Importance of yoga for kids
If you are looking for mental relaxation and a stress-free relief, yoga is the best solution for you. Whenever we talk about yoga, we mostly relate it to adults only. Today, as parents, we plan to put our kids in extra coaching classes for swimming, cricket, music, art and everything else. Unfortunately, not many parents think about enrolling their kids in yoga sessions. Though it is quite underrated, yoga is one of the best exercises for the overall improvement of their physical and mental health. In this article, we are going to see why yoga for kids is important and some basic yoga exercises that they can easily do at home.
Why do children need yoga?
Children need to learn the essence of life right from a young age. This will help them grow into better and responsible adults. Yoga does exactly do that! Here are some of the important benefits that your kids can enjoy when you introduce them to yoga at a young age:
1. Improves concentration
One of the most important benefits of yoga for kids is that it improves concentration. Today, kids have a lot of things to focus on. At school, they are burdened with studies and extra-curricular activities. By the time they get home, they have to rush for their extra classes and prepare for competitive exams. If these weren’t enough, kids have to satisfy their parents who have high hopes for them. When there is pressure from all sides, kids tend to break down at some stage.
When they lose interest in their normal routine, their performance takes a hit, and they lag behind their peers. Very few kids bounce back from this dull phase. Most parents pressurize their kids even more during their low phases, without knowing that they are creating more damage in the little one’s body and mind.
In today’s changing times, there is a very high level of competition everywhere. The only way in which kids can keep their cool always and go about their target without succumbing to pressure and getting bogged down in any instance is yoga. Simple yoga for kids is conducted at many places these days, to improve the focus levels of the kids. This is done by first teaching the kids to control their breathing pattern. They also get to learn certain poses in which their body is aligned in such a way that they focus only on that and nothing else. Regular sessions like these improve the single-mindedness of the kids and all of these help in improving their memory, concentration and retention powers to a great extent.
2. Mental and physical relaxation
Does your kid get angry always? Does he throw things around or create tantrums, especially when he wants to demand attention from others? If yes, it only means that you haven’t been spending enough time with him. Most of the parents resort to two techniques when kids throw tantrums – they either pamper their kids with gifts to silence them, or they beat them out of frustration. It would be quite shocking for you to know that both these techniques are 100% wrong.
By adopting these, you are only looking for quick-fixes and not focusing on the root of the problem. The kid should be trained not to wail or throw tantrums or seek attention always. Some signals have been sent to his brain to react calmly even when the situation is not as per his expectation. These signals cannot be provided by pampering or rebuking. Yoga is the best solution for this problem.
There are many experts conducting fun yoga for kids sessions online and offline. Ensure that you enroll your kid in one of these sessions, where your child will first learn simple tools to control his mind. Through these sessions, your kid will receive precious insights on controlling his mind, which will help him in the long run. Let him attend these sessions for about a couple of months, and you will be surprised to see the calming effect it has on your kid.
3. Realization of self-worth
This is one of the most important benefits of yoga for kids. Today, even adults don’t know their self-worth, and they constantly compare themselves to their peers. The list of desires in their heart is endless, and they waste their lives running behind these greedy desires. However, when you introduce yoga to kids, it helps them understand their real worth at a very young age.
When the kid learns a new technique or pose, he tries hard for a long time to master it. The path that he travels from perseverance to perfection teaches him life’s most important lesson – patience. He understands that he has to wait for his efforts to bear fruit in life and that he cannot depend on short-cuts for success.
Secondly, when he finally masters a particular technique or pose, he feels happy about his achievement, and his confidence goes several notches higher than its original level. Yoga teaches kids what their capabilities are and how much they can stretch to achieve their goals. This helps them in their lives as well. They always set a potential target and go beyond their call of duty to achieve them. They feel happy when goals are achieved instead of setting unreasonable targets and feeling disappointed at not being able to achieve them.
4. Perfect balance between mind and body
The proudest moment for a mother is when her kid grows up to be a responsible, level-headed and compassionate individual. In today’s fast-paced world, it is very difficult for kids to learn the virtues of compassion and patience from their parents or friends. The teachers at the school are more focused on completing their portions than imparting life-lessons to the kids. This is where yoga plays a huge role in the overall personality development of the kids.
