It’s no secret that yoga has several important benefits for you, but what about your kids? Yoga is just as great for kids as it is for adults. However, with children, some added benefits go far beyond the obvious physical benefits of yoga.
Most of the time, kids are right there with you, four feet away from your mat playing on the phone. So next time you’re in the downward dog, consider getting your child involved so they too can take advantage of some of these benefits!
1. We’ll Start With the Obvious: Improved Strength and Flexibility
Physical Benefit – Yoga is an excellent exercise for kids, just as it is for adults. It is excellent for developing muscle in multiple areas of the body. Yoga doesn’t target one specific area or muscle group – as is the case with a lot of other exercises and sports.
It adds tone and definition to the core muscles. This is especially important for children as their bodies are still developing. Starting yoga at a young age helps reduce the risk of obesity by helping to establish some healthy habits.
2. Foundation for Developing Athletes
Many kids end up playing sports during their middle and high school years. Yoga is a great foundation for any physical sport or developing athlete.
As mentioned, it builds overall body strength and also trains children to have higher levels of endurance – critical in almost all sports.
Furthermore, children playing a new sport will already have some experience learning new physical skills from their previous yoga exercises. So no matter which way they are heading, kids that have experience doing yoga are going to have a leg up on the competition.
3. Yoga Increases Flexibility
Why is it important to be flexible you may ask? Well, good flexibility often means good core strength and goes hand in hand with durability. Again, the same as is with adults, core strength and flexibility decrease the chances of injury.
One way to think of it is that yoga primes the body for future physical strain and repetitive motions, depending on the sport or hobby. Additionally, yoga helps to prevent wear and tear injuries that often show up later in life.
4. Mind-Body Coordination
No matter what age we are talking about, children are still developing physically and mentally. Yoga is also a workout for the mind and sharpens mind-body coordination skills in children. This is similar to hand-eye coordination and is mostly related to balance.
It’s effortless to see the benefits of yoga in younger children as it relates to balance. These kids will, without a doubt, be the first ones riding their bikes without training wheels.
5. Reduces Stress
If it works for us adults, it works for our kids also. The difference is, we know when we’re stressed out. A lot of times, children don’t know their stressed or why they’re feeling the way they are. If that’s the case, they certainly don’t know how to deal with it.
When doing yoga, children will inadvertently deal with any built-up stress. As you can see, yoga is a valuable tool for kids that wouldn’t know how to handle life stressors on their own.
6. Kids Learn to Focus and Concentrate
Often a difficult skill to teach, learning focus and concentration are major stepping stones in early childhood development.
From the very first time your kid steps on the mat and listens to direction, they are improving focus. This is especially important in children that have a hard time following instructions or get stressed out easily when trying to learn something new.
Yoga will command the attention of the child, and they will begin to try to understand how to follow the directions. As the movement and poses get more and more complicated, the child will be required to concentrate on getting into the pose and holding it.
7. Camaraderie in Group Sessions
Yoga in the living room with mom or dad is a great way to start your kid off and makes for some pretty heartwarming Instagram photos. If you want to add yet another bonus benefit to your child doing yoga, take them to a class where other children are doing yoga as well.
An all kid yoga class would be best as it will be a little less intimidating for your kid. The group setting will expose your child to other kids and their skill level. By children doing yoga together consistently, they will get to know each other and create bonds with one another.
Being that it’s not competitive, you may see your child have their first taste of camaraderie.
8. Sky High Self Esteem
There is nothing that kids love more than feeling good about themselves and showing off now and then. Anyone who’s child learned how to do a cartwheel has experienced this – cartwheels for months in public places where other kids can see how great they are.
Well, yoga takes a more subtle approach when it comes to showing off confidence. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Yoga will give your kid that positive feeling, the one that reminds them that they can do anything they set their mind to.
Just think about how much confidence your little one will feel when they realize how naturally they take to most activities learned in gym class.
The Benefits of Yoga for Kids are Long Lasting
At this point, there are a number of terrific reasons for kids to do yoga at a young age. While children’s bodies and minds are developing, few other ways assist in the way yoga does. Yoga promotes good physical health and fights childhood obesity.
It sharpens the mind just as it tones the muscles. It leaves children feeling better physically, emotionally, and with high self-esteem. Instead of watching your child play video games, try adding yoga into their daily routine!
Especially now that you are aware of the emotional and physical benefits for your child.