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The Practice of Yoga for Children

Updated on December 25, 2015

The Practice of Yoga for Children

Yoga is one exercise that is fun, relaxing and can be done by people of all ages. Introducing children into the practice may prove a little difficult after all this is a practice that is done slowly, has a meditative quality and involves controlled breathing. However, despite this yoga has becoming increasingly popular among children. Taking a look at the benefits which can be obtained through yoga it is no wonder that this exercise is finding popularity among today's youth.

Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga have been well established. There is in increase in physical traits such as flexibility and stamina. Also mental benefits of reduced stress and relaxation are also found. In fact, it is entirely possible that getting a child started young enough in yoga can completely eliminate stress from their lives. Yoga also has a number of benefits that can be found for children that have issues with sensory integration and attention deficit disorder.

For older children yoga can help to combat the pressure and stress that comes with everyday life. The pressure to do drugs, excel in school, the sometimes overwhelming amount of information that is presented to children in a rush to make it in time for standardized testing can create a huge impact on children. Yoga helps to relieve the stress caused by these factors and helps to promote a more relaxed and calm spirit. As a result children are better able to handle the issues presented to them.

Stress also builds up toxins within the body which can lead to obesity if something is not done to keep the toxins flowing through and out of the body. Yoga is a great way to help reduce the stress level and remove the toxins that build up by keeping the muscles and tissues of the body moving and stretching.

When it is appropriate to start a child in Yoga practices

Some debate exists over what age yoga should be started for children. Some classes are designed for three year olds and up but the average seems to be about seven years of age. Several different types of classes and programs are available for children depending on their age. There are some things to consider when looking into the various programs and classes that exist for younger individuals.

What class and program types are there and how to choose

The two main types are traditional and fun. Traditional has the quiet music and the calming atmosphere while the fun oriented classes are usually more lively and upbeat. If you are using yoga as a way to help with things like sensory integration disorder or attention deficit disorder then the fun and upbeat class may not be the best choice for your child. Those classes tend to create energy rather than help disperse it and may have the opposite effect on your child.

However, children love fun activities so even traditionally based programs for kids needs to have an element of enjoyment to it in order to keep kids interested in participating. The first thing to when deciding on what type of class is to determine the needs of your child and pick a style that will best fit with that your child needs and with their personality.

What to look for in an instructor

The next step is to spend some time getting to know the various instructors that offer classes for children. A few things are necessary with yoga instructions that teach children's programs that may not be needed with instructors of adult classes. The first thing is to make sure that the instructor has a good relationship with the students that are already in the class. The instructor should be friendly, inviting, helpful and give constructive advise in a manner that encourages children rather than points out a weakness in a negative manner.

The children should have an obvious good relationship that is relaxed with the instructor and the instructor should have an upbeat and pleasant personality. Most importantly it is essential that your child connect with the instructor and is comfortable both with the teacher and with the class itself. In order to receive the full benefit of yoga one must be able to balance with the environment they are in. This can only be done is they are comfortable in that space.

Other benefits and things learned from Yoga

There are other benefits that are learned from yoga that do not necessarily have anything to do with health benefits or physical benefits but do provide necessary skill building that can assist children in the future. There are a number of adaptations to yoga one of which is partner posing. This is where partners work together to accomplish something. It helps to develop trust, teamwork and a connection between the two parties.

This is a definitely needed skill with children. It promotes teamwork something they will need throughout their lives. It can also help to build a connection between parent and child if done together. In this age of two income households and the distancing of parents from children due to work obligations finding ways to make this connection is vital.

Yoga also helps to teach a strong appreciation for nature and life itself. This is done through the mimicking of nature itself as seen in the various poses that represent plants or animals. All of these things are necessary to the strong development of a confident well adjusted adult and while there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Yoga provides the added health benefits that may be difficult to find in other methods.

Yoga is a great way to provide children with tools that they need to successful combat the stresses of daily life and grow into adults that have a strong sense of self, are motivated and are able to handle anything that comes their way. Classes are designed especially for children and most yoga centers will have at least one course available.

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