The Many Benefits of Yoga for Children
As we approach summer vacation, perhaps you are starting to feel panicked about having endless unstructured hours with your kids. The fighting, the whining, the non stop complaints of boredom, and the endless pleas for more TV or video games can make any mom go crazy. Instead of having a nervous breakdown just two weeks into summer vacation, build in daily kid fitness time into your routine. There are many different fitness DVDs geared toward children, including yoga programs. Many research studies have shown that children of all ages can benefit from yoga.
Here are just a few benefits:
- Parents and infants bond significantly when participating in yoga together.
- Yoga helps improve sleep patterns, increasing the duration and frequency of sleep.
- Several yoga poses improve digestion, constipation, and relieve gas and colic.
- Yoga is helpful for mom (or dad) in that it strengthens their body and calms their mind, leading to less stress.
- Healthy habits early in life lead to continued healthy habits down the road.
Benefits of Yoga for Children
- Yoga is a great family activity that everyone can participate in.
- Children who are active in yoga generally have a positive self-image.
- Yoga helps reduce stress and anger problems. Children who participate in it generally have lower anxiety.
- Children learn coordination, balance, and body awareness by strengthening their muscles through different yoga poses.
- One of the biggest benefits of yoga is seen in children with ADHD. Many research studies show that the use of regular yoga for children with ADHD improves attention and behavior in school.
3 Tips for Sharing Yoga with Your Children:
- Choose Yoga DVDs that are age appropriate and engaging to your child. Many of the routines for younger children incorporate stories, phonics, and animals.
- After spending time using yoga DVDs, you may want to create your own yoga routine with your child. If you have older children, have them work together to create a routine. Then each child can take turns leading the yoga class.
- Visit your local yoga studio. Many of them offer classes especially geared toward children and often have a trial class.
I have been doing yoga with my two boys for about a year now and they enjoy it. I also have used it as part of my speech therapy sessions with various children, including those with fluency and voice disorders. This summer I'm looking forward to including yoga into our daily routine, as I will be on maternity leave. Here are a few of my favorite yoga DVDs for children:
Recommended for Infants:
Mama and Baby Yoga for mothers with infants 3-6 months
Recommended for Toddlers and Preschoolers:
Recommended for School Age Children:
Yoga for Families Ages 5 + Shanti Generation: Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers Ages 7-16
Have you ever tried yoga with your children? What did they think of it? What other fun fitness activities does your family enjoy?