The best yoga for kids consists of brief sessions conducted by experts. They teach kids some basic body poses in which kids have to perfect the art of balancing on one leg and other movements. When kids practice these movements, it helps them get good mental stability as well. The coordination between their mind and body improves to a great extent. The improvement in motor skills, hand-eye coordination and physical balance help kids in improving their mental relaxation. They don’t get too excited about successes that they achieve or too pessimistic about the failures they face. They live life with great values and virtues. A simple yoga schedule that you introduce to your kids at a very young age can have a long-lasting impact on them even when they grow up to be adults.
5. Increases tolerance
One of the most used words today is intolerance. People have become highly intolerant of their neighbors, their beliefs, religion and other habits, that they keep fighting with each other endlessly. Intolerance stems from narrow-mindedness. The people who behave in this way today weren’t taught to respect people when they were kids.
This is why it is very important to teach your kids that everybody is unique, every religion needs to be respected and that no one is inferior to another. When they attend a seminar on tolerance, they might forget it in a day. However, when you introduce them to yoga, the lessons that those exercises teach them, stay with them forever. Kids grow to become individuals who are highly respectful of their fellow citizens and learn to live in perfect harmony with each other.
Free Online Yoga for kids
If you are not convinced about investing money in regular yoga classes for your kids, there are many videos that you can show as part of free online yoga for kids. These videos are simple, self-explanatory and taught by experts who specialize in kids’ yoga. There are many fun yoga for kids videos that are quite short to woo kids.
All of these free online videos contain basic yoga for kids so that even kids who aren’t interested are attracted to the exercises. Most of these videos feature kids with teachers providing them assistance wherever necessary. Today, online yoga for kids is quite famous. Many mothers refer to these online videos to know the basics of yoga for kids. They show these videos to the kids to understand how interested the child is to try the videos at home.
All of these videos contain detailed instructions on “how to do yoga for kids” with the teachers patiently explaining the steps carefully. This helps the kids to understand the basics wells so that they can apply the tutorial tips when they practice the moves at home. These simple yoga for kids videos are attractive, detailed, energetic and crisp at the same time. Therefore, kids are easily attracted to the same.
If you want to enroll your kids in professional yoga classes, show them these videos first so that they get a feel for what they will be taught and what are the benefits of the same. These videos contain clear instructions from the coach about the correct body postures, so your kid will fine-tune his balance and coordination before he joins professional yoga classes.
Teaching yoga for kids
You are a yoga professional, and you have considerable experience in training adults on various poses and movements. Does that qualify you to become a yoga teacher for kids as well? Definitely not! Teaching yoga for kids is not as easy as you imagined it to be. You need to ensure that the kids stay interested throughout your session; therefore, you need to use innovative teaching techniques. Here are some tips that will help you immensely when you are teaching yoga for kids:
1. Fun yoga for kids
Ensure that you make your classes as enjoyable as possible because kids will enjoy fun-based learning. When important yoga poses are taught funnily and innovatively, it helps the kids to remember and retain it well. Give creative names for traditional yoga poses and make the class as interactive as possible if you want the kids to enjoy yoga.
2. Give freedom of choice for the kids
Don’t be a taskmaster who just instructs the kids how to balance certain poses and body movements. Ask the kids why they have enrolled in your class and what they want to achieve by learning yoga. Ask them how they want the class to be conducted. Give them the freedom of choice, because they feel empowered that way. When they are empowered, they tend to concentrate better in your classes.
3. Don’t use jargons
Have the age group of your yoga class kids in your mind always. Talk to them in a language that they understand. Don’t use very strong words like core, intensity, retention, rejuvenation, inner peace, etc. when you are teaching them different poses. You have to be flexible to stoop down to their level and speak in a tone that they can connect with. If your classes are going to be full of jargons, they will soon interest in yoga!
4. Evoke the child within you
If you want to impart the best yoga for kids, you need to be a kid yourself! It may sound weird, but you should be ready to jump around and shout like them. Be a child when you are amongst kids so that they look at you as a friend and not as a dictator. Dance, shout, act crazy, sing and do whatever you want in the class as you teach basic yoga poses for the kids. Sometimes, it is alright to let go of yourself and be a child, if you want good results.
5. Give relevant feedback
A nod of your head may be a clue to an adult that he has mastered a particular pose, but a kid will need something more than a nod as an acknowledgment. When a kid does well, give positive feedback with all your heart. Squeal with excitement if you have to! Give a loud high-five and shout out “congratulations” so that the whole class can hear you. Give the child a tight hug to tell him how well he has done. All of these are simple actions, but they go a long way in improving the kids’ morale and interest in yoga.