There’s a buzz going on today about yoga for kids, and for a good reason. Kids today live in a fast-paced world with busy parents and high pressure from school, extracurricular activities and more. This can cause significant stress on your child or teen, but recent studies have found that yoga can help kids alleviate some of that pressure.
The Benefits of Yoga
Recent studies have shown that yoga can help children and teens cope with stress and improve overall physical and mental well-being. Findings also show that having yoga in school helps students improve resilience, mood and self-control in handling stress and emotions.
When you see your children feel the stress of society’s pressure on accomplishments and comparisons, yoga can help shift their focus to something that makes them feel good.
Yoga can also provide kids with a productive outlet for stress and anxiety. Also, if your kids are too busy, practicing yoga teaches them how to slow down their breathing, thoughts and routines.
A 60-minute yoga class provides full-body strengthening along with mind-body breathing techniques and stretching, which meets the Physical Activity Guidelines for Children exercise guidelines. It’s also a great way to decrease your kids’ screen time, as yoga directs their focus away from their electronic devices and onto themselves.
How to Get Your Child Involved in Yoga
If you and your child are interested in starting yoga, you don’t need a fancy studio fee or equipment. All you need is an inexpensive yoga mat (under $10) from any discount store to provide a soft slip-free surface to practice poses. This also represents your child’s own space, making yoga practice self-directed and personal. Much of the breathing and relaxation techniques are practiced with your eyes closed, helping your kids turn the focus inward.
To gauge your young child’s interest in yoga, try the free, online Cosmic Kids yoga videos that combine yoga moves along with a visual story. Or for all ages, try this short Yoga Journal activity, which ends with a visualization to help your kids learn about setting intentions and starting their day on a positive note.
Another way you can interest your child in yoga is to just practice it with them. You can find many excellent short yoga videos for adult beginners online for free. See if you child wants to sit, breathe and move along with you. Try kid-friendly poses when you start, such as the dragon, reverse warrior and frog, to ease them into it.
To find a class, check out kids’ yoga classes at your local YMCA or similar studios in your area.
Consult your child’s doctor before having him or her begin any exercise program.