In an increasingly over-stimulated world, everything from online learning during a pandemic to social media pressures, life for children has become busy and stressful. Children can find it hard to express themselves or find ways to relax and unwind. So how do we give children adequate tools to lead a more balanced life and manage their whirlwind of emotions, feelings and stress that come with growing up?
YOGA is your answer – a combination of breathing, relaxation, stretching, positive thinking, asanas and meditations. Introducing them to yoga at a young age can benefit a child’s mental and physical health and emotional well-being greatly. Emotional regulation is especially important for children today, when they can understand and self-regulate their emotions, they are better able to control impulse behaviour, be flexible when things change unexpectedly, and manage how they react when feeling angry or upset.
Let’s start with the physical benefits of yoga, learning asanas not only strengthens and tones muscles, it also improves balance, flexibility, posture, coordination and endurance. Through regular practice of yoga, children start to realise that they are strong and then are able to take that strength and confidence into other areas of their lives. In addition, yoga can help children become aware of their body and develop a mind-body connection. This is crucial as we live in our bodies and if we pay close attention to how we feel we can pick up all kinds of signals.
There are so many mental benefits that are gained through practicing each pose. Tree pose teaches children to concentrate and focus and in doing so they can become balanced, centred and still. This skill is challenging for children as they are told to concentrate in school but are never taught how. Crow pose builds confidence and courage in a child and teaches them to accept their fears of perhaps falling over in the pose. This builds resilience, perseverance and strength. These life skills can help them in many other areas of life as well.
How to get your child started
Introducing children to yoga is best done with an element of fun. Anahata offers weekly classes as well as online classes, and Mum & Kids videos that parents and kids can do together to introduce them to the practice in a fun and creative way. This is a great bonding experience to share your love for yoga with your kids and inspire them. Remember, kids yoga sessions don’t have to be long to reap the benefits. 10 to 15 minutes of basic yoga poses each day goes a long way toward enhancing the overall well-being of kids.