Yoga is a practice that millions of adults use to reduce stress, strengthen the mind-body connection, and increase flexibility. And it works! But can children harness the benefits of yoga, too?
Being a kid today is tough. Children face all sorts of pressures and challenges at school, at home, and within their own minds. Not to mention they’re loaded with energy.
Yoga is one way for them to channel that energy and those pressures into something positive, finding peace in an often hectic world.
Benefits of yoga for children
Kids will find many of the same benefits through yoga that adults do:
- Mind-body connection
- Body awareness
- Stress management
- Increased confidence
- An avenue to unplug and unwind
- Breath awareness and control
The benefits of yoga for children are endless. Not only will they release energy in a safe and non-competitive environment, they’ll improve coordination, strengthen cognitive skills, and learn how to relax and manage stress in a healthy way.
Plus, yoga is a playful way to introduce kids to purposeful exercise and mindful meditation. Two things that will benefit them well into adulthood.
Of course, like most things, kids will face certain challenges that adults do not. Some examples of these are:
- Shorter attention spans and lots of chatter: Kid’s yoga isn’t going to be silent like adult yoga, but that’s ok! Children should be allowed to chat amongst themselves as long as they’re under control and actively participating.
- Less complex poses and flows: Adult yoga can get complicated pretty quickly, but with kids, poses often need to be a lot simpler and flows a lot shorter.
- Blunt honesty: Kids keep it real. If they’re not loving your class or if they’re finding it boring, they’ll let you (or the instructor) know.
Sure, kid yoga looks a little different than adult yoga, but that’s the fun of it! And most challenges are really nothing more than small adjustments.
What to keep in mind
If you’re thinking about getting your child involved in yoga, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, do your research. Find an instructor who has a background specialising in teaching children. You’ll also want to make sure to sign your child up for a class in the appropriate age group and skill level.
It’s a good idea to look for smaller class sizes because this will allow the instructor to give each child more 1-on-1 attention and help. Teaching children is tough on its own--teaching too many children is nearly impossible.
You’ll also want to consider speaking with your child’s paediatrician first. This way you can ask any lingering questions about risks and feel good about your decision.
Like mentioned earlier, one way to get your child involved in yoga is by finding a local children’s class. If you’re in the Sydney area, a list of local kids yoga studios can be found here. Closer to Melbourne? Check out a list of Melbourne’s best yoga classes for kids, here.
If your child would benefit from a more intimate setting in the comfort of their own home, Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great option. They offer fun, playful online videos that teach children to fall in love with yoga. Each video is taught by a skilled yoga professional--versed in teaching kids.
Yoga is no longer just for adults--more and more kids are finding themselves stretched out on a mat.
Through a yoga practice, kids are able to learn about their bodies, connect with their minds, and unwind after crazy days of being a kid.
As long as you do your research and take some small precautions, yoga for kids is totally safe and super-beneficial! So grab a mat and get to flowing. Namaste.
About THE AUTHOR:
A health and wellness writer, Kaili loves trying out new ways to sweat—like mountain climbing and hot yoga—and following it up with a delicious homemade Buddha Bowl.
As a writer and editor, Kaili has written for multiple fitness and nutrition companies as well as health and wellness magazines. She also runs her own website: SideOfKail.com, where she delves into the latest trends and topics in the health world.
When she’s not tossing weight around in the gym, Kaili can be found cuddled up with her cat Oliver and reading a good book, or booking a flight across the world without a plan.