There is no age limit for starting a Yoga practice, but certainly practising yoga from your child hood brings discipline, good health, spirituality and much more. Kids are always inclined to sports and Yoga helps to bring that opportunity and it can be practised anywhere.
Children face emotional, social, and physical challenges, and a dedicated regular yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioural guidelines, and physical postures can be incredibly valuable for them.
Yoga is an alternative for children who shy away from physical activity or group activities for fear of failure or being picked last. Now, Yoga has popularly been adopted by schools through physical education classes and different programs which brought a transformation in kids.Yoga carries different values such as non-harming, truthfulness, cleanliness, gratitude, and self-discipline.
Benefits for Kids:
- Physical Flexibility– Yoga helps to build the physical strength of kids whether it is practised as standing, sitting or lying down. Each pose challenges the kids to be aware of their own body and its efficiency.
- Maintains balance & coordination– Yoga teaches kids on how to maintain balance. Balancing poses gives a platform for kids to build physical and mental health. Yoga not only teaches kids on how to stand on one foot physically but also it teaches on how to maintain mental balance when they fall and trying to stand again.
- Focus and concentration– The regular yoga practice helps children to be mindful and focus on whatever they do. It helps them to focus and concentrate on school education and culture for future growth.
- Self-confidence and discipline– Yoga help to build self-confidence and learning in the minds of children. It is our responsibility to develop our children’s sense of wonder and to give them a strong sense of self so that they know where they belong in this world and can contribute to making their community a better place. Yoga teaches kids to be patient and work towards their goals. A yoga teacher can only offer guidance; it is the child who has to work to succeed.
- Connect mind and body– Yoga helps kids to achieve a clear mind in a sound body by exercising the physical body and calming their mind. Every parent wants their children to act and behave with mindfulness and compassion, to be brave, to know love and happiness, and to find inner peace. Since the modern world moves very fast for children, yoga helps them to cope up with the pressure.
Let’s practise some useful and funny yoga poses which are beneficial for kids. Along with the below yoga poses, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is also an excellent yoga practice for kids which involves a series of 12 yoga poses.
- Lotus Pose(Padmasana)
This is one of the best meditation poses as it helps to calm down your brain and restores energy levels. It also increases the levels of concentration and awareness for kids to focus well in the study.
- Sit down on your mat in a crisscross position with spine erect.
- Keep your left thigh on the right thigh and vice versa.
- Let your hands rest on the thighs in Gyan mudra (palms facing forward while the thumb and index finger are in touch).
- Close your eyes and hold this position, while continuously deep inhaling and exhaling.
- Stay in this position for at least 1 minute and increase the time slowly and steadily.
- Kids can chant mantras and ‘Om’ while keeping their eyes closed. This will help to improve concentration and make them spiritual.
- Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
- Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be flat and placed firmly. Keep your left leg straight and find balance.
- While inhaling raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together.
- Ensure that your spine is straight and take few deep breaths.
- Slowly exhale and bring your hands down and release your right leg.
- Repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
- Warriors Pose (Virabhadrasana)
This pose opens your hips, chests and lungs and improves balance and flexibility.
- Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
- Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
- Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; straighten both your hands. Stay for few breaths
- Repeat on the other side.
- Childs Pose (Balasana)
This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety of kids.
- Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
- Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and bring your both hands by your side.
- Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body.
- Fold your knees, take your hands backwards and hold your ankles.
- Inhale and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back.
- Look forward and stay there while paying attention to your breath. Now, your body looks like a curve.
- Continue to take long deep breaths as you relax in this pose. Bend as far as your body permits and don’t force your body unnecessary.
- After few seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax.
The above yoga poses help the kids to develop physical and mental well-being. It also increases their focus and concentration in studies. In childhood, the kid’s body is normally flexible and it helps them to learn and practise more easily.