When kids begin yoga, mindful movement, and breathing exercises at a young age, they too learn the many tools that practicing yoga can help them use in the classroom and beyond.
Yoga zen and kids may not seem like the perfect combo, but in reality these two things compliment each other quite well.
If you’ve ever practiced yoga as an adult, you have likely experienced the many benefits that it has to offer: peace, calm, strength & endurance, pain management, stress relief…the list goes on and on. One of my favorite things about teaching yoga to kids is that they are less hesitant to try new poses and they tend to not take themselves too seriously. We could all use a little more of that carefree attitude, am I right?!
Benefits of Kids Yoga
There has never been a more opportune time for yoga at the preschool/daycare level. Kids, just like adults, are working to cope with the many stresses and anxiety surrounding constant changes in environment, new guidelines, illness, etc. These changes can be difficult for a little mind to take in. Yoga can be a great way for kids (& their families!) to manage these emotions.
- Helps kids learn to focus
- Enhances imagination
- Gives kids tools for body awareness
- Increase balance and coordination skills
- Teaches kids breathing techniques to help them to calm their bodies
- Cultivates social skills and can help build character – yoga is non-competitive!
- Teaches self acceptance
- Helps build confidence
- Encourages healthy habits
- Enhances focus
Getting Started with Kids Yoga
- Focus on FUN! – Fall out of a pose? Laugh it off and try again! Try to resist the urge to correct what they are doing. As long as kids are being safe, allow them to try in their own way. Use your imagination: name the poses, use loud noises (for example, “moo” and “meow” during Cat & Cow pose) and let your mind go to wherever it takes you (for example, “where are we flying to today in Airplane pose?”). Kids are more likely to stay engaged when they are a part of the process!
- Practice Anywhere! – You do not need a mat or a special space to practice yoga. When my children are restless while I’m busy making dinner, we sometimes practice balancing poses in the kitchen to get some energy out and find focus. Or maybe your son or daughter needs to feel calm in a busy restaurant…take them outside for a few breathing exercises. Literally, yoga can be done on a mat, standing up, in a chair, ANYWHERE!
- Play a Game & Let them Teach! – I love using the Yoga Pretzel Cards or playing “Yogi Says.” Playing games give us the opportunity to all get involved, burn up energy, and have fun. It enables them to have some control and practice being a leader.