Yoga can be performed by person of any age. Hence yoga for children is beneficial as well. The various benefits of yoga for children includes developing body awareness, battle emotional and physical challenges, build concentration and confidence and positive self-image. A well-defined yoga practice helps you to manage stress through breathing techniques, postures, meditation and they are highly valuable as they grow up.
Yoga, meaning union, focuses on connecting the body, mind and soul. Consistent practicing of yoga accesses and integrates the fore mentioned aspects, so that one may attain emotional stability, inner peace and harmony. Yoga is one of the most versatile fitness forms. Today, yoga is becoming popular for it increases the flexibility of the body, makes a person aware of his body and also majorly since it connects body, mind and the soul.
Beginners Tips of Yoga for Children:
Practicing yoga daily helps you to stay healthy, be more productive and calm. So here are few yoga poses for beginners you need to keep in mind.
- The best time to practice yoga is in the early hours of the day when the environment is still fresh and peaceful.
- It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Else you could maintain a gap of 2-3 hours after your meal before you start practicing yoga.
- Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that help you to try different asanas and to stretch.
- Also warm up before you start doing your asanas so that it doesn’t strain your muscles.
- Last but not least it is important that you maintain consistency.
Benefits of Yoga for Kids:
1. Improving Balance and Co-ordination:
Yoga poses for children helps them to gain physical and mental poise. The asanas help kids to gain mental clarity, stability and to increase their focus and attention naturally by merely trying this poses.Yoga position for children are basically focused on developing balancing skills and to create a peaceful environment through meditation. By learning these asanas, kids learn to improve their physical balance, which would give them the sense of accomplishment. Learning to balance is the key element of yoga. Co-ordination is tied to balance, and if children learn to balance, then they can also improve on co-ordination.
2. Strengthens The Body-Mind Connection:
A sound mind in a sound body is the objective of performing yoga. The kids yoga sequence helps them to calm the mental spirit and exercise the physical body. In the fast paced world that children love today, children are exposed to all sorts of pressures, be it parental, social or peer. Simple yoga for kids, by connecting the mind and the body helps to alleviate and also handle such pressures with ease.
3. Boosting Self Esteem and Confidence:
When a child learns to master a pose, it boosts the confidence and self-esteem of the child. Benefits of yoga for children include gaining perseverance, to instill compassion and patience in kids, so that they may work towards their goals and accomplish them.
4. Enhancing Physical Flexibility:
The asana help kids to work various muscles in their body. It strengthens stretches and tones various organs of the body, which in turn enhances their overall flexibility.
5. Focus and Concentration Development:
Practicing yoga not only works the muscles, but also calms the mind. As a result, children would be able to focus and concentrate more in anything they put their mind to.
6. Regulates the Functions of Various Systems in The Body:
Different asana focuses on various aspects of the body. Hence, it helps to stimulate the functioning of various organs of the body, balances the hormones, improves immune system and boosts metabolism. The main focus of yoga is in deep breathing; hence it improves the respiratory system.
See More: Breathing Exercises In Yoga
7. Makes them Creative:
Children who practices yoga on a regular basis would be able to have better imagination and can be highly creative. Since yoga clears the mind, a person would be able to widen their imagination and come out with great creative skills.
Yoga Asanas For Children:
After having stated some of the benefits of yoga for children, here are some asanas that you can make your children do within the comfort of their home. They are very simple to do, and with proper guidance, they can do it on their own in no time.
1. Virabhadrasana II or Warrior Pose:
Vira means courageous, bhadra means auspicious and asana means posture. This asana is created after Indian god named Veerabhadra one of the many names of lord Shiva. This is one of the most grateful asana we have. This asana helps to strengthen the legs and core. It stretches the chest and the shoulders. Kids who complain of back aches can find relief by doing this asana.
- Begin by standing with your feet wide apart.
- Inhale as you lift your arms in line with your shoulders.
- Turn your right foot out, bending at knee. Ensure that the knee does not go beyond the 90 degree angle.
- Keep your torso tall and spine straight and look to your right.
- Inhale and go back to original position.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
- It increases stamina
- It also gives a stretch to chest, groins, shoulders and lungs.
- It relieves backache of any kind and it is mainly useful for pregnant women.
- It helps in relieving flat feet.
