The Many Benefits of Children’s Yoga
There are many forms of exercise and organized sports available to children, but how many of them promote physical wellness by also teaching and supporting kindness and giving? Yoga is one way that your child can learn in a safe and loving environment what it means to live a healthy, happy and balanced life.
Yoga means “union,” a connecting of body and mind. Children, who love to move their bodies and be free to express and experience life, already do this naturally. The joy, the simplicity, and the gentleness of yoga can provide your child with tools that can be applied in all areas of life for all of one’s life.
Stretching, breathing, and moving the body into various yoga poses promotes a healthy body and mind. It encourages strength, maintains and improves flexibility, and promotes healthy, efficient digestion and circulation and correct posture. Focusing on “breath awareness” while practicing the poses supports this gentle approach to being physically fit as it tones the internal organs and stimulates the body to function efficiently. Through yoga, children learn to go with the flow of what feels right for them and listen to that, developing respect and acceptance for themselves.
Children experience stress and demands from school, home, sports and peer relationships. Yoga restores balance and harmony while teaching children to focus and concentrate, improving their self-esteem and confidence while nurturing awareness and kindness to others. A child’s mind may be overstimulated by the pace of life, the clutter of visual and auditory stimulation of computers, video games and television. By learning to breathe deeply and lie still and listen to the “silence,” children are given the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the time and space to be silent. They learn very quickly that they become more relaxed, calmer, and happier while remaining alert.
In a recent Children’s Yoga class, the teacher posed this question to her students: “Yoga poses are fun and are very good for our bodies. What are some of the other ways yoga has helped you?” Their replies included the following:
- “Stretches and strengthens your muscles.”
- “Quiets your mind.”
- “Celebrates the Light inside of us.”
- “If you have a ‘black and white’ imagination, yoga helps your imagination to be alive and colorful.”
- “Helps you with friendship – to learn to be kind to one another.”
- “Helps concentration and focus.”
- “Helps us to feel peaceful about the world and makes you want to take care of the world.”
It’s easy to see how profound a difference yoga can make in the lives of children.
The School of Royal Yoga, 57 Main Street, Chester, offers programs for children ages 6 months and up and also serves special needs children. Call 908-879-9648 for more information.