The Benefits of Starting Your Child’s Yoga Practice
Regularly practicing yoga can provide positive physical and mental benefits, including increased muscle strength, improved cardio and circulatory health, and reduced stress levels, to name a few. While it’s often thought of as more of an adult wellness activity, kids can also realize the same health benefits by discovering their inner “yogi.” Here are a few reasons why your kids should consider finding their Zen at an early age.
- It can boost their self-esteem and confidence. Yoga teaches kids to persevere, be patient and work toward their goals, ultimately instilling confidence and building their self-esteem. Practicing yoga also provides them with tools for practicing compassion, mindfulness, strength, and flexibility, which can serve well in their life as they go through school, meeting new friends, and even ultimately starting a career.
- It can help them achieve a mind-body connection. By exercising their body and calming the mind, yoga can alleviate both physical and mental pressures (personal, parental, social) that children won’t feel before long in today’s fast-paced world. Ultimately yoga can help in creating a healthier body, mind and spirit.
- It helps focus and concentration. Practicing still yoga poses encourages kids to focus, and has even been said to help children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That clear mind has even been shown to translate to the classroom, as studies have shown yoga helps kids to concentrate in school and even get better grades.
Here are a few poses you and your child can try out together:
- Downward dog: Start out on all fours. Raise hips up toward the ceiling while simultaneously straightening your legs and pushing your head and neck between your straight arms. Spread out your fingers, creating a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Attempt to lower your heels to the ground, relaxing your head. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Child’s pose: Lower yourself down to your knees and bend forward. Bring your arms out in front of you and lower your forehead down to the ground, breathing deeply. Stay here for at least 10 seconds.
- Legs on the wall: Lie on your back with your legs straight up a wall. Relax your arms at your side and close your eyes for as long as you want to decompress. If this becomes painful, bend your legs slightly.
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