8 Ways Kids Benefit from Yoga
There are more distractions than ever before today for young children, and many of them are not seen as positive influences. Cellphone usage for instance, has penetrated down even to the youngest levels, and many of the youngest kids have become addicted to using such devices. Video games are another major distraction for kids today, and as with phones, one of the big drawbacks to extended usage is the fact that it interferes with kids doing more creative and playful things like enjoying the outdoors.
In fact, according to a YMCA survey, 75% of all children aged 5 to 10 get less than an hour of physical activity per day, and in many cases it’s none at all. One great way to counteract all that inactivity with something very positive and healthful is by helping youngsters get involved with Yoga for Kids, either through yoga in schools, or through a certified meditation instructor.
More energy and strength
Yoga can be very helpful for building strength in young people, with some specific exercises ideally suited to that purpose. Because certain muscle groups are used in poses repeatedly, it can help develop those muscles and add overall strength to the body. Bodies which are stronger can manage heavy weights like backpacks better, and can help to energize the young person throughout the day.
Various yoga exercises help kids to connect with their bodies, and be in touch with what happens during deep breathing. Breathing and lung capacity increase, as does focus, during the practice of yoga, and this all leads to a greater awareness internally and externally.
Poses emphasizing balance help to teach children to be able to focus better and increase their attention span. This is true even with children who have particular difficulty with maintaining focus, because it instills in them a stillness and a peace of mind, which can be very useful for dealing with the chaotic world around them.
Along with developing strong muscles, flexibility is very important so that bones, joints, and muscles do not give way as easily when under stress. Some yoga poses specifically emphasize the stretching of muscles, and by incorporating movement and breathing, greater flexibility can be achieved.
Awareness and focus
Awareness in the body is created through movement and deep breathing, and it gives children a chance to make the connection between what they hear and the things they do. Having body awareness builds confidence and strength, good posture, and better breathing.
By stringing poses together, children can gain a sense of flow and integration as the body moves through various poses. It provides for them a sense of movement and coordination between all parts of the body.
Meditation and relaxation
Through mindfulness meditation, your child will gain from a sense of relaxation and quieting of the spirit, both when engaged in yoga, and even afterward.
Better academic performance
Studies have shown that children who practice yoga perform better academically, and that children who have low levels of stress perform better than those with high levels of stress.