Physical fitness is a vital component to a child’s development. Many people think yoga is only for adults, but the benefits of yoga can be shared with children as well, enabling them to enjoy life to the fullest by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.
Yoga allows children to:
- Maintain flexibility and strengthen their growing bodies.
- Learn about discipline and responsibility
- Manage stress and anxiousness
- Learn to remain present and to remain concentrated
- Remain peaceful and relaxed
In addition to all those benefits, yoga is a great activity for families to do together. Not only will your children love to do yoga with you, but there are many benefits to family time. First and foremost, by participating in an exercise activity together, children will be more excited about it and it will help normalize and promote healthy habits as they continue to grow. Secondly, spending time together as a family helps form bonds and connections that will be with them throughout life. Research also shows that children who spend quality time with their families usually achieve better grades in school and behavioral issues decrease.
For older children, families can help spark creativity with by having them think up their own poses. This will allow them to be creative, self-expressive and have the freedom to let their bodies move and relax. Incorporating fun illustrations, the alphabet or rhyming vignettes can help promote language development.
Some people may be surprised that even babies can benefit from practicing yoga. Families can do yoga right at home with their infant or join a parent and baby yoga class. Most programs will modify traditional poses so that the parent can still do the pose while holding or rocking the baby. Participating in parent and baby yoga classes are a great way for new parents to fit exercise into their new schedules, meet other parents, and most importantly, bond with baby. For babies, there are many benefits including:
- Sleeping better
- Staying healthier with a stronger immune system
- Getting relief from gas pains and colic
- Receiving neuromuscular stimulation
- Digesting food better
- Learning to relax
At home, babies can practice their tummy time during yoga, which is the perfect exercise to help them develop upper body strength and relieve the chances of them developing a flat spot on the back of their heads from spending so much time on their backs the first few months of their life.
What are your favorite yoga poses to do with your children? Share in the comments below!