Kids these days are as busy as adults with their school, multiple tuition classes, extracurricular activities, and homework. They are equally stressed but they can seldom express themselves like an adult. Schools should be focused on providing a holistic education module for a child by incorporating anti-bullying campaigns, personality and character development, positive mental health sessions by their school counsellor, and most importantly incorporating yoga into their extracurricular activities.
Yoga is a form of ‘mind-body practice’ that people of all ages can follow. There are many health benefits of yoga for grown-ups that are equally pertinent to our kids, as yoga nurtures the mind, body, and soul, and lays the foundation for a long-lasting tradition of health and wellness. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Shivaji Chobe, Research Scientist - Integrative Medicine at AAYU by RESET TECH, to know about the benefits of yoga for children.
Benefits of yoga for children
The benefits of yoga for children stretch far beyond gaining flexibility. Listed below are five main advantages:
1. Yoga for personality development
When a child experiences rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth, yoga can help children develop various personality traits that can lead to a more positive and happy life. For example, a person who practices yoga regularly can feel more confident, can identify their strength more accurately, and have clarity of thought. Practising yoga also helps overall mental health in myriad ways. Kids can develop exceptional levels of mental clarity and calmness by doing yoga, kriya, asana, pranayama, and meditation consistently. Not just that, it also helps in developing elevated tenacity and patience towards the self and others. This leads to self-actualisation and can help kids to attain their maximum potential.
2. Improves flexibility, strength, and stamina
Yoga poses/asanas involve gradual stretches that help improve the flexibility of various muscle groups of our body. Most yoga postures are meant to bolster your bodies inside out. Apart from improving muscle strength, and toning the body, yoga can also help kids improve their body posture, exuberance, and metabolism. Good physical strength and stamina can aid in having a healthy childhood.
3. Improves cognitive functioning
According to some experts, practising yoga can help enhance perception, attention, executive functions, visuospatial abilities, short, and long term memory. Practising yoga requires a complete sync of both the mind and the body. As yoga enhances cognitive functioning, it can lead to improved academic achievement, and ultimately help children become skillful in various tasks.
4. Strengthen emotional stability
Emotional intelligence is essential for healthy mental growth. It is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. By practising yoga regularly, feelings and emotions can be regularised in a positive way. Positive emotions are good for mental health but negative emotions work as a mental block. Yoga plays a great role in the improvement of our emotional well being.
5. Connects self with spirituality
Yoga can help kids connect with spirituality and self. Regular yoga practice can make them feel satisfied and enhance their sense of gratitude and well-being. Overall yoga practice in children helps in holistic growth at all levels, including, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Listed below are some of the practices that are helpful for overall development of children:
- Asana: Yoga Poses like Suryanamaskara, Vriksasana, Ardhakatichakrasana, Paschimottanasana, Vakrasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, Dhanurasana
- Kiya: Kapalbhati, Trataka
- Pranayama: Bhramari, Nadisudhi pranayama, Ujjayi pranayama
- Chanting: Nadanusandhana, OM chanting
- Relaxation and Meditation: Guided relaxation and breath based meditation