1) Just like the adult version, yoga will enhances a child’s flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, your child’s concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation will noticeably improve. Teaching your little ones to become more aware of their body, and what it feels like to stretch and relax, will help them create a positive relationship towards their physical fitness the rest of their life.
2) Yoga can help your child concentrate at school. Research shows that the deep breathing exercises may improve children’s focus. Some schools are already introducing mindfulness into the curriculum. Concentrating on the breath or feeling a stretch teaches children to keep their minds settled and focused, preventing negative thought processes and distractions.
3) Yoga teaches compassion and awareness of others. A child’s social-emotional development depends on a harmonious learning environment, which yoga creates. A lot of adults associate their school PE lessons with feelings of inadequacy and competition. Today, more children are turning away from competitive sports and moving towards ‘fun’ activities like yoga, circus skills and dance.
4) Yoga offers a whole range of therapeutic benefits to children. It’s excellent at helping your little ones move through difficult feelings and is often used to help posttraumatic stress disorder. It also helps with attention deficit disorder and is taught to special needs children, children with disabilities and those dealing with anxiety and anger management issues.
5) Start them early. You can introduce your child to yoga as early as — weeks. Baby yoga includes stretching, swinging and rolling, and helps aid sleep, sooths colic, strengthens the muscles and spine, and develops coordination. You can introduce new sensations such as these massage balls from www.yogamatters.com which are rolled across the skin.
6) Yoga helps to develop your child’s emotional creativity. All yoga poses are related to the natural world in some way and perfect for including in stories and adventures, which stimulate the imagination and help make classes fun. By imitating animals they can imagine what it feels like to take on their qualities. This also helps engage your child’s interest as they explore the deeper meanings behind the poses.
7) There are plenty of classes across the UK to choose from. These classes encourage interaction between children and are a good way to meet other aspiring yogis. It’s always a good idea to start out with a qualified teacher. Most studios now offer children’s classes such as London studios www.triyoga.co.uk and www.yogabugs.com who have classes all over the UK.
8) Yoga can be practiced at home. Once you’ve picked up the basics you can try out what you’ve learnt or top up your knowledge with books and DVDs. If you already have your own self- practice you might have noticed their interest towards your mat sparked already. Treat them to their own mini kids mat, which will help with them perfect their alignment: www.yogamatters.com