- It helps in attaining peace and auspiciousness.
2. Balasana or Child Pose:
The benefit of doing this asana is that it stretches the thighs, ankles and hips. The mind is calmed by doing this asana, and hence it relieves stress and fatigue. If this asana is performed with full concentration, you can feel a great sense of comfort. This is the asana that new born babies do when in the fetal. It is the asana done by new born in the fetal.
- Begin by kneeling on the floor, with your big toes touching each other.
- Sit on your heels and keep your knees hip-width apart.
- Now exhaling, bring your head down, resting it on the ground in front of you.
- Your hands can rest wherever you feel they would be comfortable, ie, by your side or on either side of your head, etc.
- Remain in this pose and take deep breaths for 20-30 seconds. Then return back to original.
- It reduces stress and anxity.
- It helps in lengthening the spine
- It helps in getting relief from lower back pain and torso as it is done with the support of head and neck.
- It calms the body and the mind.
- The ligaments in the knees are stretched properly
3. Dhanurasana or Bow Pose:
Dhanurasana strengthens the back muscles and helps to improve posture. The entire body is stretched by doing this asana. It is one of the 3 main back exercises. Your stomach and bowel should be empty before doing this exercise. The best time to do this asana is morning.
- Lie on your tummy with your hands on the sides of your body , palms facing upward.
- Now exhale, bending your knees.
- Stretch out your hands to your back and try to take hold of your ankles.
- Now inhaling, raise your heels towards the ceiling, so that the thighs are lifted away from the floor. This would also make your chest lift away from the floor.
- Look straight and hold this position for a few seconds.
- Release as you exhale.
- It helps in strengthening back muscles
- It help to gain flexible back
- The arms and legs muscles are toned
- With regular practice menstrual problem is relieved
- It helps in stimulating the reproductive organs
If this asana is not possible, you can do ardha dhanurasana or half bow pose. In this pose, instead of lifting reaching both legs with both hands, you can use only one leg and one hand. Alternate the legs and hands, while doing ardha dhanurasana.
See More: Yoga Tips For Beginners
4. Tadasana or Mountain Pose:
Tadasana is the base or mother of asanas, as all the other standing asana are emerged from this yoga asana. You can practice this asana at any time of the day you wish. You may do this asana with or without an empty stomach, but if you are going to continue to do other asana after this then you stomach and bowel should be empty. People with high blood pressure should avoid this asana or do it with some support.
- Begin by standing with your toes touching each other and heels apart by a few inches.
- Swing yourself back and forth, gently and slowly come to a standstill. This would balance your weight evenly on both feet.
- Keep your thigh muscle firm, raise your knees and draw in your tummy..
- Force your shoulders into your back and let your arms hang beside the torso.
- Breathe deeply and stay in this pose for almost a minute and release.
- Performing tadasana reduces flat feet, improves posture.
- It also strengthens the core muscles and legs.
- It helps in tonning buttocks and abdomen
- If you practice this asana regularly your knees thighs and ankle become stronger.
- Your spine gets more agile.
- This asana is great for balancing.
The little angels would thank you when they have grown up, for a healthy body and mind they have!!
5. Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose:
This pose reminds you of a bridge as it is shaped like it and is named after it. This posture can be done by pregnant women also as it reduces backache. This asana relaxes your body to core. This asana should be done with an empty stomach and bowel. This asana is not recommended for people having neck problems. Practicing the bridge pose improves blood circulation, stimulates the lungs and abdominal organs. It also helps to alleviate mild depression and stress.
- Lie on your back and bend both your knees by placing both the feet flat on the ground with your knees apart.
- Move your arms alongside to your body with your palms facing down and little fingers must slightly touch your heels.
- Now press your feet into the ground, inhale and pull your hips up. Squeeze your knees to maintain the distance between the knees.
- Press down your arms and shoulder on the ground and lift your chest up. Take a deep breath and hold for 10 seconds.
- Slowly exhale and lie back on the floor and relax. Repeat this 4-5 times.
- It strengthens back muscles
- This asana reduces the anxiety and calms the brain
- It helps in reducing the problem of thyroid
- The lungs are opened up by practicing this asana
- It also helps in controlling high blood pressure.
