Benefits of yoga in early childhood
13 March, 2023
It’s no secret yoga is good for the body and the mind and we think children should reap those benefits too.
Yoga for children resembles traditional yoga, but is modified to make it easier for kids to grasp. We want them to be able to participate and succeed so it’s tailored to where they are in terms of their strength and coordination. The way yoga for children is taught is also modified, with age-appropriate instructions and a little more fun. There are many physical benefits of yoga for children, including developing balance, flexibility and core strength, which, while beneficial in themselves, also provide a strong foundation for other physical activities and sports. The mindfulness and confidence gained from practising yoga is also invaluable. And perhaps best of all, with their stretchy young bodies, kids really enjoy it! With intriguing-sounding moves like “Star Pose” and “Upward Dog”, children can’t wait to roll out their mats and have a go!
Yoga can improve physical health
Yoga is a great first introduction to organised physical activity for children. Yoga’s slow pace and instructor-led approach means it’s easy for children to join in and have a go at making fun shapes with their bodies. They’ll learn to stretch and bend and delight in improving their balance and coordination. Learning yoga will help them build strength and flexibility and develop their gross motor skills. These benefits will help keep their little bodies healthy and their success at perfecting poses may give them the confidence to try other sports. Or they can stick to just yoga – after all, it is an activity for all ages.
Yoga helps children become more focused
Yoga teaches children to focus their attention on the present moment, on their breathing and the way their bodies feel. They can transfer this skill to a variety of situations where they need to pay attention. Learning a range of fun poses also helps children improve their cognitive memory, which will hold them in good stead when they start school.
Yoga allows children to regulate their emotions
The quiet, calm, flowing nature of yoga, combined with the focus on just their own bodies helps to promote mindfulness. It can help children to relax and cope with anxiety. By holding their poses, yoga benefits children by teaching them patience and perseverance, building skills to help them control their impulses.
Yoga improves self-esteem
Yoga helps children to develop a positive relationship with their bodies. The moves are designed so children can succeed and be proud of what their bodies are capable of doing. This feeling of success makes them feel good about themselves, which is great for their self-esteem.
Yoga benefits connection
While poses are mainly individual, yoga is a group activity that teaches children how to connect and interact respectfully with their peers. Kids are expected to be supportive and encouraging, which creates a lovely team atmosphere. This is one of the great benefits of yoga for kids.
Edge Early Learning’s approach to yoga
Yoga for children is incorporated into the curriculum at a number of Edge Early Learning centres. Yoga cards displaying the poses and posters are available to the children at these centres so they can practise their yoga moves throughout the day whenever they feel. Here is a link to the types of Yoga poses encouraged at Edge Early Learning.