Children are born natural yoginis. It is not unusual to have babies lying on their tummies and arching their backs into cobra snake pose, or toddlers practicing their own version of downward dog. They do it because it feels good. No-one has taught them. Their own bodies know instinctively how to stretch and move to wellness.
I have been teaching yoga to children and teenagers in schools for over 10 years. It is fun and they love it!
I am finding more and more in today’s society there is a separation of mind and body. Children’s attention is being pulled outwards toward the ever-increasing distractions of the external world. Yoga gives children and teenagers an easily accessed tool kit to assist them to connect with themselves and others with compassion, understanding and clarity. Through movement, play, stories, breathwork, and relaxation, yoga provides children and teenagers with opportunities to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Here are some of the benefits that yoga can provide for their bodies:
- Increases balance, coordination and overall body awareness
- Develops core strength, essential for posture and alignment
- Improves digestion and elimination
- Strengthens the immune system
- Assists neuromuscular development
- Increases circulation, uptake of oxygen and functioning of hormones
- Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep
- Improves brainpower
Here are some of the benefits that yoga can provide for their minds:
- Calms and clears the mind
- Relieves tension and stress
- Brings your child into the present moment
- Increases concentration, focus and attention span
- Promotes thinking and boosts memory
- Fosters imagination and creativity
- Balances low/high energy levels
- Improves ability to be less reactive, more mindful of thoughts, speech and action
- Builds co-operative skills
- Develops a positive self-image
There are currently many research studies on the benefits of yoga for children/teenagers. The research speaks for itself.
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