Yoga is one of those things that is coming back with gusto this decade after being ignored as ‘old-world’ for a very long time. Even the western world with all its Zumba and kickboxing is now turning to yoga as a means of exercising both the body and mind. Yoga is referred to by many descriptions- balm for the soul, great for treating chronic illnesses, improves concentration, etc. For children, yoga has, even more, benefits.
1. It Improves Their Natural Flexibility: Kids and their bodies are much more flexible than adults. Try doing a full split and you’ll know what we mean. Practising yoga from a young age preserves their flexibility and strengthens their muscles for many years to come.
2. It Increases Circulation To The Brain: Forget health drinks and all those fads- yoga asanas are a great way to get that blood circulating. Asanas that focus on the head help improve circulation to the brain, making them sharper. In the long run, this may also have benefits in terms of general body health- a good circulatory system means fewer strokes.
3. It Improves Concentration: Some poses in yoga focus specifically on increasing concentration- the longer you hold the pose, the better you get at keeping your focus on one thing at a time. This comes in handy during exam preparation.
4. It Reduces Stress: Kids these days are a lot more stressed out than kids of earlier generations. They are expected to juggle between academics, sports and hobby classes. This puts a lot of pressure on young minds. Practicing yoga and breathing every day is a great way to relieve stress.
5. It Makes Them More Balanced: Balance of the mind is one of the trickiest things to achieve. The older we get, the more we find ourselves swamped by life in general. Long term practice of yoga helps the mind develop a balanced perspective towards situations.
6. It Increases Lung Capacity: Pranayama, or the energy that powers life, is the key to unlocking the benefits of deep breathing. Various breathing techniques when practised jointly help in increasing the lung capacity. More oxygen is a good thing!
7. Gives Them Time In An Environment Without Competition: Yoga is one of those things where everyone is a winner. It is a welcome change from competitive activities. The benefits of practising manifest not as being better than someone else, but as being better than oneself each day, a great lesson to imbibe in today’s times.
These are just some of the many benefits of yoga. Get your kid to join a class and let them see the difference for themselves. Yoga may not be cool in the current sense of the word, but it is one activity that they can reap benefits from for the rest of their long and healthy lives.