With Yoga’s popularity growing steadily, it was only a matter of time before its methods are adapted to befit children as well. Nowadays yoga exercises are used among children who suffer from physical, mental and emotional difficulties and prove to be beneficial for children in many ways.
Although asanas for children can be extremely helpful, yoga is not yet regularly taught in schools, both for religious reasons, as well as parents’ valid fear of injuries. However, incorporating yoga exercises in a child’s routines, as long as it is guided by a professional teacher, does not contain any religious messages, and cannot bring harm to a child’s physical well-being.
Relaxation, Strength and Flexibility
The purpose of yoga for children is to instill in the child, at a young age, tools for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Asanas for adults are not suitable for children’s short attention-span, therefore Asanas for children focus on poses as a part of interactive games, breathing and relaxation exercises, and learning the basic principles of the yogi way. Meditation exercises are normally suitable only for kids over 10 years old.
The different levels of yoga for children are adjusted according to age and physical capabilities. At the young age of 2 years old, a child can already begin practicing yoga with the assistance of a parent. Starting at a young age, children who practice Yoga regularly are exposed to exercises especially constructed to help kids develop their strength, their flexibility and their ability for self-control. The Asanas for kids benefit and enable growth on a mental level, an emotional level and a physical level as well.
Regular traditions of yoga for adults have proven to be extremely beneficial for various ailments and chronic diseases. For instance, the emphasis on abdominal muscle strength and lower-back flexibility renders yoga exercises ideal for people who suffer from chronic lower-back pain. In terms of preventive medicine and health maintenance, children who practice certain poses are in fact lowering their chances of suffering from spinal issues in the future.
As the old Hindi saying goes, you are as old as your spine is flexible, practicing yoga from a young age helps preserve youthfulness and health. However, yoga for children can also be of assistance in many additional aspects: studies show that children and adolescents who suffer from autism spectrum disorders show tremendous improvement with the help of yoga practices for children; in addition, yoga for kids can be helpful in strengthening concentration, relaxation and patience in ADD and ADHD patients; studies have even shown that yoga poses and methods can be of assistance in treating childhood obesity.
The possibility of incorporating the yogi lifestyle in a child’s life at such a young age bears wonderful potential for the child’s health and happiness in the future.