YOGA and KIDS :
Let me start the conversation with some frequently asked questions:
Can kids do Yoga? …. If so what is the best age for this?
Is Yoga good for kids? How does it help them? ….
Do they benefit from Yoga? can you share some examples…..?
The answer to all the above questions is YES. YES and YES.
Kids are natural when it comes to Yoga. We on the other side are making there lives more complicated either with back to back activities or having too much electronics/gaming rather than natural gaming or moving around whereas coming to these days with online learning (I know we do not have a choice) it is tremendously more screen time and less recess time.
Kids need a way to move there body and burn off there energy or anxiety or excitement through some defined breathing techniques. To me no other program other than Yoga can accomplish this.
Kids are natural in flexibility and as they grow older they get to be stiffer and tighter and have this wrong misconception of ” YOGA is all about FLEXIBILITY”. Remember yoga is not gymnastics where I see kids throw themselves into any pose. Yoga, if taught correctly, is vert controlled way to access your body, mind, and breath. Instead of making them strong, and confident, we are working very hard in the opposite direction.
The reason I love teaching kids is, to make them strong individuals. I feel very sorry and sad when kids come up and say “I am not good at this or I can’t do this or thinking everything in life is hard” ……… Look at what kind of world we have put in front of them that everything in life should be hard or if it comes easy then you are not good enough…..
My goal is to teach this ancient philosophy from the true roots and help the kid to be more confident and strong. When the kid is a grown-up adult, I am talking about 30+ they have a tool called “YOGA” which once have shown them how strong they were and believe me “YOGA WILL SHOW ITS MAGIC”. Have some trust in these 5000+ years of our ancestor’s knowledge.
If you are asking which age group I teach :
preschoolers, Elementary schools, Teens, and Tweens.
Let’s talk about some benefits:
Kids derive enormous benefits from yoga. Here are some of them:
Self-Acceptance: Physically, it improves their flexibility, strength, and coordination. Which slowly builds into Confidence and helps to deal with issues like bullying. Also, the movement in Yoga helps improve Physical health and helps reduce injury in sports, and improves overall fitness.
Emotional Wellbeing: Yoga is Non-competitive, which teaches kids to accept what they are and which helps to reduce anxiety and depression / over-stimulation, and stress in the modern life.
“I can’t even start how much a higher schooler lately every one goes through this.” This teaches them to accept their friends, neighbors better as we are different within ourselves.
Focus: We live in a world of distractions. More and more these days, kids seem unable to focus on anything for any decent length of time. I have heard that we have focused less than a “GoldFish”, sad right. Yoga teaches kids to be present, and to concentrate and focus on their breathing, on the pose and doing so the posture gets better.
Health: Yoga Improves the overall Circulation of the blood, improves digestion, and manages the endocrine systems which is essential for Hormonal health. Mentally, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improve.
Builds Community: Yoga builds a very Kind and Empathetic community. Who doesn’t want this?
To add more to the above benefits here are some research papers for you to read and know how much developing Mind-Body Awareness is important for kids to address stress and anxiety, promote social and emotional learning, and physical and emotional health. These are all basic requirements for readiness to learn and for a positive and Healthy Childhood.
This awareness (also known as mindfulness) may lead to changes in behavior. Check out these studies below for more information.
Benavides & Caballero, 2009
Wang & Hagins, 2016
Eastman-Mueller et al., 2013
Kaley-Isley, Peterson, Fischer, & Peterson, 2010
Miller et al., 2014
Butzer et al., 2015
Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor, 2010
Cramer, Lauche, Haller, et al., 2014
Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2012
Purohit et al., 2016
Liu et al., 2014
Bryan, Pinto, & Parasher, 2011
Harris et al., 2016
Jennings et al., 2013
Kemeny et al., 2012
Nosaka & Okamura, 2015
Schussler et al., 2016
Sharp & Jennings, 2016