Yoga is like a breath of fresh air in the sultry sun - for the grown-ups, who can't believe in their body, yoga is like a dash of confidence; for the ones who are suffering, yoga provides answers both for the body and the mind. Yoga soothes, calms, and nurtures the very soul! It is an effective way to reach out to oneself. But Yoga is not just for the adults; it is excellent for the young ones too! We just see the agile and active side of children, forgetting that their little minds and bodies must get in tune too. Especially in the hustle and bustle of life today, children are suffering, and by not helping them calm down, we are ignoring their upbringing as well. They need relaxation and focus and better mind-body relationship too. So, here are a few known and unknown benefits of Yoga for kids:
Kids of today are busy with technology in the form of tablets and smartphones, and while sitting and watching the videos, the neck and back bend. This is also the case when the kids are at school, sitting on benches and hunching over. Over the time, the posture of the kids is ruined, sometimes even beyond repair. Yoga helps improve the posture of the children and helps keep back straight. Physical flexibility is improved by Yoga too. Each pose allows the muscle groups to be used differently and the child comes to know the capabilities of his own body! This has serious benefits, not just a better body. Better posture automatically enhances confidence and removes any future spine problems. It can eradicate inferiority complex and make the child bolder and more involved with peers and at school too. It instills self-reliance.
This world is a busy and chaotic place. In this environment full of distractions, when it is tough for us adults to focus on something long enough, imagine what goes on through the mind and thoughts of a child! When we expect the child to concentrate better on studies, we are actually encouraging more attentiveness without curing the root - have we thought about helping the child control distractions? Are we assisting the child with controlling scattered thought process and streamlined focused effort? Yoga comes to the rescue with this too! Yoga helps the child to be mindful, aware of the moment and what goes on in it and learns how to bring one's attention to each and every detail of the present.
The yogic poses require a lot of concentration. When the child tries to balance and focus his attention on devoting attention towards a particular pose and the accompanying breathing, it is actually helping him to practice the same focus and concentration at school when learning new things. Yoga can improve the child's attention span and calm him down enough to not miss subtle learning from day-to-day activities in school and at home. Yoga can help soothe out the troubles in kids with attention deficit and hyperactivity as it promotes thinking and doing one activity at a time, pacing it out and relaxing in a mind-positive way!
Children at tender ages are sometimes under-confident. The practice of Yoga can boost confidence as they are convinced they can do better even by just trying out the poses of yoga. Enneking says, "It helps to provide building blocks for the future. It is our responsibility to develop our children's sense of wonder and to give them a strong sense of self so they know where they belong in this world and can contribute to making their community a better place."
Perseverance, self-reliance, and independence (self-dependence for daily chores) are a few amongst many virtues children learn through yoga. They also understand the passage and the value of time. These are truly the building blocks for a strong and successful character. These seeds need to be sown at the right time, and yoga does that for you when it is taught to children.
The body is a temple, and the mind is the sanctum. Both exist to serve the same purpose - the maintenance of the health of the being, at all levels. Yoga ensures that the child has a sound mind and a sound body so that behavior and thinking, both are in a positive direction. Yoga does this by enabling a better mind and body coordination and encourages growth in a better direction. This result has come up in research that kids with developmental lags and emotional-mental issues, and also, ADHD and Autism display positive changes and calmer behavior when yoga is being practiced with them. Especially in kids with Autism, the anxiety and stress levels drastically lowered after yoga sessions. This is proof why kids, special or normal, need their daily yoga dose!
Yoga is a soothing, relaxing activity, which promotes good health. The child not just understands the value of learning to listen to his or her body but also learns many life skills, which are important for the development of personality and character.
One, Yoga brings home the point that everything is not a contest - a big problem with growing children is that most of their activities are competitive. Be it school or playtime or interaction with parents and siblings. This removes the acceptance and patience they need to have on themselves in order to feel better and also to develop into better people. Yoga teaches a child that all bodies are different, and it is okay to be your own kind of beautiful.
Two, Yoga teaches respect and tolerance. No two people can perform the yoga poses with exactly same technique, and yet they may be both correct in their own potency. The idea instilled is to respect diversity, foster compassion, and discourage opposition. In fact, the entire idea of Yoga being based on nature and its components instills deep respect for nature and environment too. This respect for Mother Earth is very important for the child to be sensitive towards his or her surroundings and the conservation of the same. Namastey, a very comprehensively used pose in yoga has the root of respect and peace. Other important skill yoga teaches a child is the control of mind and body. The way they go about trying out a pose and bring the mental tranquility required for moments of meditation develops their mind towards better control of their physical and mental aspects. This, in later life, helps the child to eat better, be fitter, keep exercising so that body stays under control, and also, to calm the mind in the midst of trouble or disturbance.
We as adults must uphold the responsibility to improve the quality of life for our future generation, who is going through a phase of rapid change - both external as well as internal. If left to their own devices, they indeed will grow to be good people, but why not provide them with tools to become even better? Yoga for kids is definitely a good way to ensure their success as good human beings.
Author’s bio: Devakar Sandhu, yoga expert, and avid blogger, reaches out to his disciples and the public in general for spreading awareness to bring about change using Yoga. He is also Founder of Ekam Yogashala, A Yoga Teacher Training School Based in Rishikesh. EKam Yogashala offers 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training India (Rishikesh, Kerala, Nepal and Dharamsala) Website: https://www.ekamyogashala.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EkamYogashala Twitter: https://twitter.com/ekamyogashala Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ekamyogashala
The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of sunnyray.org. The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.