My parents started training me for Yoga when I was in 1st grade. That’s one thing I can’t thank them enough for.
In this fast paced life, you don’t get much time to spend with your kids. This often leads to stress among them at an early age. They, then, resort to unsafe habits and indulgences.
Teaching your kids Yoga at a primary age helps them choose their lifestyle practices wisely and focus on leading a better life. Yoga is the perfect way of life. It keeps them healthy and stress-free. It has the power to make them resilient and focused, calm and sated.
A lot of parents aren’t even aware of Kids Yoga. Well, it’s as popular now a days as social media. So in this article, I am going to share with you all that is needed to know about ‘Yoga for Kids’.
Let’s begin with what is Yoga and why is it essential for Kids.
What is Yoga?
Yoga, the new ‘in’ thing among health enthusiasts across the globe is actually a 5000 years old discipline that originated in India. It comprises of a large number of physical, mental and meditative exercises that promise an overall well-being. Unlike other health practices like Gymming, Dancing, etc., it focuses more on inner peace than outer appearance.
Why is Yoga essential for Kids
Yoga is important for kids from the viewpoint of their overall personality development. It is the most non-competitive health practice. It induces the feeling of ‘Doing your best’ instead of ‘winning the battle against others’. More than weight-loss and inch-loss, it’s about internal health benefits that get firm with age.
When kids start with Yoga at an early age, their body attunes to a healthy lifestyle. Staying fit becomes a compulsion for them and all their decisions get influenced by Yoga. It improves their focus-power and thus, is of great help in the learning years of life.
Yoga inculcates discipline and responsibility among children. Meditation and Pranayama relieve them of early-age stress and anxiety. First day at school, coping with a sibling, notoriety, family issues- all these problems are common in every kid’s life.
This one is a never-ending topic. Benefits of Yoga for kids can go on and on. So let’s look at the most important ones:
Yoga enhances flexibility among kids
Kids are already blessed with a flexible body. Yoga Asanas (Poses) helps them enhance it further, so their muscles grow to their full capacity. All the bending, stretching, twisting and balancing improves the strength of their bones, so they don’t get easily hurt while playing.
Yoga improves Concentration among Kids
Kids are born to be jumpy, playful and naughty. Everything is new and exciting for them. Hence, it gets nearly impossible for them to focus on one thing and forget everything else in the room.
Yoga poses demand a lot of focus and practice. So when kids perform them, their cognitive skills improve and they concentrate better.
Yoga leads to a relaxed body and mind
The quiet time (Savasana) that concludes a Yoga session makes kids calm and relaxed. This pose cools down their body and mind. They learn the art of Relaxation and imbibe it in their system for a lifetime.
Yoga Strengthens their Immunity
Yoga poses are designed in a scientific manner that develops both outer and inner well-being. Respiratory exercises or Pranayama enhances kids’ breathing, Yoga poses or Asanas keeps their organs in check and Meditation improves their mental health. They become less prone to infections and allergies.
Yoga Boosts Happy Thoughts among kids
Kids practising Yoga are surveyed to be much calmer and happier than other kids. This is because they are learning the art of inner peace. According to Yoga Journal, Yoga aids in increasing the serotonin levels and regulating the cortisol levels among kids. Hence, their body automatically responds to happy thoughts and optimism.
Yoga Improves Balancing among kids
Yoga poses are all about balance and focus. Kids who practice Yoga experience a balanced growth and development. As mentioned on Yoga Journal, poor levels of Proprioception lead to imbalance, bad posture and dysfunctional movements of the body.
Kids practising Yoga on a regular basis optimize this hormone in their body. Better balance then means fewer injuries while playing.
Yoga augment deep-sleeping among kids
Often, kids panic at night due to a bad dream. Most of them have unhealthy sleeping patterns. They sleep in daytime or don’t sleep at all.
Meditation and yoga asanas are a perfect haven for kids busy with schools and hobby classes. Yoga appeases their brain, regulates their heartbeat and relieves them of stress.
Yoga promotes Self-awareness
Kids practising Yoga understand and value a healthy lifestyle from the initial years of their lives. They learn self-acceptance and are careful of their habits. Self-care becomes a routine for them and they constantly strive to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Now that you realize what Yoga can do for your kids’ health, you must be looking for the best Yoga poses for Kids.
Here goes a list of 25 effective Yoga poses that are a cakewalk for children. But first, make sure your kids warm up before practising these poses.
Standing Yoga Poses
With one toe at the top of your thigh in vertical angle, make Namaste (hands folded in Indian style) with arms stretched up above your head.
Crescent Moon Pose
Reach your arms up over your head in a Namaste pose, and bend on your left side. Repeat the same on the right side.
Bend your knees a little and wrap one leg over the other. Likewise, fold your elbows so your palms are in front of your face. Then wrap one hand over another.
Stand on one leg with the other leg bent behind you. Place the foot of your back leg with your hand. Bend forward with the other arm stretched ahead for balance. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Bend your knees as if you are sitting on a chair. Spread your arms in the front for balance.
Stand straight. Place one leg behind the other with a good gap in between. Place the back foot facing outwards. With your arms stretched parallel to the ground, bend forward, trying to touch the front toe with your palm.
Extended Side Angle Pose
From Triangle Pose, bend your front knee and touch the toe with the same-sided arm. Extend the other arm like you are touching the sky and look up.
Stand with your legs apart, feet facing slightly outwards. Bend your knees and do a Namaste pose with your hands.
It’s an ‘On your Mark’ pose. Look straight with both your feet facing ahead. The front knee is bent while the back leg is straight.
Stand straight with one foot behind the other. The back slightly outwards, bend your front knee ahead and do Namaste above your head.
Stand on one leg and extend the other behind you. Bend your torso forward and extend both arms ahead of you. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Wide Legged Forward Bend
Stand with your feet apart. Bend your torso forward without bending the knees. Clasp your hands together and stretch them towards your back, from between both legs.
Sitting Yoga Poses
Extended Child Pose
Sit on your heels. Bend forward so your head touches the ground in front of your knees. Extend your arms ahead in front of your head, with your palms touching the ground.
Make a pose like a toddler, on your palms and knees. Round your back up and touch your chest with chest.
Extended Cat Pose
In the toddler’s position, spread your right leg behind and left arm straight ahead. Look in the front. Repeat the same with your left leg.
Sit on your heels and try to twist your body in either direction like an owl.
Sit wide cross legged with your feet touching each other. Bring both your feet to touch the beginning of your legs.
Seated Forward Bend
Sit on your buttocks with your legs spread straight in front of you. Bend your torso forward with your spine held straight. Touch your toes with your palms.
Sit in the squat position and walk like a duck.
Lateral Yoga Poses
Lie straight on your back and lift your both legs up. Balance on your buttocks and lift your torso while touching the toes with your palms.
Lie on your back. Bend your knees up, with your feet flat on the ground. Then lift your back and buttocks. Try to touch your chin to your chest.
Knee to Chest Pose
Lie straight on your back. Fold your each leg and touch your knee to your nose.
Lie on your front. Fold your elbow and lift your torso on your palms. Look up.
Lie on your front with your arms on either side of your buttocks. Life your torso and legs simultaneously.
That’s a list good enough for a 1-hour workout every day. Practice every pose for a minimum of 10 seconds and extend the time gradually.