6. Vrksasana or Tree Pose:
The tree pose is generally done to attain balance, physical and mental steadiness and poise. This asana should not be performed if you are having knee problems. There are many variation in this asana.
- Begin with Tadasana or the mountain pose. Shift your weight on your left leg and using your right hand slowly reach down to your right ankle pull it up gently such that the sole of your right foot rests on your inner left thigh.
- Make sure that your right foot rests either above the left knee or below the knee.
- Now let go of your right hand and bring both your hands above your head.
- Take a deep breath, choose a spot and concentrate at that spot for about 30 seconds.
- Fall back to Tadasana while exhaling slowly.
- It helps in focusing
- It helps in improving balance
- It helps in strengthening knees, thighs, spine, and calves.
- It helps to stretch thighs, spine, groin and shoulders.
See More: History of Yoga
7. Sukhasana or Easy Pose:
This pose is the easiest and simplest of all poses but with lots of benefits.
- Sit upright on a mat with legs crossed and rest the hands on the knees with palm facing upward.
- Try to keep head, neck, and spine aligned and balanced.
- Straighten up the spin without stiffing the neck.
- Rest half of the body should be relaxed.
- Stay in this posture for a minute or so.
- It is beneficial for hips, back and thighs
- It also gives stretch to knees and feet
- It helps in releasing anxiety and stress.
8. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose:
In this asana you give a perfect stretch to your back, abs and which strengthens and promotes sturdiness.
- Lie with flat feet on the back and palms on each side of the body.
- Push the shoulders back towards the spine.
- Lift the body in cobra pose and keep the chin up, use hand for support without giving much pressure.
- Giving the stretch on stomach and upper part.
- Release after 15 to 30 seconds, slowly putting the body in lying down posture.
- It strengthens the spin
- Stretches the shoulder, abdomen, chest and buttocks
- It is good for people suffering from asthma
- It releases fatigue and stimulates the abdominal organs
9. Marjaryasana or Cat Pose:
This pose is slow kneading for back and core
- Make a table top position using knees and hands.
- The toes should be curled and knees should be below the hips
- Wrists, elbows and shoulder should be perpendicular and straight to the floor.
- Arch the spine up towards the ceiling while exhaling
- Bend the head towards the floor without forcing the chin towards chest
- Inhale and come back to the table top position back
- It relaxes and stretches the neck, spine organs of the abdomen
See More: Benefits of Yoga
10. Mandukasana or Frog Pose:
This is a simple yoga pose. You may get relieved from back pain and sprains.
- Go on the floor on the knees and hands,
- And position knees some inches apart and place feet right behind
- Place the palm right below the shoulders and look downward on the floor between the hands
- Now push the back towards the spine, this will stretch your spine
- Move the knees towards the sides slowly
- Start sliding downwards and keep the palm flat against the floor
- While exhaling, keep pushing the hips backwards.
- Hold this position for 3 to 5 breaths
- And now come back to the table top position
- It stretches your hips, spine and thighs.
11. Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose:
You have to sit in butterfly position and your kid will flutter like graceful butterfly.
- Sit upright on the floor and spread the legs wide
- Fold the legs in such a way that your feet touches each other
- Now hold them with the hands
- Move thighs and knees in downward motion while exhaling
- Then flap the knees up and down, like the wings of butterfly
- Breath at a normal pace
- Slowly reduce the pace and then stop
- It stretches the thigh, hips and knees
- It helps in regulating intestine and bowel movement
- It helps ladies in painless and easy mensuration
12. Savasana or Corpse Pose:
This asana looks simple and it is but needs lots of patients
- You should lie down on a mat on back with legs straight and arms on side
- Keep your eyes closed and palms faced up.
- Breathe naturally and exhale slowly while de stressing your body parts
- This is the best relaxing yoga for all the kids
- It lessens the tension of muscles
- It helps in keeping the blood pressure and heart rate low
- It helps in reducing anxiety, fatigue and insomnia
- It also improves productivity, concentration and memory
13. Utkatasana or Chair pose:
It is a great position for legs, heart and arms. It is one of the most constructive yoga pose amongst all.
