Have you heard the familiar saying, “Believing is seeing”?
While this adage is often related to miracles or faith-based beliefs, many of us can apply this philosophy to our children. As parents, we get to witness the miraculous growth and development of our sons and daughters. From the time they were mere infants, we have been amazed at the things these tiny people can accomplish. Whether it’s rolling over, walking two steps, or counting to 100 in Hindi, every milestone is awe-inspiring to us.
However, many of us fail to realize that our sons and daughters are capable of mastering a variety of skills we often assume are too adult. One area that parents often underestimate a child’s ability to perform is in the area of physical fitness, more specifically our children’s abilities to practice Yoga with grace and determination. Afterall, how can our little ones who can barely piece together a complete sentence perform such adult tasks?
Children and Yoga: Balancing the Benefits
Just like adults, children can grow as human beings and reap the benefits of practicing Yoga. The variety of poses and breathing techniques fosters the ability for our kids to tap into their prana (life energy forces) helping them focus and relax while energizing their bodies. The beauty of Yoga is that practitioners don’t have to be agile or in superb shape. One major facet of Yoga is breathing and learning how to regulate deep breaths. This is an essential life skill for a child to develop, because they will inevitably face adversity at some point in their lives and can benefit from the relaxation methods Yoga has to offer.
Yoga is wonderful for children, because it also allows them opportunities to explore their physical abilities in a safe environment. While this form of exercise might not come naturally to some adults, children are blessed with natural agility and the ability to catch on quickly to new concepts. With a little instruction, proper modelling, and guidance our boys and girls can blow our minds as they master poses and breathing associated with tis Yoga ahsan.
Children can really do this Yoga ahsan, and do it well. As children slowly master breathing techniques they will build strength, learn to balance, and increase flexibility as they learn a variety of new poses. These benefits will help our sons and daughters learn ways to control their bodies, develop gross motor skills, and gain a solid grasp of the importance of taking time to care for one’s self.
Helping Children Find Yoga Success
At first glance, Yoga appears to be a very adult activity, but with a little adjustment to instruction, our children can quickly be breathing and moving their way to Yogi status. To help children master this Yoga ahsan and reap the benefits of calm, centered breathing, consider implementing the following five suggestions:
DO pick a convenient time for practicing Yoga. While most experts in the field believe the morning is the ideal time for rolling out the Yoga mat, don’t worry if you choose to do it another time of the day. Look for what works for your family, even if that means working Yoga into busy schedules in the afternoon or evenings.
DO be consistent. Practice makes perfect, but it won’t happen overnight. Strive to spend a few minutes everyday working on Yoga techniques and remember to positively support their efforts. Over time, they will amaze us with their forms and breathing.
DO start with beginner poses. Children can easily experience frustration if they jump in with hard poses. Start at the beginning and ease into the more difficult moves as a child advances. Consider the following beginner poses: downward facing dog, the tree, the child’s pose, cat cow, and the mountain to develop essential Yoga fundamentals and boost a child’s confidence in the process.
DO keep it kid friendly. In the beginning, it is essential that we make Yoga fun for our children. Look for beginner poses that appeal to a child’s love of animals or resemble familiar objects. There are even wonderful resources available that use storytelling to capture a child’s interest. Look for books, playing cards, and online videos to tap into an entertaining outlet for Yoga.
DO wear appropriate clothing for Yoga. Yoga doesn’t require fancy shoes or equipment, but you will want to wear an outfit that isn’t too restrictive or loose. Choose comfortable clothing that is able to stretch and cover the body comfortably to help set up a child for Yoga success.