The history of yoga dates back more than 5,000 years, however, this time-tested form of exercise for the body and mind became more popular in homes and schools across the U.S. in recent years.
Studies show that yoga offers physical and mental benefits for children and adults of all ages, ranging from improved physical strength to reduced stress and anxiety.
Learn more about the many benefits of yoga for kids and how to get your whole family involved in the practice.
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
A significant study stated that yoga and mindfulness can improve mental and physical health among school-age children. The following are a few of the top benefits kids and yogis of all ages can enjoy.
Improved Self Control
Self-control is essential for children to live healthy lives at home, school, and everywhere in between. Studies show that kids who regularly practice yoga have more patience and are less impulsive.
This self-control can help them make smarter decisions, handle stressful situations responsibly, and maintain healthy friendships.
Reduced Anxiety and Stress
Kids experience stress often caused by school, sports, friends, family situations, or other sources. Yoga is a positive tool for handling and reducing stress and anxiety.
Breathing techniques taught in yoga teach kids to calm their minds and bodies to soothe tension.
Superior Strength and Flexibility
Strength and flexibility can help kids maintain good physical health while reducing the chance of injury.
Yoga helps strengthen kids’ muscles and improves flexibility. These benefits can help them lead healthier lives and excel in sports or other activities.
Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem
Yoga teaches kids that if they practice a new pose enough, they can master it. The continuous advancements that occur when practicing yoga encourage kids to believe in themselves and their body strength.
They learn that they’re capable of setting goals and achieving them.
Whole Family Involvement
Children love spending time with their parents and mimicking their actions. Yoga is a meaningful and healthy way to spend time together as a family.
There are several ways for parents to get their kids excited about doing yoga at home.
Create a family yoga challenge. Start with a reasonable goal for improving your family’s yoga practice. Families with busy schedules may set a goal of practicing together once or twice a week.
Offer rewards for practicing yoga regularly. Kids and adults respond well to positive rewards. The rewards can be as small or large as your family desires. Examples include offering a sticker for each completed yoga session or a meal out together for achieving a family yoga goal.
Make yoga fun. The experts at Harvard Health suggest offering fun yoga exercises and games to keep kids engaged. Kids often enjoy mimicking animal noises as they perform poses like the cat/cow pose, cobra, or downward dog. The internet is also full of fun yoga games for kids that you can print out and try at home.
It’s important to remember that kids have short attention spans and can typically perform yoga for 10-20 minutes before losing focus, depending on their age. They may also respond better to practicing a few poses instead of an entire yoga class.
Learn more about the benefits of yoga for kids and how to perform several safe and fun yoga poses with the accompanying infographic by Kids Car Donations.
Author bio: Kids Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations to better the lives of children. The organization partners with a number of well-known nonprofits serving children and teens who are confronted with physical, mental, and emotional challenges to provide the care they need.