How Do I Introduce My Child To Yoga? (Benefits of Child Yoga)


How Do I Introduce My Child To Yoga? (Benefits of Child Yoga)

child yoga

In the West, yoga has become more and more popular and in recent years, anyone who’s anyone has taken up some sort of yoga practice.

Many parents are using yoga as a way to wind down at the end of a long day taking care of the children; but wouldn’t it be wonderful if those parents could introduce their kids to the world of yoga?

In theory, yes, but we all know that children can lose interest fairly quickly and a disciplined practice like yoga requires commitment. So how do you introduce yoga to young children and ensure that it comes a practice that they will hold onto for life?

The answer lies in how you approach the yoga journey with your kid and fortunately, there are several ways that adults can introduce yoga into the life of their child in a way that is fun, exciting and will leave your toddler wanting more.

What Age Can Kids Start Yoga?

If you are eager to get your toddlers onto the yoga mat, you’ll be pleased to know that, as a general rule, children can start yoga from around the age of three. That being said, there is a lot of suggestion that babies can begin yoga before they are even born if the mother practices yoga poses and breathing while she is pregnant.

One of the problems that a lot of people have when teaching yoga to kids is that the yoga teacher must be able to keep the attention of the child. Unfortunately, in modern times, unless they are playing video games, children tend to get bored very quickly. So, the main thing you need to keep in mind is that the yoga experience should always be fun and be adapted to suit the age of the child.

As kids get older, you will be able to start introducing new yoga poses, perhaps some that are more challenging. This can be done from around the age of 6, before this, you might want to consider sticking to a yoga pose that can be done as a pair. Your child is sure to love the interaction with you.

Ways To Introduce Yoga To Children

There are many things that you will need to keep in mind when you introduce yoga to children. One of the best tips we can offer is that you must consider that kids do not have the same level of ability as an adult. It is important to keep this in mind when you are developing a practice with them.

Show Them Your Practice

One way to introduce yoga to children is to allow them to see your practice. Many parents will take their yoga mat and head off to a different room for some peace and quiet, and of course, you deserve this. However, if you can move your practice into a communal area like the living room from time to time, your children will be able to see that yoga is something you enjoy.

Since children will follow their parents lead, it is a good idea to lead by example and use your yoga practice as an opportunity to share yoga with your kids.

You might also consider making a space for them during your yoga sessions. Place down another mat next to your own that your child can use. At first, a toddler may just want to crawl under you while your do downward facing dog but over time, they may begin to interact with their own yoga space.

Make It Fun

Kids yoga should not be boring. The more fun that they have, the more likely they will be to want to do it again.

A good way of doing this is to let the kids explore their sense of fun on the mat. While your yoga session may be more about structure and following a pre-determined set of asanas, your child might need something a little less rigid.

Let them be a part of deciding how you will conduct the session so that you keep their attention and concentration.

You might consider including yoga poses that seem fun for your children. Animal poses and asana names that they recognise are a great place to start as you can encourage your kids to get into this type of pose more easily.

For example, telling kids to get into tree pose and act like trees seems much more interesting to them than asking them to stand on one leg. Allowing them to invite a friend to join in with the activities is also a great way to encourage children in the practice.

Children may find some poses a little more challenging but this can be helped by using yoga products like a yoga block or a yoga strap. Not only does this make yoga activities easier for them, but it will also help to keep their attention. There are many brands to choose from and a lot of these can be picked up for a minimal cost.

Find A Yoga Teacher

If you are going to use a yoga teacher, it is vital that they have undergone the correct teacher training to work with children.

One of the most renowned teachers in the UK is Katie Ness who is able to teach a yoga class for children thanks to her specialised training. However, she also offer many different wellness classes and therapies and has a list of teacher training qualifications as long as your arm.

However, if you are unable to get your kids to a yoga class, there are other choices. Yoga Journal, owned by Pocket Outdoor Media Inc is a website filled with all the information you will need to get your daughter or son into yoga.

If you already have an account, you can get started right away. Otherwise, you will need to join Yoga Journal, create an account and choose your subscription. The prices aren’t too expensive and you will get access all areas to members content designed for both kids and grown-ups.

Mix Up The Session

It can be easy, as an adult, to try and take over the session and lead it in a way that you think would work for you. But it is important to keep in mind that your son or daughter might just want to explore their body and what it can do.

While you may want to divide the session into sections; for example, floor work, standing poses, breathing etc, it is OK to let things go a little and allow your kids to play a part in deciding that they do.

The Benefits Of Kids Yoga

Getting a child to take part in kids yoga is sure to bring about many advantages. Your son or daughter will develop many healthy habits from taking part in a yoga class; whether that class is at home or an organised class with a teacher.

  • Kids yoga can help children to manage their anxiety and stress levels. The best way to do this is to try breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.
  • Yoga can help children with their emotional regulation and this effect is achieved through them learning to remain in the present moment; one thing that is very important in yoga.
  • Kids yoga will also help to give children a self-esteem boost. Getting a pose right and developing it can give them a sense of achievement and they will soon develop favorites and go-to poses that make them feel good.
  • All of these yoga activities are a great method of increasing your child’s concentration and memory.
  • Doing regular yoga sessions will allow children to develop more strength and flexibility. Having this strength and flexibility is important to help prevent injuries later in life and is a good idea for children who do other sports as it will strengthen their muscles and allow them to perform better. Their balance will also be improved.

Yoga allows children to express themselves and get rid of all the built up emotion or tension. Once this is relieved they are much more likely to be disciplined and far less impulsive.

There is no denying that there are many benefits to doing yoga and if you want to get your son or daughter involved in this ancient practice, you can do this from a very young age.

However, it is vital that you go about this in the correct manner as children will approach yoga differently to us. One of the most common questions from moms and dads is how do they get their child interested in yoga and the answer is simple; keep it simple and keep it fun.

Your kids may not be able to do all the asanas from the get-go and it is crucial that you allow them to explore. If you do not feel confident in teaching them at home, it is entirely possible to take them to a regular class for some expert input.

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