Why Yoga Is Hugely Beneficial For Your Child
When it comes to yoga, there is no age young enough! In fact, the earlier you begin, the better.If you think your child/children won’t relate to yoga because it’s not fun, think again. It may take effort/time to convince them; but it’ll be worth it. I’ve spoken to parents and yoga teachers about children’s responsiveness to yoga, and I find it’s largely positive. In fact, there are parents who underestimate their child’s interest in yoga. The little ones are often more motivated than the adults!
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How to ‘recruit’ your child:
- If you’re a practitioner, check if your teacher would let your child sit in on a yoga session. If not, you can always grab their attention with self-practice at home. Yoga is a physical/visual activity, and chances are that your child will stop what he/she is doing, and begin observing you, out of pure curiosity.
- Even if your partner isn’t into yoga, convince them to practice a ‘paired’ session with you. Children find watching their parents immersed in a joint activity engaging, reassuring, and entertaining. It prompts them to get involved.
- See if you can find toys/puzzles/activity books related to yoga and/or meditation. It’s a way to introduce a new hobby, via a familiar one.
- Nothing beats a bit of healthy competition. If you have friends whose children practice yoga, tell your child, and let them be inspired by their peers.
Why yoga is hugely beneficial for your child:
- It’s one of the healthier hobbies your child can cultivate, in today’s social media crazy environment. I wasn’t particularly fond of sports/video games as a child, and it would’ve been great to know about yoga. It’s that ‘in-between’ option between books, and full-blown outdoor pursuits.
- If your child is hyperactive, simple breathing/stretching exercises can help calm him/her down. If your child isn’t, then it won’t be difficult to introduce them to the habit anyway!
- Yoga improves flexibility, muscle tone, and blood circulation. Attending yoga classes, like they do piano, or pottery classes, instills a sense of discipline, punctuality, and respect for regimented activities. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends, and bolster social confidence.
- Yoga is a great way to irrigate a child’s imagination/creativity. Many yoga poses are named after animals/birds/Nature – the famous Downward Dog, Matsyasana (Fish pose), Kakasana (Crow pose), Vriksasana (Tree pose), or Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) etc. Encourage your child to ‘imitate’ the posture of their favourite animal. A teacher’s guided instruction on the hows/whys of each pose only serves as further encouragement, giving them new ideas on how to relate better with Nature.
- Pair the above with a basic guided meditation regime. For instance, all animal poses practiced in one session can be included in an imaginative meditation scenario, and children can be trained to visualise them based on the guidance/instruction. This improves their ability to focus and analyse, developing a keen eye for detail; even when dealing with subjects not as interesting as their favourite animals.
- Meditation is more successful if children are introduced to it using language/media they find ‘lightweight’ and interesting. Don’t be surprised if your child starts doing better in literature, art, or maths in school. A calm, collected, and lively mind, moulded at a young age, can go a long way; and can start showing results earlier than you think.
Yoga requires perseverance. It grows on you, which means it can become a huge part of your life. If you want your child to reap the benefits of mind-body communion, and a solid life ethos, enrol him/her for a class, today.