Yoga isn’t just a trend and favorite workout of wealthy people. Even the easiest poses bring the healthiest results. Yoga helps us fight stress, fall asleep faster and burn fat. Each pose has its own benefits. While adults try to practice yoga on a daily basis, some children don’t know what the word ‘yoga’ means. “My children are so flexible and active that they don’t need yoga now” – this is a common excuse parents say when I tell them that my little goddaughter and niece do yoga on a regular basis.
I do agree, children are active and flexible, but yoga isn’t about flexibility only. It teaches children many life lessons too. Children learn to control their emotions, cope with stress in future, and overall, they improve their health. What parents really fail to recognize is that yoga helps kids to adapt to living in a hurry-up, technology drive world. Just like adults, children face stress daily too. Difficult lessons, school pressures, TV shows, video games, competitive sports and fashion rivalry make them nervous, impatient, and angry.
When doing yoga, children not only exercise and boost their flexibility but connect more deeply with the inner selves and get to know themselves better. I’m not a yoga junkie – I do a few poses when I need to relax and fall asleep or clear my mind and that’s enough for me – but I think it’s because my mom didn’t teach me to exercise regularly. I definitely don’t blame her for anything. She’s the most wonderful mom in the world. I love her most of all, she’s my role model and I’m grateful for her precious pieces of advice. But I’ll certainly teach my future child, just like I do now with my niece, to do yoga at least twice a week. If you are curious to find out how yoga can improve your child’s life, keep on reading.
1. Calm the body and mind
Since I don’t have my own kids, sometimes I don’t know how to cope with a hyperactive child like my niece or my friend’s daughter. Instead of yelling and punishing, I suggest them do a few yoga poses that help to calm the body and mind. Running or jumping are awesome exercises but they increase the child’s energy level and make them even more active, especially when it’s time to sleep. Teach your child to calm their body and mind correctly now and they will thank you down the road. When they’ll grow up, they will know how to free the mind, relax the body and find that peace and harmony in a hectic world. Yoga will become their part of life.
2. Discover the world
While one child might find doing yoga difficult, the other might perform different poses with ease. The trick? Help your child discover the world through yoga in a fun way. For instance, ask them to do Bhujangasana – the yoga asana that helps kids get a stretch for their back – and suggest them imagine they are true snakes with no arm and legs. The same goes with each asana. Deepen your child’s awareness and help them discover the world through fun yoga poses.
More: 7 Important Life Lessons Parents Should Learn from Their Kids
3. Develop patience
As a parent, you probably know how hard to handle child’s impatience. They want everything at once and even if you tell them you don’t have $130 to buy their dream toy, they will keep moaning and crying. I often remind myself and my two little princesses that “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” It’s Saint Augustine’s quote that I love and live by.
When your child practices yoga on a daily basis, they learn that every thing requires time and effort. Some poses are simple while others are impossible to perform at the first attempt, which is why it’s crucial to stay patient and keep trying until you do it. When shopping, your child will understand that it’s not easy to purchase that toy at once because parents work hard to make ends meet.
4. Connect with nature
Yoga connects children to nature. Most modern kids spend their free time in front of the screens because it’s easier for parents to give their laptops or tablets and forget about their kids for hours. I hope you’re not one of those parents. Help your child to connect with nature through yoga asanas. Go on a yoga journey. Perform some animal and nature asanas together. duck, dog, elephant, caterpillar, bunny, horse, and other animals works well. Jungles, mountains, forests, volcanoes, and any other nature asanas that your child enjoys doing will help them become closer to nature and forget about technology at least for a while.
More: 10 Ways to Teach Children to Be Eco-Conscious
5. Build strength
Not every child is strong enough to sit still, run longer and jump higher. Moreover, not every child is as flexible as the other one. Yoga helps kids build strength and improve flexibility. When your child stretches like a cat, stands still like a donkey, balances like a flamingo, breathes like a rabbit, and perform many other yoga asanas, they not only become stronger, but healthier too. Some people claim yoga is the key to a longer life and while most of us discover all the great benefits of yoga in the late 20s or even 40s, why not instill this healthy habit in your child today?
Undoubtedly, yoga is good for kids. It’s a fun way to teach your child many useful things with little to no effort. Besides, it’s a wonderful reason to start doing yoga yourself. You and your child can inspire each other to ditch excuses, live a healthier life and spend some quality family time together. Do you believe yoga is great for kids?