Updated: Oct 20, 2020
Our children live in a "hurry-up" world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and sports. We usually don't think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are. The bustling pace of our children's lives can have a profound effect on their innate joy—and usually not for the better.
Teaching our scholars yoga can help counter some of these pressures. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can then navigate life's challenges with a little more ease. Yoga at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that's noncompetitive. Fostering cooperation and compassion—instead of opposition—is a great gift to give our children.
Yoga and mindfulness go together because the aim of both is to achieve a higher level of connection, awareness, or union, between the mind, body, and spirit. In fact, yoga without mindful awareness cannot be yoga. Both yoga and mindfulness aim to quiet the mind, in order to cultivate a deeper connection to and understanding of the self. Yoga with children offers many possibilities to exchange wisdom, share good times, and lay the foundation for a lifelong practice that will continue to deepen.
As we introduce Mindfulness Moments to our students, we encourage you as parents to learn and experience Mindfulness Moments too. It can only help with coping with the challenges and stressors we experience in life.
Here are some benefits to teaching young children mindfulness through yoga:
1. Yoga helps children manage their anxiety. The breathing exercises and relaxation techniques learned from practicing yoga can help children with stress management. Teaching children how to reduce stress in a healthy way is an important life skill that will help them as children and as adults.
2. Yoga improves children’s emotional regulation. Another benefit of yoga for children is that it helps children learn to be in the present moment while relaxing and gaining a peaceful state of mind, which ultimately improves their emotional regulation.
3. Yoga boosts children’s self-esteem. Yoga for kids can do wonders for their self-esteem. Perfecting a pose or improving their balance and flexibility can give young children a sense of personal empowerment.
4. Yoga increases children’s body awareness and mindfulness. Going through a variety of yoga poses helps children learn about their bodies and the movements they’re capable of doing.
5. Yoga enhances children’s concentration and memory. One of the top benefits of kids’ yoga is that the different types of moves requires children to focus and work on their memorization skills—both of which can translate over into their academic performance.
6. Yoga develops children’s strength and flexibility. Yoga helps strengthen children’s growing bodies and helps them improve their flexibility, which can reduce their chance of injury.
7. Yoga teaches discipline and reduces impulsivity. Yoga can reduce challenging behaviors in the classroom by providing a physical outlet for children to express themselves. It also teaches children about discipline as they work on clearing their minds and perfecting their poses.