Wholesome is a word we often associate with our children’s well-being. We feed our kids wholesome food to nourish their growing bodies. We encourage wholesome activities to help them develop good habits and useful skills. Yoga is not only wholesome, but holistic as well. In other words, it’s an activity that develops the whole child—physically, mentally, and emotionally. What’s more, kids of all ages have fun doing yoga asanas and watching their balance, flexibility, and strength improve. They also learn to focus and relax. This positive experience is likely to keep them practicing yoga as adults, reaping yoga’s many benefits for years to come.
Many types of exercises help children develop strong muscles, but the strength they gain is rarely balanced with increased flexibility. Yoga postures, however, improve both strength and flexibility, giving kids an ease of movement that helps them improve their performance and prevent injuries. They develop balance, coordination, and the ability to focus. Even kids who aren’t athletic enjoy yoga asanas. Because yoga is a gentle, noncompetitive form of exercise, they can practice, do well, and build confidence in a nonthreatening environment.
On a deeper physical level, yoga’s focus on good posture helps young spines grow straight and strong. The poses regulate and balance the production of hormones, which is especially important as children approach and pass through puberty. Yoga postures also improves their digestion, nutrient absorption, and elimination while helping to strengthen the immune system.
In yoga, kids get their bodies and minds working together. They concentrate on positioning and moving in a slow, controlled manner. Sometimes they focus on holding a pose, on their breathing, or on the animal they are imitating. This ability to focus carries over into other aspects of their lives, making it easier for them to concentrate on schoolwork and other important tasks.
Yoga also gives children valuable tools to help them cope with the stress they often face. This stress may be in the form of academic pressure, sports competitions, problems at home, and so on. Yoga postures, breathing, and relaxation techniques teach them how to calm the mind and release excess tension from the body.
Yoga is wonderful for children. The asanas build strength, stamina, and flexibility. Kids also learn patience, perseverance, and concentration, which helps them become happier and more productive. Whether children are dealing with tight muscles, obesity, divorce, fear, or anxiety, they can use yoga to bring them relief not only throughout their childhood, but also in their adult lives.