Yoga is a popular exercise for plenty of adults, but did you know it could be beneficial for your children as well? The advantages of what yoga can do for your children might surprise you.
Yoga is a great source of stress relief. Are your kids stressed? Over extended? Hyperactive? Yoga can help them slow down, take a breath and re-center. Kids yoga is not the same as the kind we practice as adults, and even though there will be more wiggling and giggling and less focus, there will still be more peace at the end of a session. This is true especially if you use a DVD like YogaKids Silly to Calm. It starts off with a little more energy and calms down even the wiggliest of children by the end.
Activities like Yoga and Dance help children learn body awareness. It gives them a chance to learn how to control their bodies and make them move in ways they wouldn't typically move during regular everyday activities. This will also help improve large motor skills, especially balance and coordination. Kids can easily translate their newly improved balance and coordination to other sports and activities, making Yoga a great tool for any young athlete.
Sure, we're not talking about lifting weights here, but kids do need to have the opportunity to build some strength. The gentleness of yoga is a great way for them to gain an appropriate amount of strength through holding poses and doing gentle stretches. Did you know that yoga not only stretches the muscles of the body, but also the soft tissues as well? Stretching your organs is a great way to improve body functions like digestion, and can also improve your body's abilities to filter out toxins.
Posture is crucial for the growing bones and bodies of children. Yoga can help maintain that perfect posture that many young children seem to naturally have. A combination of body awareness, stretching and practice with poses, as well as building confidence, all work together to make proper posture natural for yogi kids.
The simple act of breathing is of course, a natural one. But breathing in an efficient manner, taking deep breaths, and breathing with a rhythm are all things that will be improved upon by children who practice yoga regularly. Breathing properly can help strengthen lung capacity and improve brain function among other benefits.
If you're interested in getting your children started with Yoga, check your local health clubs and gyms for classes. Some places offer Kid's Yoga, which is a more relaxed environment then the Yoga class you attend as a Mom. If you can't find anything in your area there are great resources online such as Yoga Rocks Kids on YouTube. And you can find plenty of DVD's out there to practice Yoga at home. We especially love Storyland Yoga: Yoga for Kids and Families. In this DVD your children get to listen to stories about wildlife and act them out along with your instructor.
photo credit: Little Miss Eclectic Photography