they are themselves.
And because there’s not as much competition in yoga as there is in other sports, kids tend to restrain themselves from showing off in front of those who are less experienced and still learning.
For kids, yoga is truly an environment filled with support, patience, and respect—all great qualities that every kid should learn!
Yoga also teaches kids to be patient with themselves and to become more self aware. Yoga teaches them to tune into what’s happening on the inside rather than what’s happening on the outside. Yoga encourages self awareness in young kids as their understanding of their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and their body continue to strengthen. Yoga encourages kids to explore the unfamiliar with open minds and be comfortable in their bodies.
Because yoga is challenging and doesn’t come naturally for everyone, it helps kids recognize and appreciate the differences between themselves and others. It also teaches them the importance of focus, practice and pushing themselves toward reaching a goal.
Physical Activity & Strength
We all know a kid that has had way too much energy. You may even know one who doesn’t like sports all that much. Yoga is a great physical activity that is fun yet challenging. And for kids who don’t enjoy conventional sports, yoga may provide a much-needed physical outlet in a non-competitive environment to help get rid of all that extra energy and to build strength. Yoga also enhances kids’ flexibility, strength, endurance, balance and coordination.
As kids become better at yoga, it builds their self esteem and encourages them to try things they’re not super comfortable with. Yoga instills a sense of accomplishment in children that translates into life events and activities without being so competitive like most sports.
Because each and every child is a winner in yoga, every movement whether big or small, is a success!
That’s right, kids need mental breaks too!
To navigate life's challenges with a little more ease, kids also need time away from the stresses brought on during school, after-school activities, by television and video games, etc. Like adults, they need a little time to just be with themselves.
Kids who practice yoga also have a greater appreciation for quiet time, a sense of calmness, and an easier time relaxing, which makes communicating with them and disciplining them that much easier!
Kids who practice yoga regularly benefit from learning self-health techniques such as taking deep breaths and clearing their mind. These good habits and behaviors can be helpful to kids because they are proven ways to reduce anxiety.
Studies have also connected yoga to showing improvements in kids who experience asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, ADHD, and even autism. According to parents.com, an American Psychological Association survey reported that nearly one third of kids ages 8 to 17 said that they had symptoms associated with stress and anxiety, such as headaches and stomach aches. But these are symptoms that yoga can address, even in those younger than 8 years old!
Getting kids familiar with yoga now is a perfect way to help them manage anxiety and encourage a healthy lifestyle as they grow into their teenage years and adulthood.
Yoga can continue to help them deal with their changing bodies, fight off illnesses, and give them ways to combat stress in academic and social situations, in their careers and as they have families of their own.