It’s no secret that yoga delivers more than a few health benefits when you make a habit of practising it regularly, but have you ever considered that the same might apply for children?
In fact, not only can introducing your children to yoga at an early age instil them with a lifelong love of the activity, it can deliver some tangible, immediate health benefits, too.
The benefit of yoga for kids
In recent years, a few different groups of scientists have put the ‘yoga is good for kids’ theory to the test, and have discovered that it genuinely is. Research shows that children who practise yoga may enjoy…
- Improved creativity - That’s according to a US study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine which asked a group of primary school-aged children to take part in a 30-minute yoga session once a week. After 10 weeks, teachers reported that the kids demonstrated noticeable improvements in creativity
- Healthier self-esteem - The same team of US researchers also discovered that confidence and self-esteem had grown in many of the children, after participating in the 10-week yoga course
- Better mood - Research released in 2013 shows students attending schools that routinely run yoga classes experience improvements in mood. One explanation may be that yoga encourages levels of a brain neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation, to rise
- Greater attention spans - The US study also found that attention spans, as well as general concentration and ability to stay focused on a task, improved for many of the children who took part in the 10-week yoga course
- Stronger coping abilities - A few different studies have discovered that school-aged children who are given the chance to practise yoga regularly find it easier to manage and deal with stressful situations. Research also indicates that they may be more resilient and able to control their behaviour in response to emotional events more
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How to help your kids strike a pose
Many yoga studios run dedicated classes for kids or teens, as well as ‘family yoga’ or ‘mums and kids yoga’ classes. There are also apps designed specifically to help kids learn how to do – and fall in love with – yoga.
These include the Kids Yogaverse: I AM LOVE app, the Super Stretch Yoga app, and the Cosmic Kids app.
You can also check out these yoga poses for kids
from Kate Kendall. There are six playful yoga poses for you and your child to enjoy together, including the raccoon pose, the shark pose and the banana pose.
Designed to nurture children’s creativity and imagination, you’ll find information about what each pose is great for, as well as step-by-step instructions that explain how to perform them properly.