Yoga isn’t just for adults. It’s for kids too! Not many people know this, but yoga can be very beneficial to kids, just like it is with grown-ups. Doing yoga with kids is fun, and it serves as a great bonding experience. Moms and dads can turn stories and games into yoga sessions, making them more interesting and fun. One important thing to note about yoga for children is it should be kept enjoyable and light-hearted.
A lot of people do yoga to relieve stress. But, kids aren’t as stressed as adults. So, yoga for children is more about relaxing and having fun rather than to reduce stress levels. When a person does yoga with kids, it’s best to get creative. Mix the poses with games, stories, and rhymes to make it more appealing to kids. The person may even ask the children to come up with their yoga poses for fun! When it comes to yoga for children, there are endless possibilities.
The Benefits of Yoga to Children
Over the years, yoga has become more mainstream, especially with adults. But few people have tried practicing yoga with their children. This is very unfortunate as yoga is very beneficial for kids. And in some ways, it can even be more effective in kids than in adults. Here are some of the benefits of yoga to children:
Unlike most activities, yoga isn’t competitive. Nowadays, we always hear people telling children to be the best and achieve the most. But yoga is unique – it teaches children that their bodies are unique. Because of this, their bodies may be able to do things that others cannot, and that’s okay. In yoga, there’s no “better” or “best.” The children are simply exploring their bodies and discovering what they can and can’t do.
It teaches children to accept themselves. Yoga is a great way to teach children to accept themselves as they are. Beyond acceptance, it also teaches kids to value and love themselves. If a child learns this concept while still young, it arms him as he grows up. The child is less likely to feel self-doubt as he grows up.
Yoga also teaches children to accept others. This is another valuable lesson children can learn from yoga – to accept and tolerate other people around them. When kids practice yoga, they learn that everyone should be respected, cherished, and accepted for who they are.
Yoga helps children get used to healthy habits. Yoga is a form of exercise. And when you teach it to your child early on, he will get used to a healthy and active lifestyle. Aside from this, yoga may also teach a child to approach eating healthily. This is done through focus and calming the mind.
It helps children focus. Nowadays the world is filled with distractions. Because of this, kids can’t focus for a long period. But yoga can help with this. Yoga teaches children to be aware of their bodies and focus on their breathing.
When they do yoga, children learn how to breathe deeply, especially when faced with stressful situations. When doing the poses, they learn to focus on how their bodies are aligned. And through this, they also learn how their bodies work.
Yoga helps children calm down. Usually, when a child gets frustrated, he would resort to crying or worse, throwing tantrums. But through yoga, they can learn breathing techniques and other important tools which may help them focus and calm down. Because of this, they may learn to apply these techniques to react appropriately to different situations.
It helps them become more aware of themselves. Yoga involves different poses. When children do these poses, they become more aware of their bodies. They discover what they can do with their bodies through the poses. They also learn more about their minds and how they are in control of their thoughts and reactions. Through yoga, a child becomes aware of his body, mind, as well as his spirit. And when a child learns how to control these aspects of his life, he becomes more confident and responsible.
Yoga promotes positive mental health in kids. When a child learns more about himself, he will be able to understand himself more too. Because of this, a child will have peace of mind, which then promotes positive mental health. Through yoga, a child learns to accept himself and love himself, and because of this, he will also learn how to accept and love other people better.
Children who have good mental health may also be more confident and optimistic about their abilities. They will be able to react to situations better and avoid being anxious or depressed. This is also because yoga promotes relaxation, which also promotes mental health.
Children are always being told that they need to be productive and participative. Because of this, their little minds are jumping from one thing to another throughout the day. This brain activity remains all the way until it’s time for them to fall asleep.
But when they do yoga, they learn that it doesn’t always have to be constantly erratic. Yoga helps children sit still, relax, and be aware of their minds and bodies. This is a great tool as it would help them deal with different situations even as they grow up.
How Do You Explain Yoga to Children?
When you think about it, children are inclined to yoga naturally. They have an innate trust in people they are familiar with, and they don’t have any inhibitions. So, when a person teaches yoga to a child, he will be able to accept the teachings more readily and apply them in his life in more inspiring ways. But how does one explain yoga to children?
As adults, people are used to perceiving things and other people as outside forces. But upon closer inspection, one might find out that all people and things are closely connected. Every person’s perception comes from within, but the experiences come from what’s outside. When a person realizes this, it’s a lot easier to teach yoga to children. Here are some tips to guide one in explaining the concept:
- A person doing yoga carries out different poses. These poses imitate or symbolize different things in the world. One time, a person can be a tree, and another time, a person can be a dog or an airplane. All these poses can be done with the body.
