4 Ways That Kids Benefit From Yoga

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Kids are naturals at yoga. They love to move, they’re flexible, and even my wiggliest of kiddos is intrigued by the poses, the breathing, the peace that he has found in practicing yoga.

And I have benefitted greatly from returning to the practice of yoga recently, finding relief for some ongoing neck pain and giving myself some much needed time that is all my own each Wednesday night.

Our teacher, Krista Zember, of  BE Yoga, has given our family a wonderful gift by sharing yoga with us.  Krista has been teaching yoga to adults and kids, including children with special needs, for ten years.  I asked her to share with me exactly how kids can benefit from yoga.

  1. Body Benefits
    Yoga brings awareness of our bodies. It helps make kids aware of where their body is in space and how to master moving it. It helps adults and kids alike to strengthen, balance and increase flexibility.  Imagine the delight of a child realizing they can make their body hold perfectly still in tree pose, balanced just so.
  2. Breathing Benefits
    Yoga helps us learn to control our breath, to increase our energy or to relax. It improves the immune system and relieves stress. Imagine if our children could learn this natural, easy way to relieve stress while they are still children, how they can use this throughout their lives. Our breath is with us always, easily accessible, no need to ingest a substance. Breath is right there.
  3. Mind Benefits
    Yoga helps kids to increase their ability to focus. I have seen this first hand with my own child.  It also helps kids learn to calm themselves and be aware of how they are feeling. It raises their self-esteem, too.
  4. Peace Benefits
    Yoga is a great way to teach kids about peacefulness.  Through the poses and focus on breathing, they learn what peace is in body, breath, mind and heart. And then they can learn how to get to that peace when they need to:  when they struggle with something, when life is hard, when challenged by relationships with others.

Here are some books about yoga that the Creekside kids and I have been enjoying recently:

Peaceful Piggy Yoga, by Kerry Lee MacLean describes why people from football players to ballet dancers to movie stars do yoga.  It gives detailed instructions for a series of 11 poses.

The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power, shows pictures of poses from A to Z with a little poem for each one.  You can find free coloring pages from the book’s illustrations on the ABC Yoga For Kids website.

Krista Recommends:

More Resources from Some Great Bloggers:

Arlee at Small Potatoes wrote a beautiful post about doing yoga with little ones, called Namaste, Mother Earth. You have to see the pictures of her sweet little yogis and the props she uses make yoga super fun for the kids.

Jennifer at The Good Long Road recommends the book  Yoga Mom, Buddha Baby: The Yoga Workout for New Moms.

Marnie at Carrots Are Orange shares her resources and tells us why yoga is a part of her home and shows us how her toddler got interested in yoga.

Katie at Mommy With Selective Memory shows us her very humorous attempt at doing yoga in close proximity to toddlers and Golden Retrievers.

Thanks to Krista Zember of BE Yoga for sharing her knowledge of yoga and children for this post. Please stop by the BE Yoga website or facebook page. Krista teaches in Sterling, VA and Washington, D.C. and is hosting the Grand Opening of the BE Yoga Yurt on May 6th, 2012.