Introducing Children to the World of Yoga

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October 14, 2017
THE INTEGRATION OF YOGA IN MODERN CORPORATE CULTURE
October 14, 2017

 

Before we talk about the benefits of introducing children to the world of yoga, it may be a good idea to look at the history and growth of yoga. This will provide an interesting perspective of the advantages of a good yogic program for children

 

Yoga, in one form or another, has been practiced in India for thousands of years. However, the early part of this century saw a growth of other health and fitness practices that were seen as modern, and therefore a better option for the youth. As a result, yoga became less popular with a whole generation of young people. The good news, however, is that yoga has seen a resurgence in the past decade and is now a strong choice as a holistic approach to physical fitness. This has no doubt been driven by the growing popularity of yoga in the west, where it’s physical and mental advantages have inspired a dedicated following.

 

The next step is logical: many parents who have experienced yoga in such a positive way would like their children to benefit from this practice as well. With the improvement in teaching techniques, the first step in introducing children to the world of yoga is to create yoga programs specifically for children. These are usually fun and interactive experiences, creating health and happiness for kids (and adults too!)

 

In its most basic form, yoga is simply a union of the mind and body – a system of physical exercises and postures (or asanas) that are synchronised with breathing. This creates a wonderful, natural rhythm that creates a strong awareness by involving the mind throughout the sequence. Most children take to this instinctively and are able to benefit from a properly structured yoga program.

 

There are a number of things that can be learned by introducing children to the world of yoga. These are just a few examples of these benefits

 

  • Awareness of their bodies: The asanas promote flexibility and strength. The physical movements become easier and more confident with this awareness.
  • Breathing better: The most popular breathing exercise, pranayama encourages deep, full breaths and improves oxygen uptake from the blood – this results in overall improvement in body functions and increased energy levels in children.
  • Improving focus: As kids practice yoga, they learn to make a clear distinction between moving and being still, thus helping to quieten the mind and improve their focus and listening skills. This is a transferable skill and can be used to great advantage in an academic environment.
  • Better balance: While there is a literal advantage to practicing yoga – there is usually an improvement in physical balance, it is not uncommon for children to make the connection to other aspects of their lives. They may find it easier to understand that they need to spend balanced amounts of time at study or at play.

 

One of the greatest advantages to introducing children to the world of yoga is the flexibility it offers. Parents can choose to have their kids participate in a group session, or practice by themselves. Most schools have included yoga in their curriculum and teach it from the very beginning. Children can also benefit from practising yoga with their families – it promotes bonding as a group activity. It’s a great way to get grandparents, friends and loved ones involved in the child’s well-being

 

Most child development experts agree that it is important for parents to focus on activities for their children that create an environment of overall development. Yoga programs constructed for children are a wonderful choice and can be an easy, fun and healthy tool in introducing children to the world of yoga.

 

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