- Inhale slowly and raise your hand above head
- While exhaling bend the knees forward, and keep the thighs parallel to the floor
- The knees will project ahead
- Stretch them straight while lifting the arms
- Keep the lower back long and tailbone down
- Keep the breath natural and steady
- Retain this position maximum for a minute
- It helps strengthen the thighs muscles and ankles
- It also helps in toning hips, spine and shoulder
- It also regulates heart functioning and digestive system
14. Virasana or Hero Pose:
This pose acts like healing for weary legs of your kids.
- Sit with knees together and heels touching hips
- The hand should rest on knees and palms upward
- Straighten the spine and shoulders towards back and a bit downward
- While taking deep breath, relax the core
- You may sit in this position as long as comfortable
- It helps in stretching spine, shoulders and quadriceps
- It relieves from tiredness of legs
- It also improves blood circulation
- Dihestion and posture is also improved
15. Naukasana or Boat Pose:
It is best to relieve kids from de stressing and revitalize. This is the best balancing position.
- Lie down flat on the floor , feet aligned and arms on the sides
- Keep the arms and fingers towards the toes
- Now lift the chest and toes towards the sky
- It will give stretch to the core
- You weight will solely be on the hips
- Hold the breath and retain this position for some time
- Exhale slowly while bringing back to the normal position
- It strengthens the core, shoulders, thighs and arm muscles
- It is the best exercise for liver and kidney patients
- It helps in reducing digestive problem and constipation
Yoga Meditation for Kids:
Kids generally tend to be more active and adding something fun to keep them engaged would make it easier for them to learn. Here are few tips:
- Ask them to think of their favorite color and to imagine a balloon of that color. Now make them take a deep breath till they picture the balloon to be full.
- When the balloon is full, asking them to hold their breath for few seconds and then slowly releasing the air in the balloon by exhaling.
Fun Yoga for Kids:
It’s important to keep the kids engaged in what you teach as they are easily distracted and very active. So here are few suggestions that can be used to incorporate in the asanas and also keep the kids entertained.
- Make sure to be creative so that they enjoy themselves while they practice the asanas.
- Pay attention to their passions and interests so that you can derive asanas based on that.
- Also observe their energy levels and learning techniques, so that you could teach more effectively.
Precautionary Measures and Contraindications:
Exposing children to yoga at a young age is beneficial as it leads to a healthy lifestyle. But at the same time, it is essential to take some precautionary measures. The following points are few suggestions for the same:
- It is essential to factor in the overall health of the children before enrolling them into yoga sessions
- Children with certain ailments such as asthma, bronchitis etc. may have to avoid few breathing techniques.
- One must take proper measures while stretching and performing few asanas that may strain your muscles, in order to avoid muscle tears and joint injuries.
Kids are free spirited and they have wide imagination that adults can never understand. So the kids need to be molded with care. This is the best time to introduce yoga to kids. People of all ages from adults to children and preschoolers have been practicing yoga, which is essential for a healthy lifestyle and to maintain that connection with mind, body and soul. It gives you a new perspective of life and always keeps you aware and fresh. You gains mental stability and it enhances brain activity, leading a balanced healthy life. So, start today and take a vow to live healthy. Our yoga for preschoolers is aimed at an overall development of the child. Please share your feedback with us if you gained some knowledge about kid’s yoga.
I understand that any form of exercise contained physical movement including yoga. And with that physical injury cannot be avoided completely. So as a parent of a minor I am aware of the risk that is included in any physical exercise the kid is participating. I hereby agree that the yoga classes may not be liable to bear any injury caused to my kid in any case. So I hereby agree to all the terms and conditions mentioned above and I am ready for my child’s participation in the classes.
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:
1. Does my child need to have prior experience?
No, the child does not need to have prior experience in yoga to join. The kids as young as 2 years can do yoga. Not with the perfect poses at the beginning but they will surely be better with poses later with regular practice.
2. Does yoga benefits kids?
Yes, yoga is very beneficial for kids or adults. It keeps the kids focused and keeps the mind quite. It helps them build more concentration. It improves health and leads them to healthy lifestyle from beginning and lay a better future I front of them. The kids practicing yoga at early age may not face problems of anxiety or hyper tension.
3. How long a pose should be held by a kid?
It is said that generally a pose is held between 10 to 15 seconds. But every child is different and unique and have their own pace and abilities, so they might not be forced and told to do thing at a faster pace as they may hurt themselves. The length of a pose also depends on the age group of a kid.