Mental health has been a highly-documented topic of late, with many reports that stress and anxiety are on the rise even in our younger generation. This is so sad, and we really need to look at yoga and other ways that we can promote relaxation and a healthy mind and healthy body.
Yoga, for children, with its benefits for both the body and mind, is a great way to get kids to learn to relax. Even better, it can be practised anywhere and at any time.
What does yoga do for kids?
What is it that makes yoga so beneficial to young bodies and minds? The physical elements that yoga focuses on include breathing techniques, behavioural guidance and posture. Mentally, yoga practice also teaches children helpful ways to react to situations, promotes self-discovery and boosts their self-esteem and respect.
The combination of controlled breathing, which promotes a sense of calm, and specific poses helps to develop physical flexibility and strength. Children learn to use their muscles by copying the poses and breathing …in ways in which they never knew before.
By challenging children with different poses yoga for children can also help them to become more aware of the ways their bodies move. They learn to concentrate and focus on clearing their minds to work on perfecting the poses, which is a skill that needs to be encouraged and a great one to transfer to their time at school.
As well as promoting strength and flexibility yoga is great for children’s motor development, balance and co-ordination – all key skills for our younger generation. As a child concentrates on balancing – which for some can be very difficult – it promotes mental poise and control as they focus on controlling their emotions at the same time – if they do fall, they just learn to brush themselves off and get back up to try again. This leads on to learning about perseverance and patience as they work towards the goal of completing a pose – all key building blocks to learn as they move through the years at school and in life.
Yoga builds self esteem
Finally, yoga is well known to be a fantastic way to boost self-esteem at any age, and regular practice can really help to instill confidence in young children as they complete the poses and breathing techniques in a calm and relaxing environment.
Yoga for children is a relaxing way to teach them many important skills, and encourages them to do the best they can – a key Learn Play Grow aim too.
Read more about yoga in childhood and try some fun yoga exercises: