Yoga is a fitness discipline and practice that promotes strength, flexibility, coordination, sharing, community, and calm. Yoga reduces stress, builds muscle, burns fat, and can help you sleep better at night. Many families concerned with creating a fitness friendly environment would like to know how how kids yoga might benefit their children, and when they can get started.
How old should kids start yoga?
Most yogis agree that children can start learning the practice of yoga as early as 3 or 4. At this age, the classes don’t focus as much on perfecting the poses as much as they do on helping kids to become comfortable with moving their bodies and learning to have fun with fitness.
Yoga helps kids focus
Youth yoga instructors introduce young yogis to peace and calm, and teach them how to channel their abundant energy. It’s never too early to learn how to focus and concentrate, which can help children later in the classroom.
Kids learn to recharge from within
Children today are bombarded with a barrage of stimuli. From school and homework to video games and competitive sports, kids need an outlet to regroup and recharge from within. Yoga can give them the tools they need, and a fitness boost as well.
Flexibility for life
At such a young age children are naturally agile and flexible. If we nurture this natural flexibility and incorporate yoga into their routine, teaching them a love for the practice at a young age, they will have a better chance of retaining that broad joint mobility as they age, decreasing instances of sports related injury later in life.
How kids yoga is taught
Kids yoga is taught a little differently than adult yoga. Instructors harness the natural ability of children to play, and turn yoga poses into fun and games. Children learn to tune into their bodies and tune out the rest of the world for a short period of time, and play becomes meditation without their even being conscious of it happening.
Even if you don’t currently have yoga in your own fitness practice, you can still encourage your children to try a class. Or better yet, start out as beginners, and try a yoga class together! As a young person, trying new things can spark a connection in the brain, paving a pathway that can potentially bring joy and fulfillment for the rest of a child’s life.