When the world stopped last 2020 because of the virus outbreak, people were alarmed with different restrictions. People around the world stopped gathering for events; several countries have closed their borders; and the Earth has just been in hiatus.
However, this occurrence, though has the effect of immobilizing people, will not stop them from continuing with their lives. During this pandemic, the most affected individuals are the children and senior citizens who have been in their houses for more than a year as of today because of restrictions made in their respective countries.
This has not only affected their mental health but also their physical and psychological being. Nevertheless, this shall not be a hindrance for them to stop from developing physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Have you been wondering what activities the kids will do during this pandemic? Well, they can try Yoga – Kids Edition. Yoga is becoming popular as an indoor activity not only to adults but also to children. Why yoga?
Yoga (meaning union or yoke) is the practice of gaining and incorporating all aspects of our true nature – mind, body and spirit – in the pursuit of inner harmony.
Indulging in yoga exercises, children will eventually learn how to be aware of fitness, have progressive workouts, nurture self-confidence, and focus better.
Yoga is also considered as a mode of liberty from the techy-heavy world, especially to children who always have their phone in their hands.
Yoga for kids benefits | Is yoga good for kids?
Yoga is good for kids, with proper guidance and instructions, definitely. Yoga is a way for children to “unplug” their virtual social life and to just live in the moment, enjoying things as they are. It may unlock kids’ imagination to its fullest advantage, attuning themselves to their vivid perspectives.
Yoga is much more than merely the yoga positions, postures, and techniques. It is an integration of specific poses or postures (asanas), regulated breathing techniques (pranayamas), hand poses (mudras), and meditation (dhyanas).
Studies suggest that children also experience stress from peers and environment but not as much as adults do. That is why there are lots of activities that will not only be suitable and benefit the adults but kids as well.
Children derive considerable benefits in performing yoga. Researches and number of studies have revealed that the practice of yoga can:
- improve focus
- memory, self-esteem
- academic performance
- classroom behavior
- even reduce anxiety and stress in children
It is a sport that includes not only the physical but also the mental health of a child. Each particular body posture has been developed over the years to bring about specific effects in the mind and body.
Children can traverse life’s challenges seamlessly when they learn the techniques of self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment.
When children indulge in yoga at an early age, it may help them to have self-esteem and body realization in a physical activity that is non-competitive. Advancing compassion and cooperation rather than opposition is a great gift to give our children.
Five (5) Top Yoga Postures for Kids
So what are the best and most common yoga postures for kids? Here is the top 5 you might want to try:
This type of yoga is the core to any yoga sequence. This will help children calm their mind and practice their focus skills, energize the body and also boost endurance, and increase flexibility and strength.
To be able to do this type of pose, stand tall with the legs hip width apart, feet facing forward, arms alongside the body. Then, while inhaling deeply, look up and slowly reach the arms to the sky.
You may also ask the kid to say “Hello, sun in the sky” to make it more fun. You can add more creativity for children to participate more.
You can also add other postures like pretending to be a crab by dropping down to your news, shift forward and as you inhale, come to all-four positions. It is like a crab scuttling across the sand. The main goal of this type is to help the kids recognize yoga through imitating some animals.
This pose is probably one of the most common postures children do, even before they know yoga. This will help the children enhance their proper breathing and balance. They will also develop their strength and flexibility.
To be able to do this, you should lay on a mat, with arms alongside the body and knees bent so the feet are laid flat. Press hands into the mat, and lift your feet up as you bring your knees towards your face. Next, bring your hands to your lower back for support.
Lift your knees up and away from your face, then straighten your legs up towards the ceiling. Hold the position for a couple of breaths and then bend your knees back to the chest and release to lying flat.
Seated Forward Bend
This pose will give kids a new way to sit, as they stretch and improve circulation in their thigh and legs. This is the most common and the easiest for children. This will aid children curbing digestive disturbances, but most importantly, this will teach them self-dependence.
To be able to do this, you lay in a mat with your legs straight in front of you. Lean forward into a comfortable stretch, bringing your upper body towards your thigh and then slowly reach for your feet and hold your toes if you can. After a couple of breaths, slowly return to a sitting position.
This is probably one of the most challenging posture for kids, but may be easy for children who were trained as early as their childhood. But funny as it may seem, this posture is widely used in horror movies.
Kidding aside, Wheel pose is an advanced technique but feel free to modify or alter whenever you are more comfortable. This is a great way to exercise the spine but in a fun way.
To be able to do this, begin by lying on your back, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor as close to the body as possible. Reach up over your head and place palms flat on the mat by your head with fingers pointing towards the shoulders.
And then, press your hands and feet into the floor as you lift your belly towards the ceiling. Hold the pose as much as you like , then gently lower your body to the mat.
Relaxation Pose (Also Known as the Corpse Pose)
Also known as the “corpse pose”, this type of posture is the final pose in any yoga class. Many, if not most, yoga traditions and yoga teachers regard Savasana (or Shavasana) as the single most important pose of your practice.
For one thing, it allows your body time to process the information and benefits received from the poses and breathing.
The kids will totally enjoy and willing to end their yoga session with this pose because it does not only make them relax. It enhances, likewise, their calm posture and become aware of their surroundings. You may call this technique as a “not-a-nap pose”.
To be able to do this, lie your back with legs straight and arms at the side. Let your breath occur naturally and allow your body to lay and feel heavy on the ground. Relax your face and let peace and silence be invited in your mind, body and soul. However, you should take note that you should not fall asleep.
Why is yoga good for kids?
There are a lot greater poses to consider for you to try as beginners. To summarize, here are some benefits of Yoga to children:
Yoga helps children enhance their patience
Children tend to have short-span of patience. With yoga, it helps them learn to have a little more patience within themselves which will ultimately improve their emotional regulation.
Yoga boosts children’s self-esteem
Yoga can be a great method for shy and timid children to express their selves but with more confidence. Perfecting a pose or improving their flexibility can give them a sense of development and growth with their little achievement.
Yoga enhances children’s concentration and memory
This is probably one of the edges of children who do Yoga as compare to those who don’t. Yoga requires different type of moves which requires children to focus and work on their memorization skills to perfectly achieve the required pose. This will be a training ground for their academic performance.
Yoga refines balance and coordination
Balance is the key element to Yoga. It promotes mental and physical poise, as mental clarity and stability emerge from the effort of trying the poses. When kids fall, they will learn how to get back up.
Yoga develops children’s judgement
When doing yoga, different postures require different level of difficulty, thus, when a kid is shown a certain pose, his judgement will be put to test whether he has the ability to copy the said pose.
It is good for parents to have a bonding with their children, especially through Yoga. Anxiety, sleepless nights and unsolicited tantrums tests our limits. In times like this, a little break is needed. Basic yoga breathing and a simple pose or two can be important tools for managing a range of stresses and pain as well as everyday challenges. Lead by example.