Why Yoga for Kids?
Busy lifestyles are commonplace for today’s kids due to a combination of factors including varied caregivers, multiple activities, academic and social pressure and media influences. As a result, many kids are “maxed out” and busy parents are seeking ways to chill out and have fun with their kids. Yoga helps tone the body and relax the mind. It’s a beneficial exercise for pregnant women, children, youth and adults of all ages and abilities. Perhaps the most valuable benefit of yoga for kids is the skill of self-regulation, the ability to manage one’s energy up or down.
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Yoga is a 5,000 year-old scientific system, designed to empower health, happiness, and a greater sense of self. The word yoga means “union” and refers to the oneness of mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not a religion. It supports and enhances all cultural, racial and religious backgrounds. Beyond the well-known benefits such as increasing strength, flexibility, and concentration, yoga is non-competitive and fun! The benefits of yoga for babies, toddlers, kids, and adults include:
Body • Assists neuromuscular-development • Encourages midline crossing (motor development on both sides of the body) • Develops a strong and flexible body • Increases balance, body awareness and coordination • Reduces injuries and improves performance • Improves digestion and strengthens the immune system • Relaxes the body and promotes better sleep
Mind • Relieves tension and stress • Increases concentration, focus and attention span • Promotes thinking and memory • Stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness • Calms and quiets the mind • Reduces stress and anxiety • Balances energy (high or low)
Soul • Builds confidence and self-esteem • Enhances team skills and social interaction • Develops discipline and self-control • Inspires respect for self and others • Enables social interaction and self-expression • Encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle • It’s playful and fun!
Benefits of Yoga in the School Setting
Anti-bullying, health and wellness, and character education are common themes in American schools today, all focusing on educating the whole child, mind, body and spirit. Yoga, by nature, supports this learning.
The following are some of the benefits of yoga to support the education of the whole child, thus maximizing the learning process:
- Provides students healthy ways to express and balance their emotions
- Promotes a more relaxed, comfortable state of being - the perfect state for teaching and learning
- Brings students into the present moment – the most basic requirement for learning
- Encourages community and connectedness within the classroom
- Helps to create an atmosphere of confidence, enthusiasm and non-competitiveness where everyone can succeed
- Provides opportunities for beneficial motor breaks throughout the day
- Eases anxiety and tension (such as pre-test or performance jitters)
- Enhances focus, concentration, comprehension and memory
- Provides opportunities for reflection, patience and insight, reducing impulsivity and reactivity
- Supports social and emotional learning
- Improves listening skills
- Wakes up sluggish minds and creativity as needed
- Enhances organizational and communication skills
- Improves posture, assisting students to sit comfortably for long periods
- Enhances motor skills and balance
- Improves mind/body awareness and connection
- Improves confidence and self-esteem
- Encourages respect for oneself and others
- Creates a calm, harmonious classroom