Children and yoga naturally go together. In most cases, children’s bodies have few physical limitations, they love to move, have little or no pre-conceived judgements about their bodies, and enjoy learning new things. Physically, yoga enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, balance and body awareness. Mentally, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves, making them better able to deal with challenging life situations. Doing yoga helps to connect the mind and the body, equipping children with a strong sense of self.
Yoga for fitness at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that's non-competitive. Yoga fosters coordination, cooperation and compassion—instead of opposition. It is a valuable gift to give our children and our society.
Much of society is concerned with the cognitive development of their children and spend time teaching them academic subjects. This of course is wonderful, but we mustn't forget that their bodies are just as important as their minds. With out the free flow of proper metabolic processes and body movement, cognitive development is limited.
Over the summer holidays while your kids are at home, engage them with some yoga movements. Try yoga movements in the family room, out in the back yard or at the beach. As you parents probably already know, one of the greatest challenges with children may be to hold their attention long enough to teach them the benefits of yoga: stillness, balance, flexibility, focus, peace, grace, purpose, health, and well-being. Luckily, most children love to talk, and they love to move—both of which can happen with yoga postures. Children will jump at the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, warriors. Your role is to step back and allow them to assume a position. Allow them to play with their imaginations and guide them in the direction of thoughtfulness and non-judgment. Allow them to express themselves to you and enjoy getting to know another amazing aspect of your child.
Reasons why we should stretch:
Increased flexibility & agility
Reduces muscle soreness
Reduce chance of injury
Increased blood flow to the joints