Updated: Mar 12, 2018
I recently hosted a birthday party for one of my Little Lotus for Kids yoga students. I planned a typical yoga class for the event, complete with breathing exercises, a mindfulness activity, movement, music, games, and Savasana. The room was set up with 19 mats and space for parents to observe. As the kids arrived, they worked on coloring pages to settle in and await the start of the event. I was truly honored to be a part of her special day.
People often ask me why I offer yoga for children. Aside from the obvious fun that these kids are having, there are many other benefits of yoga for young people.
The first benefit that I see in both my classroom and in the yoga studio is that students can calm themselves by using simple techniques such as breathing (pranayama), visualization, or tools such as the calming jar or mindfulness bell. These techniques for self-regulating will be valuable for life, both in school and out in the world.
Body awareness is learned through asana practice. Moving into and out of yoga postures, creating our own postures, and holding poses all help children to learn about their own bodies. Impulsivity can be an issue for some children; becoming aware of the physical body can decrease the tendency to be impulsive.
Children love to move, and movement creates both physical and mental health. Yoga offers the body the exercise that it needs to grow strong, limber, and healthy. In this day of sedentary lifestyles, adding yoga into the day or week will give children a lifelong tool for wellness. Further, a regular yoga class for children can bring about increased resilience, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
Learning to breath, move, and listen to one's own body all lead toward an increased capacity for awareness. There is consistent evidence of an increasing prevalence of ADHD. Children need tools to improve their ability to focus and pay attention to teachers, parents, and their surroundings.
These are just a few of the benefits of introducing a child to yoga. Regular practice will bring about great reward. For more information, please message me. I would be happy to discuss this at length and help you to find a children's class in your area. Namaste.
(The title of this article was inspired by Julie Daniel, a yoga teacher at Yoga for Kids of Central NY. Thank you, Julie for your support and encouragement.)