Many yoga studios and teachers are beginning to offer yoga poses for kids as add-ons to adult classes so parents can bring their children with them, and as stand-alone classes designed for specific age groups. The kids classes are designed for the different stages of development at various ages. Balance, coordination, and agility for these age groups determine both the length of classes and what poses and relaxation methods are taught. Kids yoga poses are often modified versions of adult poses.
Parents who have found that yoga helps them to cope with stress in their daily lives are learning these techniques can also help their children as well. From homework to after school activities, to the pressure to excel in sports and academics, stress in a child’s life may seem to them much like finances, work obligations, and personal relationships seem to adults. Along with that advantages, children also form an enhanced sense of body awareness, self-control, better flexibility, and better coordination through yoga.
Frustration, and how to channel that frustration, have always been issues that parents have to cope with. When children become frustrated they need to have alternatives to lashing out either physically or verbally- which we all know only serves to escalate and add to more stress. This is especially true with the hyperactive and attention-deficit child. Their uncontrollable urges for movement and sensory/motor stimulus, through practicing kids yoga poses, become controllable and they are able to focus their energy and attention to positive interactions. Some parents have found that with yoga poses for kids that less medication is needed and in time can be eliminated all together. Of course these decisions should be discussed with the child’s physician to avoid problems.
There are some favorite poses and methods for helping children become more confident and relaxed. Yoga classes for kids are conducted like adult classes in that they follow the same steps of stretching, poses, and relaxation. Suggestions for visualization of relaxing situations are tailored to children, offering them places they are familiar with and sounds and smells that are appealing to them. This allows the child to be able, in times of stress, to mentally take themselves to places of security and love.
Starting children on the path to spiritual, mental, and physical health at an early age can only lead to other healthy habits. They will be more likely to incorporate other forms of holistic health practices as they move through life. Personally knowing how much yoga can help them through stressful situations and physical challenges will help to open their minds to other forms of exercise, a healthy diet, etc. Yoga in all it’s forms celebrates life and the benefits of movement, and if a child takes nothing else away from their yoga experience it is well worth the time- for both the child and the parent.
The many advantages to using kids yoga poses for children of all ages and developmental stages include increased confidence, better physical health and an advanced ability to cope with stress. Yoga poses for kids are adapted yoga poses designed to appeal to a sense of play.