You may have wondered if children really need yoga since their lives seem to be full of fun activities such as playing outside with their friends on the playground, after school activities such as sports or band, and just hanging out at the mall.
As adults, we may not realize (or remember) just how stressful growing up is especially with all of the social pressures and busy schedules they must endure including that of their parents.
All of these pressures can have a not so positive effect on their lives. Yoga teaches children how to handle these pressures.
During a yoga class specifically designed for children, they are taught proper breathing techniques (which helps them to remain calm), poses (which promote physical flexibility, balance, coordination and strength), and concentration.
All of these give children a better mind-body connection and improved body awareness which helps to promote self- esteem along with self -respect. It is a non-competitive physical activity which allows them to improve at their own pace.
Once a pose is mastered, it gives them a greater sense of accomplishment while also learning stability and better focus. It teaches them compassion, cooperation, stillness and peace. Studies have shown that yoga helps also helps kids who have ADHD and autism by helping reduce hyperactivity, aggressiveness and social withdrawal.
Perhaps one of the best things about children learning yoga is that they can practice it anywhere without the need of a mat, special clothing or even a pillow.
It could help children who are shy or who aren’t gifted at sports or in dance to become more social, more physically active and have better self-awareness. Happy and self-fulfilled children become happy and self-fulfilled adults so it’s a Win-Win for all of us!
Marie Pietras, LMT