Why yoga for kids?
Today’s kids are dabbling with many challenges and pressure. Physical activities are getting lesser day by day. On the other hand, peer pressure and a competitive atmosphere lead to insecurities and fear among kids. To overcome such challenges and others, the benefits of yoga can play a pivotal role for the overall health of kids. Yoga offers a solution in which children can imbibe in their personalities by practicing simple yogic practices.
Research showing the behavioral benefits of Yoga for children is limited, but some suggest that this type of exercise can improve children’s attention, relationships, self-esteem and listening skills.
10 health benefits of yoga for kids
- Concentration: Yoga helps to build concentration. There are many yoga poses like Vrikshasana, Tadasana, pranayama, etc., which improve focus, learning, and concentration.
- Memory: Yoga poses help to boost memory: Many studies have been conducted, which suggest how regular practice of Yoga helps in improving brainpower. Head down forward-bending poses are particularly beneficial in improving memory and other mental functions.
- Immunity: The practice of yoga is good for immunity. Children often fall prey to cold and cough despite all the care taken by their parents. Yoga stimulates the nervous, endocrine, digestive and circulatory systems and enhancing their functioning. Many simple yoga postures like Bhujangasana, Parvatasana, simple deep breathing, etc. can safeguard the children from easily falling victim to germs.
- Speech development: It helps in speech development. Yoga poses like Bhujangasana, Ustrasana, chanting, ensures speech improvement and voice clarity.
- Flexibility: Yoga is good for agility and flexibility. Yoga poses like Tadasana, Trikonasana, Vrikshasana, Konasana, Gomukhasana, and balancing asanas improve mind-body coordination.
- Emotional balance: Yoga helps to manage emotional balance. Children also pass through the various phases of emotions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and guilt. Yoga helps in improving self-esteem, self-confidence and developing a positive attitude towards life. Yoga brings health, confidence, and peace.
- Healthy habits: Yoga teaches us healthy habits. In fact, the very basic essence of yoga is value inculcation and moral development. Healthy habits established in childhood are likely to endure into adulthood.
- Peace: Peace is of utmost importance for everyone including the kids. In the modern era, children are easily engulfed by many complexities, due to peer pressure, competitive atmosphere, exam phobia, burdensome syllabus, etc. Yoga can be a panacea to overcome these.
- Cognitive development: Yoga helps in cognitive development like attention, memory, thinking, reasoning and problem-solving may be observed. Intelligence, development of language, and concept formation are the finer aspects of it.
- Self-awareness: Self-awareness, contentment, self-acceptance, self-regards, self-actualization, etc. Self-awareness takes place in the form of habits, values, and ethics. Dhyana is just like a panacea and a powerful tool for spiritual growth and development. Practicing Yama, Niyama and Meditation are beneficial for spiritual growth.
How children do yoga
- Children are advised not to perform asana for a long duration and breathe holding practices (Kumbhaka).
- Children should practice mild yoga stretches, movements, etc.
- Demonstrating the posture, rather than explaining it is good for the kid.
- Avoid extreme forward and backward bending yoga asanas.
- Avoid headstand and hand standing asanas.
- Avoid overstretching or being pushed too hard while practicing Yoga.
- Yogic practice should be done on an empty or light stomach.
- Children should practice Yoga under the supervision of an expert/ trained Yoga teacher.
- It’s always appreciated to teach Yoga with affection and deal with all their reactions tenderly.
Best yoga diet for kids
- Vegetables: All green leafy vegetables.
- Cereals: Unpolished rice, Whole wheat, and multi-grain flour.
- Sweet: Honey, Organic natural Jaggery.
- Dry fruits: Dates, Figs, Dry grapes, Cashew, Almonds, Walnut, Dry grapes (soaked overnight).
- Fresh fruit: Seasonal and juicy fruits.
- Fruit juice: Apple juice, Carrot juice, and Orange juice.
List of best yoga for kids
Recommended Yoga practices for children along with time
- Prayer: 1 minute
- Sukshma Vyayama (Micro-circulation practices or loosening exercises): 10 minutes
- Neck Movements
- Forward and Backward Bending:
- Right and Left Twisting
- Hands up and down
- Hands rotation
- Shoulder Rotation
- Shaking wrist:
- Back movement (Forward and backward)
- Back twisting movement
- Backside bending
- Butterfly Movement
- Knee Movement
- Ankle Movements
- Ankle stretch
- Ankle rotation
3. Yogasana for 10 minutes
- Tadasana (Palm Tree posture)
- Vrikshasana (Tree posture)
- Ashvasanchalan (Horse riding posture)
- Parvatasana (Mountain posture)
- Trikonasana (Triangle posture)
- Marjariasana (Cat posture)
- Ushtrasana (Camel posture)
- Shashakasana (Rabbit posture)
- Madukasana (Frog posture)
- Vakrasana (Twisting posture)
- Gomukhasana (Cow face posture)
- Kagasana (Crow posture)
- Simhasana (Roaring Lion posture)
- Makrasana (Crocodile posture)
- Saral bhujanasana (Cobra posture)
- Dhanurasana (Bow posture)
- Balasana (Child posture)
- Setubandhasana (Bridge posture)
- Saral matyasana (Fish posture)
- Shavasana (Star fish posture)
Note: All the yoga asana shouldn’t be performed at a time. Total Six yogasana can be selected from standing, sitting and prone yoga poses.
4. Pranayama for 5 minutes
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Deep Breathing
5. Krida Yoga for 4 minutes
- Rain Claps
- Special Claps – I: Clap with both hands three times with the rhythm 1,2/1,2,3/1,2/1,2,3/1,2/1,2,3.
- Special Claps – II: Clap with both hands three times with the rhythm 1,2,3/ 1,2,3/1,2,3.
- Flower Claps