7 Healthy Reasons Your Child Should Be Doing Yoga
Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about yoga and how great it makes them feel. Could yoga be a good choice for kids as well as adults? Continue reading to find out.
Yoga helps kids build strength and develop flexibility
Today's children are spending an increasing amount of time looking at screens or working on schoolwork. Yoga for kids is a great way to get your children moving again. "[Yoga] develops strength and flexibility at the same time," explains Teresa Power, the founder of International Kids' Yoga Day and bestselling author of The ABCs of Yoga for Kids. "Most kids are usually either strong or flexible, but not generally both. Yoga can help with this." If you are looking for more ways to encourage your child to live a healthy lifestyle, check out these healthy snacks that will fuel your kids.
Yoga sets children up for a healthy future
The benefits of kids yoga aren't restricted to here and now, there are long-lasting benefits that are worth the effort of teaching your children to start a daily practice. According to Power, yoga can help set your children up for a healthy future. For instance, yoga can help to regulate your child's metabolism as well as help with weight control and prevention of childhood obesity. Additionally, a regular yoga practice is believed to play a role in preventing diabetes and heart disease. "It's important for kids to start at an early age to develop these healthy habits for life," urges Power.
Yoga reduces anxiety in children
Yoga lovers have long boasted of how calming a regular yoga practice can be. The reason yogis feel so good after yoga is that this practice has been found to release chemicals in the brain associated with lowering stress and anxiety, according to webmd.com. These effects aren't reserved for adults; anxious children can use yoga to help them tame their worries. Is your child showing symptoms that they dealing with abnormal anxiety? Check out these 10 signs your child may have anxiety for guidance.
Yoga may improve your child's performance in school
At school each day, children are facing challenges that require and incredible about of mental focus. At times, our children may even experience school-related stress and anxiety because of the pressure to do well in their classes or after-school activities. According to one International Journal of Yoga study, stress can prevent students from doing their best in school. When yoga was practiced by 159 high-stress students, their stress levels not only lowered but they also performed better in school. If you're looking for a few more ideas for helping your child do better in school, check out these secrets of straight-A students.
Yoga teaches children to take care of their bodies
According to PBS, yoga can be instrumental in teaching children to listen to and care for their bodies. Children can be taught to pay attention to their bodies and how to address discomfort or pain during their practice or how their body feels when they're not getting enough sleep. These are self-care strategies everyone can benefit from and that children can continue throughout their life. If your child is having a hard time getting a good night's sleep, here are a few ideas for sleep training your toddler so you can both get some more rest.
Yoga gives kids control over their thoughts
A daily yoga and mindfulness practice teaches children to be aware of the connection that exists between their mind, emotions, and body. This awareness can be used to teach kids that they do not have to be controlled by the way they think or feel, according to licensed child psychologist, Kathryn Esquer, PhD, who provide an example of how this can play out in a student's life. "For example, when a child earns a poor score on a homework assignment she might think, 'I'm stupid. I never get anything right.' With awareness that her thoughts are not always 100 percent true, she can challenge the negative thought and re-frame it to be more reflective of reality." For example, "I didn't score as high as I'd like to on this assignment, but that doesn't mean I can't improve my performance in the future."
How to get started with yoga for kids
If there aren't yoga classes available at your child's school, you can begin their practice in your living room. Cosmic Kids' Yoga is an amazingly creative YouTube channel that uses storytelling to teach children yoga. Additionally, check out Power's The ABCs of Yoga For Kids, an illustrated guide to 56 different yoga poses. If you'd like to take a more formal approach, Yoga Near You has a customizable search function that allows you to restrict your search to classes for kids and babies. Just enter your city or zip code and you'll be on your way!