- Many years ago, the most ancient of yogis lived in the mountains, in caves, and in the forests of India. They spent their time observing all things in their environment. They saw how everything in nature moved and worked together in perfect harmony. Not only did they observe the movements, but they imitated them too. And through these different poses, they were able to create yoga.
- Yoga is a very old It helps the body become stronger and more flexible. It also gives people peace of mind, making them happier and healthier.
- Yoga isn’t just a practice; it’s also a philosophy. It teaches people to be happy and content with life. When a person’s body and mind aren’t balanced, then he won’t be able to feel happy and content. Fortunately, yoga is a great way to bring balance to oneself.
- Yoga is an excellent way to exercise the body and the mind. Yoga also teaches different ways to breathe, and in learning all these, it would make one feel amazing!
Things to Remember When You Want to Teach Yoga to Children
Teaching yoga to children is a lot different from teaching yoga to adults. It’s not as rigid, and it doesn’t have to be too serious. Children love to have fun and play. And if you force a child to do the poses simply by following you, the children probably won’t respond well to your technique. Yoga is beneficial for children especially if they are willing to participate in it. Yoga would also be a lot more effective if they are having fun while doing it. There are some things you need to remember when teaching yoga to children.
When it comes to kids, there’s no “one way” to teach yoga. In fact, the more creative the teacher is, the better it would be! Children love to learn when they are taught in fun and interesting ways. That’s why preschools are always colorful and filled with songs, games, and play. Without all these, it would be quite challenging to teach a child the different yoga poses and techniques successfully. Here are some things one must consider and remember when trying to teach yoga to children. Keep these in mind, and the learning process would be smoother and more enjoyable!
Learn How to Skillfully Sequence The Poses
When a yoga teacher creates a yoga program or lesson plan for kids, he needs to think about more than just the poses. She should also go through the different poses in a skillful sequence. For instance, starting with a seated position may work well for grown-ups. But with children, the teacher may have to start with a warm-up game. This can lessen the “wiggles” kids feel natural. Also, adults usually expect a minimum of 1 hour for a whole yoga session. But 1 whole hour of non-stop yoga poses may be too much for the young children.
To keep the kids interested and engaged, it’s important to break up the yoga session into different activities. Make a sequence of activities which involves the yoga poses, stories, songs, and games. This would make it a more enj
oyable way for the children to learn the poses they need to learn. The teacher may even ask one student at a time to do the yoga pose in front with her. This would give all the kids an opportunity to shine in front of the other kids in the yoga class.
There are different ways to present yoga poses through stories, songs, and games. In fact, when planning for children, you may introduce the poses at the beginning and reinforce them through these different ways. You can have different songs, games, and stories about animals then pair these with the different animal yoga poses. The possibilities are endless!
Another fun way to mix things up is to teach the children some partner poses. This makes the session a lot more fun and interesting. It would encourage the children to cooperate with each other, and it also helps build problem-solving skills. But remember that they are kids, so it’s best not to do the poses which are too fancy or complicated. There are easy poses one can teach to children which would allow them to partner up. Before allowing the children to do the partner poses though, the teacher must show how to do them with a partner too.
Remember That Children are Different from Adults
While adults join yoga classes or sessions with a purpose, children do so because they want to have fun. Because of this, the teacher should remember that teaching children would be very different from teaching adults. When doing yoga with children, the teacher must learn how to nurture their imaginations and promote an enjoyable environment. If the kids are a bit older, the teacher may even ask their ideas and sights while doing the poses or playing the games. She must listen to their ideas genuinely and apply the great ideas to the yoga session.
Children’s minds and bodies differ from those of adults. And their reasons for doing yoga are very different too. There may even be cases when a child doesn’t even want to be there! So, from the very beginning, the teacher must catch their attention, engage their interest, and somehow make the children willing to be there.
Also, keep in mind that children may come to the yoga class feeling hungry, tired or stressed. It’s therefore important for the yoga teacher to be patient with the kids. Some children may lash out by doing the poses incorrectly on purpose just to irritate their teacher and get a reaction. Remember, yoga is supposed to be relaxing. So, when the teacher lets the children’s actions get to her, she might start scolding them, therefore disrupting the whole environment.
In cases where the teacher notices that the children (most of them, at least) aren’t interested in learning the poses, she may perform a different activity first. For instance, the teacher may introduce the poses through a story rather than just demonstrating them in front of the kids.
Try Making Play Part of it
Children love to play. This is a well-known fact. So, if the teacher can incorporate play activities into the yoga session, the kids will surely love it. Teachers can also look at yoga for children to let loose and allow themselves to “be kids” for a while. Yoga is important as it’s highly beneficial. But it shouldn’t be forced upon kids. Make it fun, light-hearted, and genuine to get the most out of the children participating in it.