Health + Wellness

The benefits of children’s yoga

Yoga is designed to create a balance of mind and body, to ease stress, to create physical flexibility, and to transform lives. Once it was the domain of the middle classes, those with time to spare and cash to burn, but now it is accessible to everyone, and it is a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst de-stressing and allowing the mind to recharge.
by Lisamarie Lamb

If adults can benefit so much from yoga, what about children? And how does yoga for children differ from the 5,000-year-old practice that is now so widely known and, if not completely understood, then at least utilised in everyday life for so many?

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Children’s yoga is becoming more and more popular, and has been shown to have many benefits for the little ones that can really make a difference in their lives at home and at school. Children’s yoga differs from the standard version for adults in that it is mainly play centred. This is a great way to keep the kids interested and involved, and gets them to pose themselves in the yoga stances without them even realising it. Games that include props or visual stimulus are particularly helpful, but it’s not all about physical movement – some games are more about focus and attention, noticing what might have changed in a scene, for example. And some are about meditation, learning how to breathe in a certain way in order to be able to relax. As long as a game can be made of it, the child will learn and automatically use that learning in their day-to-day lives.

Of course, not all the poses are possible with youngsters, and not all are required (especially as children are inherently flexible anyway), so a specialist children’s yoga teacher will cater his or her class to specific moves that will benefit a child. Perfection, although expected in an adult class, is not striven for here – the intention of the move or pose is much more important.

Benefits

  • Children’s yoga keeps the child flexible for longer, meaning that the body is less prone to injury
  • Children’s yoga teaches the child how to focus, pay attention, concentrate, and learn self-control
  • Children’s yoga gives the child greater self-esteem, persistence, and confidence
  • Children’s yoga relaxes the child, and when they do become tense or upset, they are able to calm themselves using their yoga techniques
  • Children’s yoga is often said to ignite creativity. The games that are played require the children to interact with stories, and to think of their own
  • Children’s yoga encourages kind behaviour
  • Children’s yoga provides a positive body image
  • Children’s yoga teaches discipline and good manners

Children’s Yoga Classes in Kent

Yoga For Kids // www.yogaforkids.co.uk // 01732 450814 // Sevenoaks

Based in Sevenoaks, Yoga For Kids offers something for every age, and can be found working in schools and clubs in the area. They also run fun, yoga-based parties for up to 15 children, where all the games, co-operative learning, crafts, and music teach the children more about yoga.

Yoga Nut // www.yoganut.org // 01622 873380 // Maidstone

Yoga Nut works with preschool children to give them a grounding and understanding in yoga, as well as a place to enjoy themselves and play games that relate back to the practice. Using the natural world as a base, the children are encouraged to use their imagination to its full potential.

Kent Yoga // www.kentyoga.co.uk // Throughout Kent

Kent Yoga focuses on family bonding, and its most popular classes are for parents and their children. Different classes are designed for different ages (toddlers, 6-9 and 9-12 years), and teach different techniques. Each class has the same incredible benefits, but is taught in an age-appropriate way.

Karma Studios // www.karmastudios.co.uk // 020 8639 0000 // West Wickham

Karma Studios offers drop-in sessions or six-week terms for children’s yoga, and concentrates on improving strength, building confidence, and combating anxiety. One-to-one sessions are also available.

 

 

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