YOGA BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN – Explore here!

The world has changed, also for our children! They live in a busy world with working parents, no grandparents around, school pressures, outside school activities, computer games, competitive sports and less time to just relax and do nothing. My 8 year old grandson just lately said to me: Grandma, you know, I have a very busy life!!! And he is right, he spends more than 8 hours a day in school, plays football, has guitar lessons and of course has an IPad and likes to play games, watch TV and during the weekend there are football matches where he has to attend because he is the goalie! So a little bit of fun yoga can help to balance his life and bring back a bit of physical and mental stability.

How to inspire children to do yoga

Often children think that yoga is boring and they prefer other activities. So we have to think of something children will like and we have to get them engaged. Children are more direct in their feedback than adults and they like to bring in their own ideas and want to be part of the decisions which poses to do. Involve games into teaching is a good method to get the kids’ attention. Animal names for the poses resonate really well with kids and their imagination.

Main benefits for children

Growing confidence

Mastering new poses and getting used to work with body and mind will help develop a feeling of achievement.

Helping to get a healthy body

Stretching, bending, strengthening and holding poses to get better coordination will improve flexibility and reduces the risk of injury.

Improving concentration

Regular yoga will help the kids to concentrate, be more aware of their bodies and strengthen their focus.

Manage stress

Breathing and slow movements will calm the mind and help to overcome stressful situations.

Reduce competitiveness

Not all children like to be compared to others who are better than themselves. Yoga teaches that everybody can achieve different goals by trying as best as you can and this is the only issue that matters.

Coordination and Balance

Yoga poses involve different muscles to help the body to move in symmetry and to improve coordination.

Effects of the different poses

Standing Poses

Improve balance, give strength

Balancing Poses

Improve coordination, focus and strength

Back bends

Open and strenghten heart and chest

Forward bends

Are relaxing and good for the digestive system

Inversions

Enhance self-esteem and coordination

Breathing

Reduces stress, helps to focus and concentrate

 

                    

Fun Yoga Exercises

Try all or only part of these exercises – chose the ones you like most. You can change the sequence after a while or look out for other poses – these are only a small number of fun yoga poses which you will come to like when you try to do them regularly. You can do them at home, in a class, together with others or alone.

 

Lotus

  • Sit tall
  • Cross your legs
  • Palms facing upwards on your knees
  • Relax and breathe evenly

Reverse table top

  • Sit with your palms flat behind you
  • Soles of your fee flat on the floor in front of you
  • Bend your knees
  • Lift your buttocks to create a table
  • Arms outstretched
  • Now you can try to walk like a crab

Tree

  • Stand on one leg
  • Bend your other knee
  • Put the sole of your foot on the inside of your knee
  • Balance and keep your hands together in front of you
  • Try to sway like a tree in the wind

Cobra

 

 

 

 

  • Lie on your tummy
  • Place your palms flat on the floor underneath your shoulders
  • Press into your hands
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the ground
  • Try to hiss like a snake

Downward facing dog

  • From standing bend down
  • Place your palms flat on the ground in front of you
  • Step your feet back to create an upside-down V shape
  • Buttocks high in the air
  • Straighten your legs
  • Relax your head and neck
  • Look down between your legs

Extended side angle

 

 

 

 

  • Stand with your feet apart
  • One foot straight, one foot slightly outwards
  • Arms outstretched
  • Bend the leg with the foot outwards
  • Rest your elbow on your thigh of this leg
  • Bring your other arm straight up to the sky
  • Look up
  • Repeat on the other side

Warrior

  • Stand tall like a mountain
  • Step one foot back slightly outwards
  • Bend your front knee
  • Bring your outstretched arms parallel to the floor
  • Look to your front hand
  • Feel like a warrior

Boat

 

 

  • Balance on your buttocks with your legs up
  • Put your hands behind your outstretched knees
  • Rock like a boat in the water

Flower

  • Sit tall on your buttocks
  • Lift up your legs
  • Balance on your sitting bones
  • Bring the soles of your feet together
  • Put your arms under your legs

Squat

  • Sit down to a sqat
  • Legs apart
  • Elbows on your knees
  • Try to waddle like a duck

Cow

  • Go on all fours
  • Look up
  • Arch your back
  • Open your chest

Cat

  • Go onto all fours
  • Round your back
  • Bring your chin into your chest
  • You can pretend to be a kitten

Camel

  • Go onto your knees, tops of feet on floor
  • Lean back until your hands touch your feet
  • Open your chest
  • Look up

Dolphin

  • Go on your hands and knees
  • Bend your elbows
  • Put your forearms on the floor, palms flat
  • Lift up your knees to straighten your legs

Upward facing dog

 

  • Lie on your belly
  • Palms of your hands next to your shoulders
  • Look up
  • Straighten your arms and expand your chest

Conclusion

Yoga for kids should always take into consideration the kids’ creativity and poses can be adapted or changed whatever feels comfortable for the kids. The focus should be on having fun and get to know the body but also trying to enhance stamina and concentration. If you want your child to get interested in yoga, show the poses and let them try themselves, they will love it, especially if you can mimic animals or objects they know. Yoga will improve your child’s strength and breath control, determination and self-regulation, reduces stress and anxiety and improves the mood.

GIVE IT A TRY AND LET YOUR KIDS DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!

6 thoughts on “YOGA BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN – Explore here!

  1. Rodarrick Reply

    Actually, I have never thought of giving in to the thought of having my kids to take yoga. I believed they are too young to be taking it but this post actually changed my worldview. I see that the benefits attached to yoga for kids is immense and if proper efforts is made, then it is very possible for us all to be able to reach them right from young age. Thanks

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      I am so pleased about your comment – it is true that we think kids will not be interested in yoga but if we present it as a game and let them pretend to be animals it should really be fun for the kids and the benefits are huge! Thank you for letting me know your view!

  2. Henderson Reply

    I never really thought of yoga for my younger sister till I saw some kids around the neighborhood going for a yoga class. I think it’s awesome and we can get a private yoga teacher at home for all we want tolearn. You have given tips yourself with some very awesome pictures to make it easier. The fact that you can point out the pros of yoga for kids is a good thing. Your list is very valuable. Thanks

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Thank you for your comment and I can see that quite a few kids are into yoga and enjoy it, especially the animal postures which they can relate to easily. I hope the kids will continue and see the benefits.

  3. Shanta Rahman Reply

    First of all thank you so much for sharing an article so helpful. I have a baby and I am very aware of his health. I have always considered yoga for my baby as yoga improves my child’s strength and breathing control, determination and self-control, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mood. Fun yoga has helped balance my child’s life and restore some physical and mental stability. In addition to doing yoga myself, I tried to teach him something good about yoga through sports and showed him my interest in yoga by showing games. And he is keen and regular to do the Extended Side Angle .

    Also through your article I have learned about some more fun yoga. I will definitely try for my baby and will share with you new experiences. Can I share your article on my social media?

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Shanta, so glad to have your comments and I am happy for you and your child who obviously enjoys yoga. And please let me know how you get on and of course share this article on your social media. All the best Angelika

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