Children can improve their concentration, confidence, and ability to exercise by practicing yoga poses.
Yoga (meaning union, yoke), is the practice and pursuit of inner harmony. Yoga is becoming more popular in schools thanks to after-school programs and physical education classes. But this popularity has its downsides. While many adults enjoy the benefits of yoga and others feel the same, some parents believe that it might be associated with a religious practice and shouldn’t have been allowed in public spaces. They claim that yoga is an offshoot from Hinduism, and that it propagates meditation and religious principles through its use of “om”, “namaste,” and “namaste” singing. Many believe that asanas (or postures), are part of Hindu religious worship. Yoga teachers try to dispel this belief and avoid cultural or religious messages. They use generic terms for yoga poses instead of Sanskrit names. Yoga’s popularity is due to its basic stretching benefits and improved body awareness.
It Increases Physical FlexibilityYoga encourages strength and flexibility because children learn new ways to use their muscles. Each pose can be done standing, sitting or lying down and each one will challenge different muscle groups. It also helps children become more aware of their bodies and how they function.
It refines balance and coordinationYoga is all about balance. The purpose of balancing poses is to improve mental and physical poise. Mental clarity and stability are gained from trying them. Even if a child is unable to stand on one leg, she will learn mental and physical balance by being able to stay calm and steady when she falls. Children will feel fulfilled when they can improve their physical balance. Balance is closely linked to coordination, which promotes dexterity and balance. Some occupational therapists and yoga teachers use finger yoga and other specialized techniques for children’s gross and fine motor coordination.
Yoga Develops Focus and ConcentrationChildren learn to focus and clear their minds by practicing poses. Many studies have shown that yoga improves focus and concentration in schools and helps students achieve balance and achieve particular poses.
It boosts self-esteem and confidence Yoga helps instill confidence and bring learning to children on an experiential basis, Enneking states. It helps build the foundations for the future. It is our responsibility as parents to help our children develop a sense of wonder, a strong sense for self and a sense of belonging so that they can make a difference in the world. Yoga teaches children to be patient, persevere, and work towards their goals. The yoga teacher cannot give guidance, it is the child that must work hard to achieve his goals. When a child can master a pose, it increases his self-confidence and self-esteem. Enneking often refers to kids’ yoga as “prehabilitation,” which is a proactive step to prevent instability or sickness in children. Yoga also offers tools for compassion, mindfulness and generosity.
It Strengthens Mind-Body Connect Yoga helps children achieve a sound mind and a sound body. De Collibus states, “As parents, we want our kids to behave and act with mindfulness and compassion, to feel love and happiness, to have inner peace, to be brave and to know love.” Children feel a lot of pressure to keep up with their peers in the modern world. She says yoga functions as a release valve to relieve pressure and as a foundation for nurturing and developing a resilient, resourceful body, mind and spirit.”