Yoga may seem old-fashioned and boring for your hep youngster, but its benefits are fantastic and far-reaching. Here are seven reasons why you must convince your child to try it out.
By Jasmine Kaur and Arun Sharma
Of late, 14-year-old Akshay is increasingly focused on his fitness and his appearance. The teen looks up exercise videos often and does weight-training on his own. At mealtimes, he peppers his conversation with how many calories he has burnt, how intense his workouts are, and so on. "Feel my muscles," he tells his parents, to their amusement. One morning, his father Shekhar gives him a yoga mat, and asks him to try surya namaskar with him, instead. "That will be so easy for me," declares Akshay, but is bemused to find that he cannot hold the yoga postures and that his breathing is not in sync. Nor is he able to bend as flexibly as his father. The teen watches with renewed respect, as Shekhar does his sun salutation in a fluid, easy manner.
Akshay is not alone. Many youngsters think yoga is "not cool enough". They do not realise that yoga is not just a workout, it is a holistic approach to health and harmony. It is about integrating the mind, body and soul.
As a parent, are you also finding it hard to convince your child to try yoga? Well, we can help you demystify yoga to your child and help him understand why it is the in-thing today. Perhaps, a little conversation along the following lines might help!
In simple terms, yoga involves the voluntary control of breath, performing slow body movements and striking certain poses or asanas. But yoga isn’t limited to burning calories, increasing flexibility, and improving the range of motion. It has positive effects on the mind as well. Yoga calms the mind, improves concentration and sharpens focus. It also helps us deal with issues like stress and anxiety. So, the all-round benefits an individual can derive from yoga are immense.
Now you know why and how yoga is beneficial. But, is your youngster convinced? Well then, here are a few more reasons:
It must be clear to you now that yoga can help achieve balance in life. More important, it is good for your youngster too. But while you are trying to initiate your little one into yoga, do keep in mind what Yoga Guru Suneel Singh has to say:
“There is no particular age to start yoga. It is best to begin from childhood. A great tip when practising yoga with your children is to utilise postures that resemble animals to help pique their interest. But keep in mind that children are naturally more flexible than adults and, may not realise when they are overextending themselves. Yoga instructors and parents should be aware of potential muscle and joint strains or injuries. They must teach children to listen to their bodies and stop if a pose is uncomfortable. They must teach children to stretch slowly and breathe deeply, and never force themselves into a pose.”
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