Yoga for Kids — It is Great…

By Patrick Drew, updated November, 2013

runningWe all love our children with all our hearts, and we want the best for them in life. We feed them the healthiest foods, we encourage them to go out and get some fresh air, we dissuade them from drinking and eating junk foods and drinks, and we encourage them to become active. However, encouraging them to do something and for them to actually do it are two entirely different things. To get your kids interested in becoming more physically fit and active, you need to find something that they enjoy. Specially designed yoga classes for kids could be exactly what you've been searching for. These classes are there to help kids learn a discipline, make them fitter, healthier, and happier, and improve their general way of life, both now and in the future. Remember the key secret ingredient… make it fun! One popular asana (pose) is "frog's pose"… explain it to the children using the words "Remember when your head is down… your butt is up… and when your head is up your butt is down." Usually gets a few giggles…

Furthermore — if you choose to practice yoga for kids at home on your own, consider it the perfect way in which you can connect with your children. We all know that the best times spent with our friends are when we are actually doing something together… and yoga for kids is an amazing way for you as parents to spend time together with your children, burn off a bit of their energy in a healthy constructive manner, and in fact — maybe get in a little workout yourself!

Remember the key secret ingredient… make it fun!

Here are some of the many, many benefits that yoga has to offer kids.

Excersize GuyIt improves their flexibility — Yoga helps to improve the flexibility levels in both adults and children. Each and every joint and muscle group gets stretched gently allowing a person to become more flexible and supple than they could have ever imagined. Poses are performed both standing and lying down, but each one is designed to significantly boost a person's flexibility.

It's a great form of exercise — With technology now playing such a key role in everyday life, encouraging children to put down the control pad and get some exercise is much easier said than done. Yoga is a great form of exercise, which helps kids get active, boost their fitness, and keep their weight under control. If they absolutely do want to play on their computers, how about agreeing that they get to play after they've finished at their specific class or group?

It allows them to socialize and make new friends — Socializing with other children is a vital part of a child's development. If you are doing a class, it will have several other children there, meaning that your children will socialize and mingle with others, and will more than likely make some great new friends along the way. Why not take your child and one of their current friends along to make the class even more enjoyable.

Yoga can improve a child's self-belief and self-confidence — As the child learns new poses and new disciplines, they'll naturally improve and get better. The instructor and you will obviously inform them on what a great job they're doing. Kids love praise, and knowing they're doing such a good job, will only boost their self esteem and self confidence in the short and long term.

You can help improve your child's strength, health, flexibility, self-confidence, concentration, and focus.

It helps improve their concentration and focus — In order to execute each pose correctly, the child will have to concentrate and clear their mind. They can't expect to be able to do so while talking to their friend at the same time. They need to clear their minds and focus on completing each pose. This technique will help them in the real world, including at school, which can only mean good things.

Throughout all the exercises remember that if the child is not doing the pose completely correctly or their legs are slightly out of place… it is not the end of the world! What is important is that the children are doing a healthy activity that they are enjoying, and getting better at it. A yoga class for children is one of those rare situations where you can have a number of children "playing" in a focused, supervised manner, in which they are not "competing" and will not be judged if they do something wrong.

What is important is that the children are doing a healthy activity that they are enjoying…

A little caveat — children are growing which means that their joints, ligaments, and muscles are more flexible than most adults and also more responsive to training. However this does mean that they could also be slightly more brittle or in danger of over stressing. If you have a normal, lively child who goes bouncing around the playground and who rolls and falls around in the grass/snow then there is not much to worry about. Just make sure that they do not over-stretch or over-strain any poses.

Enjoy your yoga for kids!

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