Yoga for Kids? Really? Such serious stuff??
Glees and giggles, screams and screeches, cries of laughter, rolls and runs, jumps and bumps, we all have enjoyed these as our “being kids” status. These are ingrainedelements of growth and development as we progress from childhood to adulthood. Growth and development of a child through infancy, preschool, school going, and adolescence is a miraculous journey that we all long to relive. A child is growing physically, cognitively, socially as well as emotionally which makes it a complex phase. All actions and decisions made during this phase of rapid growth, become comparatively more intense.
Today, when we all are battling our wars on the competitive globe, challenges multiply in multitudes. And this makes the childhood growth and development more demanding while the struggle to win and stand out as a unique me can become a nightmare.
As parents and learned care-givers we attempt to leave no stone unturned in exploring the potential our child is bundled with and find ways to optimise it. Best of schools, food, entertainment, numerous classes and many more engagements, we want to child to experience it all.
And still the question hounds us, what can help my child to perform better. One such tool that can aid in optimizing wholistic health of the child can be regular practice of Yoga.
Native to India, yoga is a 5000-year-old discipline emerged with a purpose of cultivating discernment, awareness, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual. The original context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to reflect and become aware of their own nature.
When practiced regularly, yoga can benefit the kid with:
- Improved Physical Fitness, muscle strength, co-ordination and flexibility
- Improved muscle endurance helps take care of Long sitting hours that impact body postures
- Enhanced Lung capacity and breathing with exceptional benefits observed in asthmatic concerns
- Improves body, mind and breath awareness
- Boosts energy, enhances relaxation
- Better energy conservation, reduces Mental Fatigue, augments alertness
- Improved concentration, Focus and decision making (beneficial edge for competitive exams and sports-oriented training)
- Promotes imagination and creativity
- Helps overcome negative emotions like jealousy, fear and anger.
- Fosters a positive self- image and increases confidence.
- Better emotional handling, social conversations and presence of situation.
- Inculcates habit of discipline, time management, promotes wise food choices and paves way for life long healthy lifestyle approach.
- Practice of yoga has also shown crucial improvements in children with special needs.
With these host of comprehensive benefits, training kids for yoga can begin early. Toddlers and babies are doing yoga — studios now offer classes for kids as young as 6 weeks old. Yoga advocates say the classes can help parents and infants’ bond, and promote development of motor skills. Of course, it is more passive training at this age. The magical number is 8. At about 8 years of age, kids start understanding instructions and have developed acumen to follow and reproduce the same. Modern scientists recognize that this is a crucial milestone for physiological and psychological development of children transitioning into adult life. Maturation of immune health as well as Lung development occurs by this age. Traditionally, in India, children at this age are introduced to Suryanamaskar.
So, where to start?
Introduction of yoga to your Kid will be easy when they see you do it. Simple poses can be done with ease and safety. Namaskar, Anjali Mudra, Vajrasan, Trikonasan, Pavanmuktasan, Dhanurasan, Marjarasan, Bhujangasan, Shalabhasan, Virabhdrasan, Vrikshasan, UtthitaParsvakonasana, Tadasan, Simhaasan, AnanadBalasan, Suryanamaskar, Pranayama, Controlled Breathing, Mantra Uchhranand Meditation Techniques can be incorporated with ease.
Kids love poses that challenge them that have twists and bends. Demonstrate the poses rather than just instructing or explaining. Kids follow visuals better than just hearing. We need to make it a little fun for them and not a compulsion, or be prepared for repulsion! Important thing for us to note here is we need skilled experienced trainers to teach the perfect techniques and postures for benefits and safety.
Introducing your children to yoga at an early age can help them learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future. It is imperative that they will start gaining and consciously maintaining good physical, mental health as they are growing, but unknowingly you have helped them build stronger emotional and spiritual health which will be of their great support as they advance toward their ‘golden age’.
The most important bit of this is, Kids will not listen to what you tell them, but will follow what you do. So, the first action point for introducing this wonderful lifestyle to your kids is ‘START PRACTICE OF YOGA YOURSELF’ and reap benefits of Health, efficiency and stronger bonds as a family. Stay Healthy! Stay Fit!