- 5 mins
International Yoga Day: The Benefits of Kids Yoga
Happy International Yoga Day! This year it is celebrated on the 21st of June and the theme is Yoga for Humanity. A silver lining of the Covid pandemic was the adoption of this ancient practice by lots of us as a way of relieving anxiety at home. Yoga has a funny way of ‘bringing together’. It really is a union. A union of the mind, breath, and body. A union between the inner and outer world. So it’s a beautiful practice for children to embark on – even in their younger years. A U.S national survey by The National Health Interview Survey found that 1.7 million children did yoga all the way back in 2012. It is now even more popular due to a change in perspective and increased mental health awareness.
I teach yoga at my local school and one thing I’ve learned is to make it fun and simple! Kids are under so much pressure to be ‘good at stuff’. To be academically successful and experience the demands of school testing at such a young age might feel heavy for some children. Throw in pressure from friends, family, post-pandemic difficulties, and social media burdens, it is no wonder we have a mental health crisis. According to The Children’s Society 1 in 6 children aged 5-16 are likely to have a mental health problem. So introducing your child to the joyful and fun focus of yoga can be beneficial for their holistic wellbeing… and for giggling. As giggling is super important.
What are the benefits of kids’ yoga?
Giving your kids the creative space to develop their strength, coordination, flexibility, and balance is especially rewarding. Kids’ yoga can help fine and gross motor skills, strengthen muscles and create a deeper awareness of the body. Yoga is only ever an invitation and children should always listen to their bodies first when practicing asanas. There are lots of great free yoga resources out there like Cosmic Kids which help children safely practice yoga in an energetically focussed way.
As we know, our Moshlings are all about helping children feel more calm and centered. Yoga is another way to facilitate a living in the moment attitude at home. It’s especially lovely at bedtime to soothe worried minds. The act of practicing the poses helps children clear their minds and focus on the effort involved. This is mindfulness at its core and helps with both emotional regulation and stress management. Helping your child build coping strategies and manage difficult emotions with yoga during this time of intense brain development will help them lead a more fulfilling and self-aware adult life.
The confidence a child gets when having practiced and achieved a pose is just wonderful. By introducing our kids to yoga we are helping create a more resilient and compassionate world. Yoga can also help children with their memory retention and concentration. These skills can help them participate in a more focused way in class and at home. The positive behavior can then be recognized and rewarded by parents and teachers- another great way of building their confidence.
Summer Animal Yoga Poses to Teach Children
Make sure when you all practice yoga everyone has their shoes and socks off and it is appropriate and safe space.
They can come onto their tummy and have their elbows under their shoulders. Relaxing their legs and lower back and keeping their shoulders away from their ears is important. Breathe in and on the out-breath, they can make a hissing sound, just like a snake. To come out they can simply make a pillow for their head and rock gently from side to side.
They can balance on their toes with their knees apart. If your child feels comfortable with this, they can then put their feet flat and raise their arms. Can they make a croaking sound just like a frog?
Simple. Bring the soles of the feet together and gently move the bent knees up and down like a butterfly. You can ask them what color are the wings of their butterfly.
A few moments is all kids need to have some fun with the postures so just be flexible and have a good laugh! Have a great yoga day.