Breathe. Be Present. Give. Love. Find Balance. Reflect. Practice Calmness. Creativity. Intuition. Find Strength. Listen.
There are many benefits to yoga for both the body and mind, some of which include improved circulation, increased core strength, pain and tension relief in the spine and muscles, improved posture, increased flexibility, neutralized stress, improved concentration and immunity, increased self-acceptance, and the list goes on and on. While these benefits are helpful to your average adult, did you ever consider how essential they could be for your CHILDREN?
Yoga can do amazing things for young children and provide them with a solid foundation, both physically and mentally while they are still small and blossoming. As kids figure out how they fit in this big world around them, it can be overwhelming and, at times, challenging. One way to help keep everything in balance is by…you guessed it, practicing yoga! Since yoga helps individuals seek balance, this can be extremely helpful for your little, energetic kiddos. By guiding them towards the initial steps to stretch and strengthen their bodies, we can help small children grasp a healthy habit they can maintain for years to come, as they develop and grow. According to the Kiss Guide to Yoga by Shakta Khalsa, (childrensyoga.com) yoga even helps children with learning and developmental differences such as ADD/ADHD, Autism and other Sensory Processing Disorders.
Yoga can help children learn to use intentional techniques to better their health (while having fun!); including:
Breath: to enhance self-regulation, modulation and organization, as well as supporting respiration for language
Movement: to improve motor planning, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility
Meditation and Relaxation: to decrease stress and promote stillness of the mind for increased attention and ability to focus
Here are a few animal yoga poses to try with your kiddos! They are so much fun and the perfect combination of pretend play with active exercise. Remember to move slowly through these poses, practice taking calming breaths through the stretches, stop if you feel a pose is too uncomfortable for your child or causes any discomfort, and importantly, HAVE FUN! A happy and healthy child = One happy parent!