Benefits of yoga

International Children's Day

Yoga is designed to create a balance of mind and body, to ease stress, to create physical flexibility, and to transform lives. Once it was the domain of the middle classes, those with time to spare and cash to burn, but now it is accessible to everyone, and it is a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst de-stressing and allowing the mind to recharge.

If adults can benefit so much from yoga, what about children? And how does yoga for children differ from the 5,000-year-old practice that is now so widely known and, if not completely understood, then at least utilised in everyday life for so many?

Children’s yoga is becoming more and more popular, and has been shown to have many benefits for the little ones that can really make a difference in their lives at home and at school. Yoga for children differs from the standard version for adults in that it is mainly play centred. This is a great way to keep the kids interested and involved, and gets them to pose themselves in the yoga stances without them even realising it. Games that include props or visual stimulus are particularly helpful, but it’s not all about physical movement – some games are more about focus and attention, noticing what might have changed in a scene, for example. And some are about meditation, learning how to breathe in a certain way in order to be able to relax. As long as a game can be made of it, the child will learn and automatically use that learning in their day-to-day lives.

Of course, not all the poses are possible with youngsters, and not all are required (especially as children are inherently flexible anyway), so our specialist children’s yoga teachers will cater his or her class to specific moves that will benefit a child. Perfection, although expected in an adult class, is not striven for here – the intention of the move or pose is much more important.

Benefits

  • Children’s yoga keeps the child flexible for longer, meaning that the body is less prone to injury
  • Children’s yoga teaches the child how to focus, pay attention, concentrate, and learn self-control
  • Children’s yoga gives the child greater self-esteem, persistence, and confidence
  • Children’s yoga relaxes the child, and when they do become tense or upset, they are able to calm themselves using their yoga techniques
  • Children’s yoga is often said to ignite creativity. The games that are played require the children to interact with stories, and to think of their own
  • Children’s yoga encourages kind behaviour
  • Children’s yoga provides a positive body image
  • Children’s yoga teaches discipline and good manners

Research shows that mindfulness meditation can be very helpful in relieving ADHD symptoms.  Yoga has been shown to help improve ADHD symptoms, too, although most of the research has been done with children. Like mindfulness meditation, it ups dopamine levels and strengthens the prefrontal cortex.

Mindfulness meditation strengthens your ability to control your attention. It teaches you how to observe yourself and to focus on something. And it trains you to bring your wandering mind back into the moment when you get distracted. It can also make you more aware of your emotions so you’re less likely to act impulsively.

Yoga has been shown to help improve ADHD symptoms, too, although most of the research has been done with children. Like mindfulness meditation, it ups dopamine levels and strengthens the prefrontal cortex.

Why not try an energising breath with your child

Concertina Breath – An energising breathing exercise that gets oxygen to the brain and can help children to feel more active if they are lethargic and lacking in energy. 

Interlace the fingers under the chin, breathe in through the nose and at the same time raise the elbows up and take the head back. Breathe out through the mouth and lower the elbows down again, repeat a minimum of 5 times. 

You can find more mindfulness techniques and fund activities to do at home with your child on our website:

https://www.thebugsgroup.com/the-bugs-group-activities-page/

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