It is well known that yoga and meditation help release mental and physical stress in adults, but it can also help relax your kids! While it may not be in the same way we do, or to the same extent, kids feel stress and anxiety that they need to release, and yoga can be an excellent way to do it. Yoga can teach kids how to develop a calm and focused mind, as well as bring emotional balance to their life. Studies show that yoga improves children’s physical and mental well-being, while supporting the development of healthy relationships and the ability to self-regulate emotionally, mentally, and behaviorally. Since yoga is not common at child care programs, it can be a great activity to do with them. Keep reading to learn more, and for more information about how Lighthouse Explorers uplifts your child’s mental and physical health through our child care programs, give us a call today.
How Yoga Helps Children
Yoga Teaches Kids Self-Acceptance
Yoga teaches kids to accept their bodies and their physical strengths and weaknesses and ultimately gives them the tools to ward off those feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and low self-esteem.
Yoga Helps Kids Develop Spatial Skills
Yoga works on strength, coordination, balance, motor skills, and so much more. It increases core strength and helps children learn proper posture. As children learn how to guide themselves in and out of yoga poses, they are taught self-awareness and how to control their bodies.
Yoga is Non-Competitive
Yoga teaches children that their bodies are different! And different bodies can do different things, and that is okay. There is no one better or worse at yoga than anyone else; it is perfectly acceptable for kids to explore their own bodies and learn from them in their own way, and should they choose to pursue it as something they want to get better at, that is their choice.
Yoga Teaches Self-Awareness
In addition to learning about their bodies and what they are capable of, yoga helps children learn they can control their thoughts and how to react to a given situation, which brings awareness to the body, mind, and spirit. When the three work together, children develop into more confident, kind, and responsible adults.
Yoga Enhances Children’s Concentration and Memory
One of the top benefits of kid’s yoga is that the different types of moves require children to focus and work on their memorization skills, both of which can translate over into their academic performance.
Yoga Improves Strength and Breath Control
Yoga takes strength, both mentally and physically. When practiced regularly, children may start to notice physical and cognitive changes, especially flexibility, upper body strength, and mental clarity. Much of this newfound strength has much to do with the breath. When we breathe too harshly or quickly, we increase muscle tension, reduce focus, and heighten our fight-or-flight response, all of which have detrimental effects on our minds and bodies. Teaching proper breathing techniques, and building physical and mental strength from a young age, helps to reduce the chances of obesity, depression, and depressive symptoms.
Yoga Positions to Do With Your Kids
These don’t present much of a challenge at all, making them easy to do for both you and your child.
This pose stretches and releases stress in your neck and spine, and can be done by:
Get on all fours like a table. Make sure that your knees are aligned with your hips, and your wrists, elbows, and shoulders should be straight and perpendicular to the floor.
Inhale slowly and arch your spine upwards, like a cat.
Without forcing your chin into your chest, tilt your head towards the floor.
Exhale, and return to your original tabletop position.
Repeat this process as many times as you like.
This pose is great for working on balance.
With both feet planted sturdy on the ground, turn one knee out and slightly bend the knee.
Grab your foot, or lift the sole of your foot on the inside of your other knee on the foot that is planted sturdy.
Put your palms together in front of your heart. Try to hold this pose as long as you can.
The butterfly post not only stretches your lower body, but also regulates intestinal and bowel movement.
Sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you.
Fold your legs until your feet touch. Use your hands to hold them.
Slowly move your thighs and knees towards.
Flap your legs like a butterfly as you breathe at a calm pace.
These are just a few ways in which yoga helps children learn about themselves, there are plenty of more reasons why yoga is a great outlet for kids! There is no better time than now to spend some time doing yoga with your kids than now. Contact our Christian child care center in Rosemount to learn about our programs.