Children today face many stresses that range from academic to social and everything in between. While every child has his or her own unique ways of dealing with challenges, experts agree that children can help ease stress by practicing the art of yoga.
Everyone needs time to relax and unwind from life’s stresses and children are no exception. So why not do yoga together? The benefits of yoga for children and adults are threefold; mind, body and spirit. The quiet, non-competitive environment of a yoga session creates an opportunity to channel energy positively and release pressure in a healthy, productive manner.
Yoga leads to a greater awareness of the body and its surroundings. With this understanding, a child will be able to increase strength and balance, both mentally and physically. Believe it or not, yoga is an excellent source of exercise and can help prevent childhood obesity.
While there are many different styles of yoga, two are especially beneficial for children. Pratyahara, the sense of self-awareness, will develop with the practice of mindfulness, while pranayama, the art of controlled breathing, helps children change their state of mind and the way they feel, which is important for stress management.
If you’re starting our child out young, look out for classes that include imagination and, yes, a little noise. You’ll want to allow children to engage their imaginations and talk about their poses or make corresponding animal noises and movements. This method makes the activity much more engaging for young participants. For older children, consider studios that offer classes specifically for their age group or for families.
If fitting in a yoga class between school and activities just isn’t in the cards for your family, reach for the closest computer and check out instructional videos and YouTube channels devoted to yoga lessons. You can even bring your mats outside for a deeper connection with nature.
By practicing yoga with your kids, you can create a healthy family ritual and memorable tradition that will allow you to strengthen your bond with your child.
Sources: Kaplan University, PBS Parents, Yoga Journal