Why Is Yoga Good For Your Child?
Union of mind and body, commonly known as “Yoga” in Sanskrit has been prevalent in India for centuries and is now a well-known practice around the world. Thanks to the increasing number of health-conscious individuals, Yoga has turned into a multibillion dollar industry. In India, Physical Education has been part of school curriculum for a while. But the latest development has been in the area of adopting Yoga as a practice in preschools and kindergartens. This fact partly answers a very common question that comes into parents’ minds – Is Yoga good for my kid?
Let's explore some of the recognized benefits of Yoga:
It can be practiced by any age group – from children to great-grandparents. It is said to help kids a great deal in their mental, physical and social development. This is how:
Practicing Yoga improves physical stamina and flexibility. But does it have the same effect on kids? The answer is – yes. In fact, if inculcated early in life, Yoga helps children become aware of their physical capability when they flex numerous muscles at a time in the form of complex asanas. It is in fact a great way to channelize energy in something productive instead of sticking to tablets, TVs and video games. It is a wonderful way to prevent them from one of the biggest hazards i.e. child obesity.
Kids go through their share of pressure when switching from home to school mode, school to creativity mode, creativity to sports mode... Believe it or not, this sudden shift from one activity to another does leave them stressed out. In such a scenario, deep breathing exercises or Pranayama can really help them keep calm and at the same time reenergize their tiny bodies. Some parents have started adopting it as a Tantrum Training tool. Yogasanas, in addition to making their bodies tough, improves blood flow thereby uplifting mind and soul. Yoga also aids in building patience in kids. After all, sitting for a long time and concentrating on a particular position is no joke!
Coordination and Concentration
The basic element of Yoga is balance, which requires good amount of concentration. This is possible only when you clear your mind off distractions. And mastering this skill by a tiny tot certainly ensures the same level of attention in many other learning environments such as studies and sports. Furthermore, quick shift from fast to slow moves utilizes presence of mind and coordination between body parts, and these attributes when practiced regularly, eventually become habits that pay off well in life.
Yoga has been found useful for kids of all ages, even for kids with disabilities. There have been many cases where it has helped children with problems like Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, and Autism. According to NPR, researchers surveyed teachers at a Bronx public school that had a daily yoga program and found that the program reduced kids' aggressive behaviour, social withdrawal, and hyperactivity, compared with a control group of kids with autism who did not practice yoga.
Best of all, Yoga is a non-competitive group activity – an excellent outlet for children who are reluctant to attend group activities due to fear of failure. Rather, it makes them accept other people’s weaknesses, making them patient, empathetic, and self-disciplined for life.
So now, instead of mentoring, coaching or counselling young children when they seem to be going through a difficult time, maybe inducting some Yoga in their daily lives will be helpful.