There is a lot of information on social media of late about the importance of yoga and wellbeing for children. For many people it is often seen as ‘alternative’ or ‘new age’. However, there is real proof that yoga can improve academic performances, de stress children and encourage healthy food choices and eating. Yoga has so many health benefits, mental, physical and emotional, so it is no wonder more schools and kindergartens are making it a priority in their classrooms. At Little Scholars we have weekly yoga lessons for our toddlers. All children enjoy this weekly activity as much as the Emma our mums and bubs specialist yoga instructor.
Here are some reasons why we love yoga:
Yoga teaches us about our bodies.
- When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.
Yoga teaches us how to breathe better.
- When we breathe deeply and fully (called pranayama) and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.
Yoga teaches us how to use our energy more effectively.
- When we practice yoga, we learn how to use the life force energy in our bodies (called prana) to feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated.
Yoga teaches us how to quiet the mind.
- When we practice yoga, we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions.
Yoga teaches us about balance.
- When we practice yoga, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.
Yoga teaches us to be the “boss” of our bodies.
- Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain. (We will talk about how to modify poses in a later section.)
Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves.
- Yoga is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. And teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!