While relieving the pressure of failure in competitive sports, Yoga provides a fun, safe, playful and non-competitive way for kids to indulge in physical activity that helps develop both mind and body. A dedicated yoga practice helps children to cope with various academic, emotional, psychological, social and physical challenges or conflicts that they face in their daily lives. It provides a relaxing and joyful atmosphere to kids, while they cultivate better coordination, resilience and balance, and also become more focused and confident. By including within it breathing techniques, behavioral guidelines and physical postures, yoga helps to lead the kids to a path of constant self-discovery and body awareness. The charm of yoga lies in the fact that it can be performed alone, or in a group, and does not require any elaborate equipment or dedicated practice space and hence, can be performed in a fun way by kids of any age, anytime and anywhere.
The five key areas where yoga benefits kids are as follows.
1. Encourages healthy lifestyle: The earlier the kids are introduced to yoga, the easier it gets incorporated into their lifestyles. It also inculcates healthy eating habits, teaches better breathing and promotes care and concern for one’s physical and mental well-being.
2. Sharpens focus and memory: Regular yoga practice hones focus and concentration, stimulates mental processing and responsiveness, and promotes memory and retention among kids. This in turn enables the kids to perform better at studies.
3. Body consciousness and improved mind body connection: Performance of Asanas increases awareness about bodies while meditative facets of yoga and Pranayama help achieve a sound mind. Yoga thus, enables kids to care for their own bodies, especially so, as various researches have also proved, for kids with special needs.
4. Builds self-esteem and self-respect: Yoga helps build confidence and self-esteem among kids. While enhancing team skills like social interaction, co-operation and synergy, it simultaneously promotes individuality and self-expression. It thus, inculcates respect for self and others, as also for the environment.
5. Inculcates good values: Practice of yoga along with knowledge of yogic philosophy instills in kids good virtues like truthfulness, restraint, perseverance, gratitude, and self-discipline. Practice of yoga is thus the easiest and the best way of character development among children.
A child who is introduced to yoga at an early age is blessed with a lifetime of health, calm, and wellness of mind, body and soul. As parents, we should lead our kids to path of yoga as early as possible, to gift them a healthy childhood and a sound future.