Yoga has been around for thousands of years, practiced in different ways by people around the world. Today, people turn to yoga as a way to relax and reduce stress, build strength and flexibility, and stay in shape. One group of people who can benefit from practicing yoga regularly are children. Not only does yoga improve overall health, but it also improves concentration and focus—qualities that are especially important as children grow up. Read on to learn more about the many benefits of yoga for kids.
Improves Balance and Coordination
Activities that focus on balance, such as yoga and tai chi, can help improve overall coordination in children. Practicing these poses can also increase a child’s awareness of his or her body, allowing him or her to feel comfortable in unusual positions (for example, handstands). Regularly doing these exercises will also help children become more physically fit by improving their endurance.
One of yoga’s best known benefits is its stress-reducing properties. Yoga helps kids improve their ability to cope with stressful situations, making them less susceptible to anxiety and depression later in life. The practice also trains kids to take their time and breathe deeply when they feel overwhelmed, which can be especially helpful during school exams or college applications. While meditation is an important part of many types of yoga, there are plenty that offer lessons that encourage kids to simply breathe and relax.
The key to developing a healthy relationship with your body is building self-esteem. Children are just as susceptible to low self-esteem as adults, and yoga can help them become more confident about their bodies and surroundings. Studies show that yoga has a positive effect on children’s body esteem and self-image, helping them feel comfortable in their own skin. This feeling carries over into other aspects of life, too; kids who practice yoga are less likely to be bullied or teased by peers because they have higher levels of confidence and social skills.
Bending and stretching your body can help increase your range of motion, which in turn makes simple tasks—like putting on your shoes or reaching for a shelf—easier. Regular yoga can also improve your balance and coordination. Once you get comfortable with poses, you might even find that they help protect you from injuries when playing sports or doing other physical activities.
While yoga is often thought of as a way to improve flexibility, there are several poses that can actually help you build strength in your arms and legs. The Downward Facing Dog pose, which requires you to balance on your hands and toes with your body held in an inverted V shape, works out and strengthens multiple muscle groups in your legs.
Improves Focus and Concentration
The practice helps children focus and concentrate during school, allowing them to get more out of their studies. It is recommended that they participate in yoga at least three times a week and also work on stretching exercises. This will help with concentration, and it will be easier for them to learn new things. Since yoga improves focus, children won’t have as many issues sitting still in class. They’ll be less fidgety and much more attentive when listening to their teachers or learning something new at school.
Helps with Academic Performance in School
Increased flexibility, balance, and strength can help kids stay focused on their schoolwork. By practicing yoga on a regular basis, your child will be better able to focus on assignments and finish homework before bedtime. Not only will he or she sleep more soundly, but he or she may also feel more confident about physical activity in general – leading to an overall improvement in academic performance.
Promotes Better Sleep
We all know that a regular yoga practice can make you healthier and happier, but did you know it could also help your child get a better night’s sleep? Stretching out tight muscles can ease muscle tension and release stress. When children have less stress and tension in their bodies, they’re more likely to fall asleep faster.