Yoga for children: Benefits and right time to start
Do you find it difficult for your son or daughter to keep still, quiet and focused on one of the yoga positions? Surely many parents will find it almost impossible, but the truth is that the practice of yoga will show you that everything is possible. Everything will depend on motivation, patience, persistence and joint work between the parents and the child’s yoga teacher.
When can your child practice yoga?
Originally from India, the word yoga means ‘union’, union first with oneself (the child meets oneself, learns to know oneself), and then with others (the little ones learn to relate and communicate with their environment).
Experts agree that the best age for the child to enter yoga exercises is from 4 years. At that age, the little ones already know exactly what to expect and want from them and they already have the ability to perform and control certain movements of the body.
At an early age, practicing yoga will be a fun game for a kid. However, thanks to yoga they manage to forget the possible situations of pressure or stress that appear at school or at home and relax, adopting a calm attitude, reducing tensions and facilitating their concentration and self-control. It also favors your creative potential and enhance your talent.
Resources and practice of yoga for children
Yoga classes associate body and mental work. In the case of children, motivation is a very important factor. Because of that, it is convenient that in a yoga class there are no more than 15 children gathered. Children should feel comfortable and relaxed. They should dress in baggy, light, comfortable clothes that allow them to make any movement with comfort.
Classes should be taught in a clean, quiet, ventilated and quiet environment. Appropriate mats or mats can be used and children can be barefoot or with socks. Yoga can be practiced at any time of the day, but the best time for practice is in the morning. In addition, it is recommended that solid food intake be avoided two hours before its practice.
Benefits of practicing yoga for children
Through yoga, children will exercise their breathing and learn to relax to cope with stress, conflict situations and lack of concentration, problems so evident in today’s society. Yoga will help them on their long path to the physical and psychic domain. What children who practice yoga achieve on a physical and mental level:
- Development and dexterity of motor muscles
- Joint Flexibility
- Improvement of postural habits of the spine
- Massage of internal organs
- Improvement in breathing habits
- Stimulation of blood circulation
- Improvement of self-esteem
- Low level of childhood stress
- Perfecting the senses
- Agility and fortitude
- Calm and relaxation
- Better development of attention, concentration, memory and imagination
- Harmonization of personality and character
- Timely channeling of physical energy
- Better understanding and interaction with others.
Yoga is a recommended activity for all children.
For the restless or active child as well as for the shy or shameful one, yoga helps to channel their energy and reaffirm their self-esteem. It will help the most active to learn to relax and concentrate more, while also encouraging quieter children to lose their fear of others and open themselves to the universe around them.
The breath technique of Yoga
Breathing is an integral part of yoga. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose is essential so that the child can stretch and get the balance needed to start practicing yoga poses. Once the group controls their breathing, the teacher will start with the postures.
The aim of the postures is, from the external organs, to calm the internal organs. With children, positions must be practiced little by little. Ideally, at first, they learn to breathe, relax, then concentrate. For children, yoga should be practiced as a game.
You should not require them to repeat a posture again and again because that can become very boring for them. You have to change the positions and movements slowly and at a pace that the children do not lose concentration. As we have already said, encouragement and motivation are crucial in this regard; Respect, moderation, and a positive and cheerful attitude, too.
Yoga, adapted to the child’s personality
Consequently, depending on the temperament of each child you will have to plan yoga classes with some types of exercises or others. You cannot plan a standard yoga practice for all types of children, but first we have to study and analyze the temperament of each one. We must take into account various characteristics that will then influence the formation of a personality and a normal or deviant physical development. These features are:
- Level of activity of the child: frequency and speed of his movements.
- Ir-regularity or regularity in their day-to-day many physiological functions such as sleep, hunger, and etc.
- Reaction to new experiences such as a new bedroom or being with unknown people.
- Minimum force or stimulus needed to get your attention to perform a new movement or activity.
- Energy of expansion in which he expresses his emotions, moods, desires, illusions, etc.
- Ease with which your attention diverts from one activity to another by some peripheral stimulus.
- Uninterrupted attention time towards a simple activity such as watching television or a posture.
For all this, yoga is a highly recommended activity for children, a game that favors their development in every way and helps you relax, concentrate and lead a quieter life now and in the future, always maintaining a positive attitude.