What Age Should You Start Yoga? | Yoga For Kids

What age should you start yoga? It is believed that one may opt to try yoga at a young age. Youngsters will benefit from this. Did you know that kids are just as prone to stress as adults are? Most of the stress and anxiety that kids feel come from the pressure of doing well in school or simply being able to comply with the assignments and requirements.

It may also come from hearing arguments or problems within the family. At times, parents tend to put more value on their children’s educational achievements that they forget that it is not only books which can enrich their children’s minds.

With this, parents are now becoming more aware of a more holistic approach in raising their children which enriches not only their minds but also their bodies.

Yoga for kids has now become more popular among parents. It helps kids calm down, focus, and channel their energy towards something positive and productive. Furthermore, it promotes peace of mind among children which lessens the chance of them getting sad, depressed, or anxious over school, family matters, etc.

In this article, we will be sharing what yoga for kids is and how it can help them alleviate their stress. We will also share tips and reminders in order to make practicing yoga with kids a fun and worthwhile experience so make sure to read until the end.

What is Yoga for Kids, and Why Does it Matter?

Yoga means union. It involves the practice of tapping in and integrating one’s body, mind, and spirit in order to achieve harmony within oneself. It offers a lot of benefits for kids such as improved body awareness and mind-body connection. Some experts refer to yoga for kids as a “prehabilitation” because it helps ward off sickness or any physical, mental, or emotional instability.

Yoga for kids will greatly help kids who are shy from joining physical activities with other kids. It will also help kids who are physically active excel more in their chosen physical sports or activities. By practicing yoga poses, kids become more in touch with themselves. Consequently, they develop an improved self-esteem, confidence, and discipline.

How to alleviate kid’s stress through the practice of yoga?

Practicing yoga helps alleviate stress because it induces a calm body and mind leading to overall relaxation. Through the controlled breathing which accompanies every movement and pose, meditation, stretching, and mental imagery, the stress level of kids is reduced.

Instructors of yoga for kids also incorporate songs and rhythms in order to make yoga more fun and interesting to kids. Moreover, practicing yoga improves one’s quality of sleep. This eventually results to better mood and less tantrums.

What are the benefits of yoga for these youngsters?

There are five main aspects in which kids benefit from practicing yoga, to wit:

  • Physical flexibility
  • Balance and coordination
  • Focus and concentration
  • Self-esteem and confidence, and
  • Mind-body connection

Practicing yoga improves physical flexibility

When kids practice a pose, they learn how to make use of their muscles more efficiently. In turn, they become more flexible and stronger. They teach themselves how to improve their bodies’ flexibility and coordination.

Practicing yoga improves sense of balance and coordination

One of the key elements of yoga is balancing. This equilibrium does not just pertain to the improvement of physical balance. More so, it pertains to the physical and mental pose that kids develop such that they stay calm and composed when they get off-balanced and fall.

Eventually, the kids will also nurture a sense of accomplishment when they notice that their balance has improved. Coordination is also linked to balance. Yoga improves the kids’ dexterity as it makes use of different body parts including fingers, thereby, enhancing the kids’ gross and fine motor coordination.

Practicing yoga improves focus and concentration

Yoga poses require a clear mind and focus. Consequently, the focus and concentration that the kids foster in order to do a particular pose and not get off-balanced reflect on the kids’ school performance. They tend to get better grades as they become more attentive during classes.

Practicing yoga improves self-esteem and confidence

By helping kids develop a strong sense of self through yoga, they eventually find out where they belong in their respective community. Yoga allows children to learn something new on an experiential level; thus, they become more experimental.

The parents’ and teachers’ roles are merely to provide guidance and encouragement to the kids. As a result, these youngsters advance a sense of fulfilment and confidence when they successfully master a pose.

Practicing yoga improves mind-body connection

By working on the physical body through the various yoga poses, the mental spirit calms down. As a result, kids can achieve a sound mind inside a sound body.

What are the recommended yoga postures for them?

Yoga for kids is similar to that for adult; however, it is made more fun and enjoyable in order to engage the children’s attention.

At the beginning, the kids need to be introduced with the movements involved in the pose by comparing the same into things or animals that are familiar to them, thus, tickling their imaginations and allowing the kids to form a mental image of what the pose should look like.

More than this, parents practicing yoga poses with their kids improve their bond with each other. Some of the yoga poses parents can try doing with their kids are the warrior pose, tree pose, boat pose, bow pose, bridge pose, cat pose, and kangaroo pose. We have provided below simple instructions you can follow.

Warrior Poses

The warrior poses strengthen the muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms. These yoga executions can improve coordination and balance.

