At the onset of technology and social media, overall wellbeing is sometimes taken for granted. Nowadays, young kids and adults alike find themselves easily distracted by almost everything they see on the Internet – trading worthwhile activities for an unproductive watching of the latest social media gimmicks and trends. This poses challenges – one to our connection with the family; two to our physical, mental, and emotional health; and three to our relationship with our spirituality. How can we address this? Well, we can try practicing yoga.
Yoga is an ancient practice of shaping the body and mind through exercise. It focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing to promote both physical and mental wellbeing. In difficult times, we need something like this to keep ourselves healthy and sharp.
The practice of Yoga centers on postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. These two are essential in utilizing the body to maintain physical fitness and achieve inner peace. As adults, we can take a yoga class head-on, but can our kids do the same? Well, the good news is, yes! We can share a yoga class with our kids to reap the same benefits as we have had. Here’s why.
Yoga is an early learning tool for your kids.
Practicing yoga with your children helps them establish discipline and healthy habits at a young age. Kids learn most of their core behaviors and habits during childhood, so introducing them to yoga might be one of the wisest decisions you can make.
Yoga develops your kids’ muscular strength, coordination, and flexibility. It also promotes their ability to become self-aware and confident in their skin as they explore their inner self with clarity and calmness. Do this consistently to see your kids eventually harvest its benefits, including sharp memory, concentration, coordination, and discipline, which they can apply in every aspect of their life as they grow older.
Yoga shapes and readies your child’s body.
Yoga involves doing several positions or poses that test our body’s limits. Sharing a yoga class with the kids enables you to help them shape their core muscles and improve their flexibility. When their body is adequately shaped and prepped, you can be less worried about them getting hurt as they explore the outside world. Coupled with a proper diet, kids doing yoga can less likely catch diseases as their body builds up immunity over time.
Yoga promotes your kids’ mental wellbeing.
As previously mentioned, yoga not only promotes physical fitness; it also strengthens your child’s mental capacity to withstand stress, anxiety, and depression. These severe societal problems cannot easily break your child with a trained mind regardless of the pressure.
Doing yoga clears your child’s mind and helps him understand his situation better. With that sense of clarity, he can develop a good solution on how to deal with the issue gracefully. Yoga teaches our kids how to be kinder to themselves and others and manage anxieties and stress with a calm, relaxed mind.
Practicing yoga together connects the family.
Through yoga, the connection between you and your kids becomes significantly deeper – the more you do it together, the more you understand and comprehend each other’s tendencies. Every movement and breath you take brings you closer to your inner-self and others – and in this case, your kids.
When working on a position together, let’s say a partner pose, you begin to learn how to support and balance each other. Most importantly, you establish mutual recognition and trust.
What Yoga poses can you at home?
One important thing that you should keep in mind as a parent introducing yoga to your child is that kids should practice yoga at their own pace, based on their capacities. As the general rule of thumb, kids should ideally hold a pose anywhere from 10-15 seconds or longer, according to your kid’s age.
You and your kids can try several yoga poses at home, and we have here some examples that are best suited for kids who are just starting. These poses will help them establish stillness and grounding.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) – this gentle and soothing pose promotes flexibility of hips, thighs, groins, and hamstrings. To perform this, first, you need to lie flat on your back. Bring up your knees into your belly and breathe out. As you inhale, grab the outsides of your feet. Open your knees and pull them up to your armpits.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – this pose is a great starting position, resting pose, or establishing good posture. To do this:
- Stand tall (like a mountain) with your feet in parallel.
- Relax your tailbone all through the spine.
- Straighten your stature by pressing your shoulder blades to your back and lifting the top of your sternum straight up the ceiling without pushing your lower front ribs forward.
- Align the ‘crown’ of your head directly over the pelvis.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – this yoga pose promotes our kids’ balance. It helps strengthen their legs and core and open the hips and stretch their inner thighs and groin muscles. To perform a tree pose, you need to:
- Stand tall on one foot while turning the opposite knee out.
- Bend your knee and place the sole of your opposite foot onto your inner right thigh.
- Press your foot into your thigh, and with equal pressure, press back with your thigh into your foot.
- Focus on something to maintain balance and after 5-10 breaths, lower your foot and do it the other side.