Happy Wednesday! Today’s blog post is all about the kiddies. We all know that yoga is good for us and that we need it in our lives, but it’s just as amazing (and necessary) for kids! Kids of all ages can and should practice yoga. These days it’s hard to keep kids focused and entertained (especially when many of their eyeballs are glued to tvs, video games and computers). Perhaps introducing something new like yoga might open their eyes to a whole new way of looking at things… with the computer off. The reasons as to why yoga and kids mix are endless. You want to know why? Oh,well, here’s just a few:
- Yoga promotes physical strength, encouraging children to use all of their muscles in new ways. This is great for non-athletic children who typically shy away from physical activity in fear of failure or being picked last. It also helps athletic children to excel in other physical activities and sports.
- Yoga promotes body awareness. Young children learn about their spines, joints, and muscles. They learn how to manipulate their bodies and maximize their mobility.
- The flexibility that results from a child’s yoga practice increases his or her range of motion and helps prevent injuries.
- Yoga helps children to develop improved posture. Children actually become excited to sit up straight and stand up tall. Make sure that they understand that this rule applies outside of yoga, too!
- Yoga teaches children to listen to their bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain.
- Yoga builds self-esteem and self-respect. A child’s yoga practice is a rare opportunity to do something without ever having to worry about being wrong.
- Yoga is non-competitive. It is one of very few (if any) non-competitive activities that a child can participate in. In day-to-day life, children compete on everything. Who’s the smartest? The tallest? The prettiest? The most popular?
- Acceptance is a large part of yoga. Children learn that they are okay just the way they are. And when they don’t feel the need to constantly compare themselves to others, they become more accepting of everybody else’s differences.
- Yoga helps children to focus and concentrate in school and get better grades.
- A child’s yoga practice helps in developing creative thinking skills and encouraging original thought.
- In yoga, children learn to take turns, to be nice, and to respect others.
- When children practice yoga, they learn how to be still (and quiet!). This helps them to listen with attention and make good decisions.
- Balance is a key element of yoga. The balancing poses promote mental and physical balance. Mental clarity and balance emerge from the effort of trying the poses. Even if a child never learns to stand on one foot, if they can learn to stay calm when they fall—and to get up and try again—they’ve learned balance.
- The only way that anyone grows in life is through challenge. When a child is facing an extreme challenge with a particular pose or activity, the child can learn to modify the pose in order to find the success within the challenge.
- When children learn to breathe deeply and fully, and become more aware, they can bring peacefulness or energy to their bodies.
- As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!
- YOGA IS FUN!
If you are wondering where and how you can get your kid(s) into yoga, check out any of your local yoga studios and you should be able to find something! The beauty of yoga is that kids can practice alone, with a friend, with a parent or a group. So at the very least– you can do some yoga with your kids in the comfort of your home! Many schools now have yoga programs as well (or would be open to starting one). Contact your kid’s school or teachers to see if it’s a possibility.
This summer at extendYoga, we are holding KIDS extendYOGA CAMP: June 24-28, 2013. It’s a jam packed week full of awesome, not-just-yoga, but crafts, games, music, community service projects and more! This session is for 5-8 year olds, but please contact us if your kid falls outside of this age range and you are interested in camp. Check here for more info and to sign up!
Here’s a sneak peak:
Come play with us at our adventurous kids yoga camp! Together we will explore yoga poses as we travel from the wild safari all the way down to the depths of the ocean! It’s a time to relax, have fun, meet new friends and play~ while stretching and learning exciting ways to move our bodies. We’ll also get crafty with various craft activities, play games, practice journaling and participate in seva (community/volunteer service) projects. We hope to see you soon! No prior yoga experience is required.
All the details: extendyoga.com/kids-camp
See you (and your kids) on the mat!