Warrior I

Start by standing straight and then bringing one of your legs straight as far back as you can while both your feet are still grounded on the floor. And then you position your other knee over your ankle thereby forming an almost 90-degree angle. After that, lift your hands as high as possible reaching your fingertips to the sky.

Warrior II

From the Warrior I pose with your arms still stretched straight, bring your arms down sideways up to the level of your shoulders. Your fingertips are reaching opposite sides.

Warrior III

From the Warrior II pose, lift your leg at the back to the sky and start bending your body to align with your hips as if you are flying like an airplane.

Tree Poses

Start by standing straight and placing the sole of your foot on the calf or inner thigh with your other foot grounded on the floor. Extend your arms above your head with your hands meeting as if you are praying.

For younger kids, the arms can be placed at chest level instead of above the head. You may sway a little like a tree while still maintaining your balance.

Just like the warrior pose, the tree pose improves balance, but it also strengthens the legs. Because it requires balance, the kid’s concentration and focus are also being improved by this posture.

Boat Pose

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight and then balance on your buttocks with your legs up. After that, you can rock your body similar to a boat cruising on water.

The boat pose helps in relieving stress. It does not only improve digestion, but also stimulates the intestines, kidneys, and thyroid.

Bow Pose

Start by laying on your tummy and then bend your knees. After that, lift your chest and reach your arms back to your toes until you’re able to hold your feet.

This pose helps in improving you posture and strengthening your back and hamstrings.

Bridge Pose

Start by sitting on the floor placing your hands flat on the floor at the back behind your buttocks with your fingertips pointing towards the direction of your legs.

After that, bend your knees with both your feet flat on the floor, inhale and then lift your hips up making a bridge shape.

For younger kids, start by laying on your back while resting your arms on the floor alongside with your body. Thereafter, bend your knees with both your feet flat on the floor, inhale and then lift your hips up making a bridge.

This is another yoga pose which helps improve your posture. More than that it reduces anxiety and fatigue as it calms your mind and helps relieve stress.

Cat Pose

Start by kneeling and then place your hands flat on the floor just under your shoulders while your knees are positioned under your hips.

Looking between your arms towards your tummy, slowly arch your back up. After this, slowly move your tummy down to make it “long” while slowly lifting your head up to look forward.

It is important to synchronize your breath with your body’s movement. Just like the bow and bridge poses, the cat pose also helps improves posture and balance as it helps children strengthen their tummy muscles.

Kangaroo Pose

Start by standing straight and then position your feet hip-width apart from each other. After this, bend your knees and lower down your body as if you are sitting on an invisible chair and then raise your arms up to your chest. Now, you can hop like a kangaroo.

The kangaroo pose helps in strengthening the tummy muscles and legs. It also strengthens the lungs and heart is it requires the kids to hop like a kangaroo.

Tips and Reminders for Yoga for Kids

Some people say that kids should never start practicing yoga since they are still too young. Nevertheless, in order to make the experience as fun and productive as possible, you need to consider some factors such as the age of the kids and the time of the day in which it is most ideal to practice yoga. Accordingly, you may modify the poses depending on the children’s needs.

Naturally, the approach of teaching yoga to kids should vary depending on their age bracket. For example, 3 to 4 year-old children prefer storytelling, but their movements are faster and uncontrolled. Although 5 to 8 year-old children love storytelling as well, they are more capable of controlling their movements and holding certain poses.

Children who are between 9 to 12 years old are curious and inquisitive. They love to learn new things such as the concept of chakra and how they can use their chakra in order to have a deeper sense of oneself and community.

During the children’s teenage years, there is a transition from yoga for kids into that for adults. During this period, the children undergo puberty. Thus, it is crucial that by this stage, they already have a better understanding of how their body works including the changes it is experiencing.

Choosing the perfect time to practice yoga is also important. It should always be a positive experience for the kids; thus, we should avoid teaching yoga during times of their afternoon nap since they are tired.

It is suggested that the perfect time to teach children yoga is late in the morning because this is the time when they are still full of energy. Hence, they can participate well in the movements and poses. You can also incorporate music and props during yoga practice. This produces an enjoyable and fulfilling environment for the kids.

Although kids can start practicing yoga as soon as they are able to understand and follow instructions, it is important that parents take safety precautions before enrolling their children in yoga classes.

Make sure to seek the advice of professionals first and disclose to the instructors any health issue that your kids may have. This will help them assess on what poses will be most beneficial and safe to your children.

Yoga for kids does not just help your children become stronger and healthier, it is the most enjoyable knowledge you can impart to them. Truly, a healthy body, mind, and spirit are wealth no one can take away from your children.

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