How Yoga Can Improve Your Child’s Life

Last updated on April 26th, 2018 at 03:24 pm

I began practicing yoga two years ago and immediately knew I had found something amazing. As I have developed my personal flow I have come to cherish the space it gives to express myself. It has aided me in dealing with anxiety and depression and has taught me how to channel my energy in  a very positive way. These benefits don’t just apply to adults. Children can also benefit greatly from learning the mindfulness practice.

Yoga is a way of connecting your mind, body, and spirit through movement. During a flow the practitioner moves their conscious attention away from the exterior world and into their own body. This makes it an especially good practice for children who are developing the internal mental framework they will use to understand the world around them. It also is a practice in grace and strength and will aid a child whose body is changing rapidly.

Here are some reasons why you should develop your child’s yoga practice.

Yoga is an excellent coping mechanism. It can help children process new information and experiences by giving them an avenue to channel excess energy and emotion. When they feel overwhelmed, yoga can bring them back into their body and place their awareness on the one thing they can control, themselves.

Yoga teaches emotional and physical boundaries.  For adults who practice yoga, our mat is our sacred space. It is where we come to move and feel without judgement. Teaching children how to  create this safe space for themself introduces them to boundary setting. Allowing them to express themselves fully on the mat shows them there is a time and a place for everything and it’s okay to take space when they need it.

Yoga is physically difficult. It takes strength, balance, and coordination. It is a tiring activity that doesn’t take much space and can be done anywhere without any extra tools. Even the mat is a matter of preference. Children are still developing their muscles and coordination. Yoga challenges both without placing too much stress on their bodies.

Yoga will increase your child’s ability to focus. The postures require complete attention and an awareness of every part of their body from their fingertips to their bellies. When a child practices focusing on a certain point on their body (like their core when they’re practicing downward dog) they increase their ability to focus on other things like words and numbers when they’re reading or in math class.

A consistent yoga practice will help children grow more confident and help prepare them mentally and emotionally for the ups 

and downs of life.

Here are  a few basic poses you can try with your child.

Downward Dog: From a standing position, lean down until you can put your hands on the floor and step your feet back until you create a V shape. Let your head hang loosely. Try to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and feet and draw your belly in. This posture is great for your back and neck and helps strengthen the wrists as well.

Tree Pose: Stand on one foot and draw the other foot into the inner thigh of the standing leg. Bring palms together into a praying position at your chest and breathe deeply. Switch feet. This posture helps with balance and coordination and is very calming because it requires a lot of focus.

Child’s Pose: Sit on your knees and bend forward until your chest touches your thighs. Rest your arms by your side. This is a very comforting posture and is great for taking some time and space to just breathe.

For more great children’s poses check out Kid’s Stories.

Don’t forget Savasana. Savasana is the meditative practice at the end of every session. Here encourage them to breathe deeply from their belly and pay attention to how their body feels now that they are finished stretching. It is a time of peace and calm.

That centered feeling is why we practice. It is the ability to consistently find that calm place no matter what is going on around us that makes yoga such a beautiful experience. It is the practice of being at peace when everything else is chaos.

For more information on the health benefits of yoga check out:

Namaste.

Editor’s note: Always consult your child’s pediatrician before beginning any new exercise routine. 

About the Author

Clara is a lifelong writer who recently became stepmom to an energetic seven-year-old boy. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Alabama and has written on a variety of subjects including social issues, politics, and music. A yoga practitioner and foodie with a deep passion for health and wellness, she seeks to use her education and experience to help individuals create better lives for themselves and their children. Clara is currently living in Atlanta with her husband and her 80lb ridgeback mix. Clara is a member of the PedSafe Team

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