What is the right age for kids to start Yoga and Meditation? How is yoga helpful for kids?
Kids can start practicing Yoga as soon as they start to understand instructions. Ideally kids of 4 years and above are capable to understand the instructions and follow the teacher.
However, we should be careful that certain practices should not be taught to the kids. For example- Padmasana. The bones are still tender and in some cases it may lead to bending of bones. These kind of asanas can be taught to kids when they turn 12 and above that is kids in their teen age. At this age bones are developed and are no more tender. The yoga teacher should know what is suitable for the kids.
Kids can practice surya namaskar and pranayama. Children derive enormous benefits from Yoga. Yoga helps to enhance their flexibility, strength, coordination and body awareness. Yoga increases concentration and memory power in kids. It makes them relaxed and calm.
Children feel excited when they get a chance to play role of animals, trees, flowers or warriors in Yoga. You should allow them to bark in dog, meow in cat pose and roar in tiger pose or hiss in cobra pose. They can also count 123s while holding the pose.
The instructions given should be fun instructions. When they are doing Bhujanga Asana, ask them to imagine that they are snakes without hands and legs. When they are in a tree pose ask them to imagine that they are a giant oak tree with roots growing from their feet.
Studies and research has found out that children who practice yoga can see various improvements. Yoga is also beneficial for kids with learning disabilities.
Kids need a tool to deal with the stress they face due to school pressures and competition with other kids. Children also face issues such as bullying in schools. There are also cases of cyber bullying.
The new devices available in the market including video games, computers, cell phones, tablets etc give rise to new demands and expectations. These self imposed expectations may give rise to stress and anxiety in kids. Also long hours, children spend on these electronic gadgets referred to as change in lifestyle leads to health issues, obesity and other physical and mental problems.
Yoga helps children to listen to their hearts. Yoga helps you to turn your attention inwards which is very much necessary for kids as well as adults. Yoga makes children more resilient to emotions and stress. Yoga teaches them self-regulations skills to improve their mood.
Here, at Yog Gokul, we believe in nurturing children’s creativity and curiosity. We focus on their psychological development. That is why we have introduced Krida Yoga and Family Yoga. We conduct one day workshops where parents, kids, youth and adults can participate.