Is yoga, especially for children a good idea? I think it is! Yoga classes for children rarely focus on perfecting poses. Instead, they teach yoga basics. Yoga also helps improve coordination. Some reports say yoga can help calm children and helps kids with various disabilities. A 2012 report in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found yoga helped improve school performance and sustained attention in children with autism. It also found when introduced to yoga at a young age, children are more likely to continue the practice as they get older as opposed to learning about yoga as a teenager or adult. That’s important as obesity rates are on the rise. Children who learn to exercise early in life are likely to continue that.
What is Yoga?It’s not sport or exercise, it’s non-competitive and non-striving. It’s a system of practices based on ancient Indian principles aimed at helping people to live better. Living well is both an art and a skill. Yoga helps us to become more skilful and creative at the business of being a human being. Yoga is much more than moving the body into different shapes. Yoga brings into harmony the body, the mind and the breath. It provides an antidote to the stressed-out, auto-pilot, rushing around that we do in our society. It helps us to feel more balanced, calm and confident (in mind and body). It helps us to deal more skilfully with the unexpected bumps in the road that can cause so much stress and suffering. Yoga combines gentle physical movement with breathing and concentration. It is fun, it is empowering and it will change your life. Leanne Toy at Bundaberg Yoga says children are natural yogis, they still remember how to drop out of their busy heads and into their playful, active bodies. They know how to be in the present moment. Many yoga postures (asana) are named after animals or things in nature, so it’s a perfect match for children to practise yoga. But more than just fun, Kids Yoga helps young people to realise early on how much power they possess, how much responsibility they can have for their own well-being. Awareness of breathing and of posture plays a big part. Reminding children to breathe fully, through their nostrils, will set them up for optimal development, learning potential and enjoyment of life. Yoga also helps them to develop skills to deal with everything that comes their way, including difficult circumstances and emotions. Kids today are coping with a very sophisticated world. Anxiety, self-doubt, perfectionism, low self-esteem, fear, insomnia are just some examples of what our children are up against. Yoga helps children to develop a tool-box of techniques that they can use every day to feel confident, strong, calm and creative. What do you think about kids doing Yoga? Comment below.