When we think of yoga, most of us imagine a woman or a man taking time out of a busy day to relax and stretch. However, teaching yoga to children has numerous benefits both for the family and for the child. If you are thinking it is hard enough getting your child to sit still at the dinner table, how in the world are you going to get them to do yoga, you are not alone. How yoga benefits children is not quite the same as the benefits that moms and dads get from the activity. Many mothers use yoga as a way to reduce stress. If you are spending time trying to teach your child yoga and trying to get them to focus, that isn’t exactly the best way to calm down.
First let’s look at how yoga benefits children.
Studies have shown that yoga helps children to better focus, particularly in school. Children who do yoga are less likely to get into trouble at school. They also have higher grades. This could be because yoga helps them to pay attention to one thing at a time, they need to focus on their body and a particular position before they transition to another one. This is in stark contrast to the bombardment of images they get on the television and in video games.
Yoga helps to give children a much better body image, and children who do yoga are much less likely to be overweight. Being able to hold yoga positions is great for adults because it tones the muscles, and this is the same effect it has in kids. If a child has a hard time holding a pose, practice will help them learn the basics, and the repetition will help to strengthen and tone the muscles. Just as it gives an adult a better body image, kids are also able to see the change and be more content with their bodies.
Doing yoga as a family also benefits the entire family
Most of us take the time to eat as a family, vacation as a family, and watch television as a family, so why don’t we exercise as a family? Why do we feel that exercise is something we need to do without those we love? Exercising as a family helps to ingrain the habit in children. The way yoga benefits the family is the same as how yoga benefits children. You learn to work as a family, just as the child learns to work different muscles. You learn to relax and enjoy each other’s company in a way that is far more engaging than your regularly scheduled television program (although perhaps not quite as enjoyable as a great home cooked meal).
Of course it will be a challenge to get your kids engaged in the beginning. Where is the fun in standing still? Ultimately, the benefits to the children and your family are too great to ignore. If you have not done yoga and are considering taking it up as part of your regular exercise, try to get your family engaged. You are much more likely to stick with it if you have their support. If you are a regular yoga participant, try to make some time to get your family engaged. You can always have a family session and a follow up personal session if you find your stress levels are still a bit high after trying to help train your kids.