Yoga is often sought out by adults as a way to handle many issues — stress, health, flexibility, and mindfulness — and with good reason! Yoga has been studied for thousands of years and documented to show improvements in both physical and mental well being. But what’s great about Yoga is that anybody of ANY age can do it — even kids!
You’re probably thinking, “But my kid can’t sit still long enough to do Yoga” or “My kid would rather play video games or watch TV.” And you’re probably right — after all, you know your kids best. But Kid’s Yoga has a much different feel than your typical Yoga class. Kid’s Yoga classes often incorporate games and group activities that teach Yoga poses, giving kids a sense of what Yoga is in a way that is easy for them to comprehend. And when kids can understand what they are doing, they are more likely to enjoy it and continue with it long enough so they can benefit from it.
So other than learning a bunch of cool Yoga poses in a fun group environment, how can kids benefit from practicing Yoga? We’ve listed the benefits of Yoga for kids to make this answer as easy as ABC for you:
A: Attention Span and Attitude
Distractions are always present these days, which makes it difficult for kids to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. Yoga teaches kids to be present by focusing on their breathing while alining their bodies to create a specific shape in each Yoga pose, and this focus can transcend off the mat into school and extracurricular activities.
Yoga is also non-competitive — there is no competition for who can be the “best” Yogi or who can do Tree pose the longest without falling — Yoga is simply an exploration of one’s own body and what it is able to do. It teaches kids to accept themselves as they are, which teaches them to ultimately accept others as they are, which then creates a more positive and accepting attitude toward life.
B: Balance and Breath
It’s no secret that Yoga poses create physical strength and flexibility, but they also enhance motor skills like balance and coordination which are essential to a child’s physical development. Good balance indicates physical strength as well as strong communication between the brain and the body. Balance also requires focus, further enhancing a child’s ability to focus their attention on doing one task at a time.
Yoga also teaches kids ways to use their breath to handle different situations. Often when things don’t go their way, kids can react by crying or throwing a tantrum. In Yoga, the breath is how energy is transferred into and out of the body, and when kids learn breathing techniques to help focus their mind, they can redirect their energy and begin to react appropriately in any situation.
C: Creativity and Confidence
What’s great about Yoga is that there is more than one way to do a pose. You can adjust the positioning of your arms, you can lift a leg up, you can rotate your torso for a different view — whatever your body wants to do! Yoga is an exploration of what one’s body can do, and when kids are encouraged to try new things they begin to tap into their creative side and even start to invent new poses. They can then carry this creativity off the mat and use it in school, on stage, wherever!
And by exploring different Yoga poses, kids learn to accept themselves as they are and discover new things that they are capable of doing. They become aware of their mind and body and how they work together to achieve something (the pose). This gives them newfound confidence that they can achieve anything that they put their mind and body too.
Want your child to try Yoga? Ameican Family Fitness offers Kids Yoga at various locations to children ages 3 to 9 through our Kids Zone, as well as Family Friendly* Yoga classes on our Group Fitness schedules. View our schedules of Kids Activities and Group Fitness classes at www.amfamfit.com. We’ll see your little ones on the mat soon!
*Family Friendly classes welcome kids ages 9-14 to class with the company of their parent or legal guardian.
Lauren Rinker is the Group Fitness Manager at Virginia Center Commons and teaches a variety of classes, including POWER®, CORE®, BLAST®, Yoga, and Fusion small group and team training. She started her Group Fitness career in 2012 after her childhood dream of being a 🌪 chaser didn’t work out due to immense fear of 🌪s, and accredits Group Fitness for transforming her life 💪. She loves how Group Fitness and Social Media share the same impact of making and maintaining meaningful connections between people ❤. When she’s not teaching or taking 📷s for the VCC Facebook page, you can find her 🏋️♀️-ing, 📚️-ing, checking off her To-Do lists 📝, drinking ☕️, or eating any or all of the following foods: 🍣🥞🥓 A self-proclaimed cat lady 😻 and night owl, Lauren loves to recharge in the evenings by watching Netflix with her two Instagram-famous cats 🐱 🐱