Recently, a friend of mine told me that her daughter had come home from school one day and told her about her special yoga class. A lady had come into the school and taught them some yoga. My friend was a bit put out. To her, it was all a bit excessive and most certainly completely unnecessary.
Straightaway, I thought back to my own somewhat unhappy schooldays and imagined what my reaction would have been back then. Without a shadow of doubt, I would have tried to disrupt the class out of sheer boredom, fuelled by an intense inability to keep still.
My friend had started off totally sceptical and was reluctant to make the voluntary financial contribution to the weekly class. As the weeks went, shed noticed a change in her daughter. She seemed calmer and more content. It took quite a while until my friend began associating the change in her daughter with the commencement of the yoga classes. But the penny did eventually drop and she was completely intrigued.
As it happened, we had a mutual friend who had practiced yoga for many years. Over a delicious cup of coffee, my friend and I began quizzing her about the value of yoga for kids. Naturally, to her it was a complete “no-brainer”, of course yoga was going to be good for kids. She also knew by our reaction that she need to patiently explain the benefits of yoga for kids to us.
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
She started off explaining how the technology and busy existence kids are immersed in was a great source of stress to them. In her opinion, kids no longer possess the ability to simply be still, without any distraction or entertainment of any kind. She also told us that yoga taught kids to be centred and calm, breathe properly, and ultimately be better able to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Pointing out the key benefits she explained:
- Yoga Helps Kids to Feel More Confident: Yoga helps kids to feel more centred and comfortable in their own skin as a consequence of which they have a higher level of confidence.
- Yoga Promotes a Positive Body Image: Mastering yoga skills and getting to know their own body a little better contributed to a better body image. The strength and flexibility developed through yoga helped kids of all ages to feel stronger and happier.
- Yoga Is Like Prayer for the Body: Kids are spiritual beings and need spiritual nurturing. Yoga is a great way to teach kids about their spiritual essence in a fun and interesting fashion. Over time, they develop the ability to be quiet and feel at peace.
- Yoga Is a Non-Competitive Group Activity: The non-competitive nature of yoga helps to build friendships.
- Yoga Helps to Manage Stress: The breathing aspect of yoga is particularly useful in helping children to cope with stressful situations.
- Yoga Improves Concentration: Regular yoga practice improves a child’s concentration levels considerably.
- Yoga Helps Kids to Discover Calm and Tranquillity: Kids are constantly being stimulated in some ways and often do not know how to be quiet and relaxed any longer. After practicing yoga for a prolonged period of time, kids begin to value “quiet time” and start viewing it as a source of rest and relaxation.
When my friend was finished explaining all the benefits to us, I asked her for the phone number of her yoga teacher to enrol in a class, realising that I would benefit from yoga just as much. You never know, perhaps my kids will do yoga in the future too.