We all know that life can get a little stressful for parents, but have you ever thought how stressful life can be for children too? Moving house or starting school, changes in the family dynamics, the conflicting emotions of learning how to ‘be’ in the world – it can all add up to a lot of pressure for children to handle. When things reach boiling point, there’s only so much running around and playing to “let off steam” that a child can do before emotions boil over.
A better way to stay calm
Learning yoga and meditation from an early age can help our children to feel centred, calm, and in control of their emotions. Not only that, yoga is a great way to help children develop self-confidence and a sense of well-being, and provides a wealth of physical health benefits too, from learning correct breathing techniques to increasing flexibility, balance and strength. It allows little ones to focus on the thought processes required to develop social skills, express ideas, communicate and practice mindfulness, all of which can support them into their adult life.
Benefits of yoga for children
It is suggested that children who practice yoga are better able to
- Focus and concentrate
- Breathe correctly to improve energy
- Sleep restfully
- Adjust their breathing to help control thoughts and emotions
- Develop and maintain a healthy body awareness
- Move confidently
Yoga teaches children to use all of their muscles in new and different ways, refining balance, coordination and poise. As children progress to the more difficult poses, each success is greeted with a personal sense of accomplishment and overall wellbeing.
Yoga can also be highly beneficial to children with autism and special needs, helping the child to feel in control in times of heightened anxiety and to improve gross and fine motor skills.
The best age to start yoga is …
It’s never too early – or too late! – to learn yoga. Yoga can soothe and relax young children, help school students to focus and pay attention, and keep the elderly flexible, mobile and independent.
Mothers and fathers will also benefit from taking time to relax, ease aching bodies through gentle movement and refocus their energies. Yoga is an activity that all members of the family can participate in and enjoy, from the very youngest in mums and bubs yoga, to grandparents and great-grandparents. Yoga is a great energising start to the day, and soothing way to relax at night. Consider adding yoga to your family routine and enjoy a healthier outlook today.
This article featured in Issue 33 of our printed magazine, published April 2019.