By Thomon Wardle
If you’re wondering whether you should do yoga with your kids, then the answer is yes. Researchers have found that there are some excellent benefits for youngsters to enjoy when it comes to practising this ancient exercise discipline.
The mindfulness of practising yoga has been found to help children develop their academic, social and emotional abilities. Not only are these children able to better control and regulate their emotions, they can deal better with stress and comfort themselves. We all know that children learn better when they are calm and focused. They also generally have better social skills and this can only make them happier.
Benefits of yoga for children:
– Increased uptake of oxygen, better circulation and hormone functioning – Increased attention and control of emotions – Improved prefrontal cortex function – this area of the brain enables more complex planning and execution of these – Improved management of chronic illness – Increased strength of muscles and flexibility – Positive attitude
What can you do with your child to encourage them to do yoga with you?
Introduce them to some of the fun yoga poses such as the Cow or Cat stretch and the Cobra. They’ll love to pretend that they are animals. Try the Tree – tell them they are rooted to the earth and they have to sway their ‘branches’ in the breeze.
You don’t have to wait until your children are any particular age, you can get started early. In fact, the earlier the better so introduce them as infants. You’ll be doing your part in creating a generation of a more focused and happier population for our planet.
What about yoga in the classroom?
For the older child, schools are becoming more interested in introducing yoga to the classroom. Education providers have recognised that yoga can improve listening skills and wake up sluggish minds. With all the technology that many children have at home to play on, children often exercise less and don’t get the movement that they need to stay healthy. Yoga has been found as an excellent way to get them stretching and flexing their muscles for better circulation. It’s also good for the posture as it stretches out the spine.
What about the child who suffers from ADHD?
By partaking in a discipline that provides a chance for personal reflexion and an opportunity to be in the moment, children who need to cope with ADHD have a lot to gain. Impulsivity can take a back seat for a few minutes whilst the child puts their mind on the now. It’s also popular as it’s an activity that everybody can do at once without there being any competition to be the winner. Everybody’s a winner.
Are there benefits for teenagers?
The mindfulness of yoga can help to calm the teenager who has upcoming exams or tests. It’s an anxiety reducer after all. Not only that, it can improve the memory and it enhances focus and concentration. Yoga is also ideal as a stretch method for those who are revising for exams and are usually hunched over a text book.
So back to your question, should you do yoga with your kids? I’m sure you can see that the benefits are very appealing for both you and your youngster.
Thomon Wardle is an experienced practitioner of yoga and pilates exercises. His range of yoga DVDs are listed and available from his site http://www.getfitwithpilates.com where you can also download a free eBook worth £9.95