These days, like many other activities for kids, we see yoga for kids, and various other fitness programs for our little ones. Some of these programs are really good and prove to be quite beneficial too. Introducing pre-schoolers to a regular fitness regime is important as it helps them in developing wellness habits in the long run. Also, yoga and other types of preliminary exercises facilitate ‘embodied learning’. Given my faith in the Montessori method of education, I believe in the strong connection between the body and mind and its overall impact in the growth and development of a child. Physical activity is very essential for the intellectual growth. Especially for today’s media-obsessed generation, parents need to make an effort to teach the children even ‘how to move’.
Yoga at Home
I have never taken my wee duo to a formal yoga class. Yet, my 5 year old knows about the 12 steps of suryanamaskar and is on his way to perfecting them. Kids, in their early years, have a natural tendency to imitate or follow what their parents do. So, if you want to introduce your children to yoga, you must practice yoga regularly at home. Once they are convinced that you are serious about Yoga, automatically it will become a part of your children’s lives too.
There are some simple yoga postures for kids. Begin with the basic breathing exercises and gradually move on to the yoga-asanas for kids. Before you enroll your little one in a formal class, make sure you explain to her the concept of yoga and discuss its many benefits.
Set a Routine
My husband makes my 5 year old do super brain yoga daily and also, on some days both my kids join me in meditation and pranayam. Setting a routine is important as only then the little ones understand the importance of yoga and eventually, make it a way of life.
Why Yoga for Kids?
Yoga accounts for body flexibility and good health. So, the sooner a child starts, the better for her. She is unlikely to face any posture related problem in future.
Yoga helps in dealing with stress (yes , even the little ones go through different phases of stress). Along with improving their fine and gross motor skills, yoga makes them more alert and focussed, enhancing their concentration power.
Yoga, being meditative in nature, releases healthy hormones. These hormones bring about a positive self-image in the children and make them level headed and more energetic.
Make Yoga fun for Kids
Do not put pressure on your kiddo, if she is not showing the kind of interest in yoga as much you expect her to. Instead, work on making it a fun-filled process for her. How about showing her yoga videos on YouTube and asking her to repeat after them? Look for ‘Appuseries’ Yoga Videos on YouTube- they have some good collection of videos on yoga for kids. Once she develops an idea of what yoga is, you may enroll her in a class. Often, doing yoga in groups can motivate the youngsters to pursue it long term.
Have you introduced your little ones to Yoga yet? If yes, I would love to hear your individual experiences and tips, if any.