When you think of yoga gyms, chances are you picture a bunch of hipster women or middle-aged individuals trying to get back into shape. We tend to think of yoga as a way for people to increase their longevity, recover from injuries, and enhance meditation – all of which are non-issues for most kids. However, yoga can actually be great for kids as well and in recent years it has been catching on as a trend for kids ranging from teenagers all the way down to elementary school students. With that said, here are three reasons why parents should consider getting into yoga with their kids.
1. Promoting Flexibility and Injury Resilience
Not all kids are as flexible as gymnasts, but by implementing a yoga regimen you can make sure your child has a core level of flexibility that is either on par with or ahead of his/her peers. Likewise, by helping a child get to know how their body works and by strengthening tendons and ligaments you can reduce the likelihood of injuries that could be avoided. Likewise, as pregnancy advice sites like PregMed.org often point out, there are even yoga exercises that are good for pregnant woman to help the birthing process go smoother.
2. Increasing Emotional Control
Yoga can teach kids how to better control their thoughts and emotions by having them hone in on certain thought processes and motions. The discipline that it takes to hold a difficult pose can also help build mental toughness and diligence in other areas of life, such as completing homework or getting up on time in the morning. When your child does encounter emotional challenges at school or when hanging out with their friends at home, they’ll be able to revert to their knowledge as a young yogi to control their anger and prevent childish outbursts. In this way, yoga also helps to increase the mental maturity of kids.
3. Exercising the Imagination
Finally, yoga provides the perfect opportunity to zone out and use their imagination during those lengthy poses and guided visualization exercises that are normally a part of a typical yoga class. In addition, there are thousands of creative poses kids can use to have fun with make pretend, including a number of animal/plant poses where they can “pretend to be a tree” or “pretend to be a seed.”
Instilling a Positive Habit That Will Last for Life
There are two aspects to yoga which will help your child grow into a healthy adult. The first is the mental and emotional discipline every student of yoga learns to master. Those who practice yoga regularly learn how to be in control of themselves at all times and in all situations by stepping into that place of calm and quiet. That is to say, they learn to step back into the quiet of their center. Secondly, yoga teaches that mind-body connection so that those skilled in the discipline are also masters of their own body and as such, achieve a level of physical fitness necessary for optimum health throughout their entire lifetime.