Yoga’s growing popularity with adults is largely due to its ability to benefit people not just physically but mentally too. People practice it just as much to de-stress and enhance their wellbeing as to keep fit and improve their flexibility. Did you know it can offer similarly brilliant benefits for your children too?
According to Psychology Today, around 1.7 million children and teens practice yoga. This number is growing all the time, with yoga starting to be taught in many schools too. Here’s why your family should give kids yoga a try…
1. Yoga helps with children’s attention span and concentration
Yoga can help your children to ditch the smartphones and spend some time working on their mental focus and concentration. It teaches children how to be present in the moment and avoid distractions by focusing on simple things like their breath flowing in and out of their body.
2. Yoga develops flexibility, muscular strength and endurance
Children are naturally supple, but yoga can help them to maintain this into adulthood. As the saying goes “use it or lose it”. It’s during childhood that we generally take up sports and physical activities. If your child is a keen footballer, runner, tennis player (the list goes on), yoga will help ensure that their flexibility is maintained rather than compromised by these activities. Yoga also helps with muscle development, particularly in the core of the body, keeping your child safer in these sports and enhancing their performance.
3. Yoga can be essential for managing stress and anxiety
Kids are facing more stress than ever before. Recent research revealed that 65% worry about doing well in school, while 25% were anxious about body image, their weight or bullying. 31% have problems at home, while new problems such as social media are causing stress for around 11% of 12 to 16-year-olds.
With all of these sources of stress, it’s important for kids to learn how to manage anxiety. Kids yoga offers the perfect ‘moment’ of calm for young people, a space for themselves and the chance to learn techniques for stress management.
4. Yoga teaches young people how to relax
When practising yoga, kids learn calming techniques. This can help them to manage frustration, take a moment to breathe and to respond appropriately to a range of different situations. Yoga helps to develop the prefrontal cortex, which gives young people the ability to concentrate and think things through, rather than acting on impulse.
5. Yoga is inclusive and non-competitive
Unlike many activities that children participate in, particularly in school, yoga isn’t about winning. It’s not like sport, which can pit people against each other. Yoga is for everyone, and all you have to do is to give it a go.
6. Yoga can be fun and creative
Yoga doesn’t have to be quiet and serious – it can be really fun! In kids yoga, in particular (depending on the age range of the class), classes incorporate stories, games and other creative activities.
7. Yoga helps children develop healthy exercise habits
Starting any exercise programme as a child, and sticking with it, is a great foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle as a grown-up.
8. Yoga helps with body awareness and self-acceptance
Focusing on posture and poses can help kids and tweens to learn more about their bodies and importantly, the amazing things they are capable of. Yoga teaches that all bodies are different, and that all are ok.
If you’d like to introduce your little ones to kids yoga, we have classes on Thursdays 4:30-5:15pm for children aged between 4-9. Classes are held at our Buckingham studio. Click here for more details. Children aged of 14-16 can join our non-heated classes as long as accompanied by a parent or guardian.